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Requests for information during Dissolution


What is Dissolution?

Dissolution is the official term for the end of a Parliament, and follows a set process. Because Parliament has been dissolved, it ceases to exist. This has an impact on how we provide information to the public.


How are Freedom of Information requests handled during Dissolution?

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) gives the general right of access to information held by public authorities. However, during the Dissolution period, Parliament ceases to exist, which means there is no ‘public authority’ to which the Act applies.  As a result, the right of access to information described by the Act is suspended.

All requests are still acknowledged, but the 20-day deadline is calculated to exclude the period between Dissolution and the new Parliament convening. Requesters are advised that they may expect their response after the House returns (which is usually sometime after the General Election).

You may also wish to read details of a Decision Notice from the Information Commissioner's Office regarding Dissolution.


How else can I get information during Dissolution?

The House of Commons already publishes a huge amount of information.  Typically, around one in five requests sent to Information Compliance alone are for information which is already published.
We recommend that you check our web pages in the first instance for the information you seek.  The following links may be helpful:

In addition, a further 20% of questions asked to the House of Commons are for information we don’t hold. Often these requests are better directed to a Government Department, or other public authority.  It may help you to check our How Parliament works  pages, which provide helpful information about Parliament’s role.


Who do I contact if I have any other queries?

Information Compliance be contacted as follows:

Telephone: 020 7219 2559

Information Compliance
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

The Information Commissioner’s Office can be contacted as follows:

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Information Commissioner’s Office  
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF