Guidance for Staff
- be in writing (including e-mails)
- include your name and address, other contact details are optional but may assist us in responding to your request
- describe clearly the information you require
You may specify how you wish to receive the information e.g. you may wish to inspect the records, receive copies or a digest or summary of the information. It is not always possible for us to comply with this (e.g. it may not be possible to supply copies of paper records in electronic form). We will let you know our reasons if we are unable to meet your preferences.
You may find it helpful to use the form included at the end of the document when making a request to the House of Lords.
Where do I send my request?
The House of Lords and the House of Commons are separate public authorities under the Freedom of Information Act. Requests should be addressed to the appropriate House. Addressing requests to 'Parliament' will delay receipt of your request and accordingly, our response.
In common with many organisations, our e-mail addresses receive large quantities of SPAM (i.e. junk mail). Including 'Request for information' in the subject line of your e-mail will assist us in prioritising your request.
Requests should be sent to the Information Compliance Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requests for the House of Lords should be sent to the Freedom of Information Officer, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW. Please do not send the same request to more than one recipient within the House of Lords.
Advice and assistance
Advice and assistance in making FoI requests to the House of Lords is available from the Freedom of Information Officer, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW. Telephone 020 7219 0100. E-mail: email@example.com
How long will it take to process my request?
Under the FOI Act, the House of Lords has a duty to reply to your request and to provide the information, unless it is subject to an exemption, within 20 working days. Working days are defined as Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays and other public holidays.
In some cases, where an exemption may apply, the process might take slightly longer. The House will inform you if this is the case.
Request handling during the Dissolution
When Parliament is dissolved there is no ‘House of Lords’ for the purposes of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the 2000 Act’), and there is therefore no ‘public authority’ to which the 20 working day deadline under section 10 of the 2000 Act is capable of applying. The time limits do not, therefore, apply during the period of Dissolution.
The effect of the 2000 Act, including its time limits, resumes when the House of Lords first meets following a General Election.
What is the House of Lords usual procedure for dealing with requests for information it does not hold?
If we have reason to believe that some or all of the information you requested, but which we do not hold, is likely to be held by another public authority we will contact you and inform you that we do not hold the information you are seeking but it may be held by another public authority. We will provide you with contact details for this public authority.
If you are dissatisfied with the treatment of your request for information, ask the House of Lords to conduct an internal review. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Freedom of Information Officer, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW. Arrangements will be made for someone who has not been involved in dealing with your request to conduct an internal review. Our aim is to complete internal reviews within 20 working days.
If, following this review, you remain dissatisfied with the House’s treatment of your request for information then you may take your complaint to the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.
FOI request log
Logs of previous requests to the House of Lords and their outcomes are published, by calendar year here.