House of Commons publication scheme

The current Publication Scheme and Guide to Information for the House of Commons can be found at:

Publication Scheme amd Guide to Information for the House of Commons.

The House of Commons is the lower House of the UK Parliament. Its main functions are:

  • To examine proposals for new laws.
  • To provide, by voting for taxation, the means of carrying on the work of government.
  • To scrutinise government policy and administration, including proposals for expenditure; and to debate the major issues of the day.

The House of Commons Service supports, informs and records the work of the House of Commons as an elected parliamentary chamber in accordance with the decisions of the House and its Commission. The House makes available a wide range of information about its work, whilst maintaining the heritage of parliamentary buildings and documents in trust for the public and for future generations. It also contributes to parliamentary democracy by sharing its knowledge with Parliaments and Assemblies worldwide.

Publication Scheme

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the House of Commons Service has a duty to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme that has been approved by the Information Commissioner and to publish information in accordance with that Scheme. The intention of the Publication Scheme is to encourage public authorities to actively make information available to the public.

The House of Commons Service adopted a new model Publication Scheme from 1 January 2009, which has been produced by the Information Commissioner's Office for use by all public authorities. This Scheme, which comprises the following seven classes of information, has replaced the previous Scheme which the House of Commons Service has maintained since the Publication Scheme provisions of the Act came into force

The new model Publication Scheme covers seven broad subject areas:

1. Who we are and what we do
This class covers organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.

2. What we spend and how we spend it
This class covers financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.

3. What our priorities are and how we are doing
This class covers strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.

4. How we make decisions
This class covers policy proposals and decisions, the decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.

5. Our policies and procedures
This class covers current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.

6. Lists and registers
This class covers information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the House of Commons Service.

7. The Services we offer
This class covers advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases.

The new model Publication Scheme can also be viewed on the Information Commissioner's website This website represents the most up to date guide to the information that the House of Commons Service makes publicly available.

The type of information that the House of Commons Service makes available to the public under each class of the Publication Scheme is outlined in the Guide to Information, which is accurate to the date of publication. It is shown whether there is a charge for access to the identified information and whether the information is likely to be available on the website or whether it is available in paper format on request.

In order to assist the public, reference is also made to commercial publications and alternative sources of information over which the House has no control, but which are considered to be useful in providing information about the House.

From time to time, some publications will be revised or fall out of use and in this case it will not always be possible to provide out-of-date or out-of-print material. Records deemed worthy of permanent preservation are transferred to the Parliamentary Archives, which provides a public enquiry service.


No charge will be made for accessing the majority of the information made available to the public under the Publication Scheme, as this is available on the website The House of Commons Service reserves the right to make a reasonable charge to cover photocopying and postage costs when providing paper copies of information under its Publication Scheme. These charges are in line with those outlined on the Parliamentary Archives webpage

Comments and Enquiries

If you have any comments regarding the House of Commons Publication Scheme or to request copies of information, please contact the House of Commons Information Rights and Information Security Service:

The Information Rights and Information Security Service
Department of HR and Change 
House of Commons
7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA