Site hosted by Build your free website today! :

Search with S'Kari Search:
House of Commons Information Office
House of Commons

Services of the
House of Commons Information Office

The House of Commons Information Office acts as a central answering point for enquiries from the public which relate to the work, publications, proceedings and history of the House of Commons. The Office is part of the Department of the Library and works closely with other Departments of the House of Commons and with the House of Lords Information and Record Offices.

1. Enquiries

The most important function of the Office is to answer telephone requests for information about the House of Commons. Over 600 calls can be dealt with on sitting days. Enquiries put to the Office are very wide-ranging, and almost any aspect of the current work of the House and its committees, its membership, practices or traditions, can be dealt with. Similarly, the Office can deal with non-current or historical enquiries in these fields. However, we cannot undertake extended research on behalf of users. Students seeking general help with assignments and dissertations should contact their university or college library for assistance. If you are unsure whether the Office can help, please telephone: if we cannot assist, we can usually refer you elsewhere. Visually impaired correspondents are welcome to request a reply on tape, disk or in large print. The telephone number for enquiries is 020 7219 4272 (5 lines).

To contact Members of Parliament or other offices within Parliament by telephone, callers should telephone the main switchboard (Tel: 020 7219 3000).

Please note that enquiries on the implementation or interpretation of legislation, once a Bill has become an Act, can best be dealt with by the Information Office of the relevant Government department.

The telephone service is available from 9am to 6pm (Monday - Thursday) and 9am to 4.30pm (Friday) on sitting days, and from 10am to 5pm in recesses. We aim to answer calls quickly, but inevitably, demand will sometimes exceed capacity. A queueing system operates for incoming calls: if the call is not answered immediately, hang on. The telephone number for enquiries is 020 7219 4272 (5 lines).

Enquiries made by letter and e-mail can also be handled. Although we will try to answer your enquiry as quickly as we can, the volume of enquiries that we receive can mean a delay in replying. It would also help us to direct you to additional sources of information if you let us know where you are emailing from. Please note that we cannot accept e-mail for Members of Parliament. To find out whether or not your MP has an email address you can look at our list of MPs. To find out who your MP is, see our constituency locater service.

2. Publications of the Office

3. Parliamentary Education Unit

The Education Unit acts for both Houses of Parliament and provides services relating to the work of Parliament for schools, teachers, young people and educational bodies and organisations.

4. Overseas Visitors to the Houses of Parliament

The Education Unit can issue permits for overseas visitors to tour the Palace of Westminster. These are available only on certain restricted days. Advance application by letter is required.

5. Forthcoming Business Line

A recorded message on 020 7219-5532 details the forthcoming business in the House of Commons. The message is normally available within 20 minutes of the Business Statement being made (usually Thursdays between 2pm and 3pm). Calls to the business line are paid for at normal rates. No messages can be left.

6. Enquiries and Requests for HCIO Publications

These may be addressed by telephone to:-
020 7219 4272 (5 lines)

or by letter to:-
House of Commons Information Office, House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 2TT

or by email

Orders for the Weekly Information Bulletin, and Sessional Information Digest should be made to The Stationery Office or by telephone 020 7873 8491 (Bulletin, Sessional Information Digest). Copies of priced publications can also be had from the Parliamentary Bookshop (020 7219 3890).

For other publications, telephone or write to the House of Commons Information Office.


Parliamentary copyright 2001
Last updated: March 2002