Dear House of Commons,

I would like to make a Freedom of Information request based on the following questions:

1) Now that lockdowns are easing, is it the intention of the House of Commons to introduce a policy that mandates the sitting MPs and representatives of the House to be fully vaccinated prior to entering the Chamber to carry out the business of the country?

2) If not, what considerations or working practices will be put in place to ensure that those MP's and representatives who may not be fully vaccinated are able to perform their duties on behalf of their constituents while in the Chamber? Distancing, masks, etc.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Duncan Buckley

FOI Commons, Tŷ'r Cyffredin

Dear Mr Buckley,

 

Freedom of Information request F21-327

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 13 July 2021, received by
us on the same date, which is copied below.

 

We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case
within 20 working days i.e. on or before 10 August 2021.

 

If you have any queries about your request, please use the request number
quoted in the subject line of this email.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

We will work hard to answer your information rights requests during the
current COVID 19 situation in line with statutory requirements, however
some requests may be affected by access to collections and availability of
staff. We will keep you informed of any identified delays in answering
your request.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sarah Price

IRIS Support Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

 

[1]www.parliament.uk | [2]@ukparliament | [3]@houseofcommons

[4]House of Commons Privacy Notice for the Public

[5]Supporting a thriving parliamentary democracy

 

 

 

From: Duncan Buckley <[FOI #773671 email]>
Sent: 13 July 2021 14:59
To: FOI Commons <[email address]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Vaccination requirement to enter
the Chamber

 

Dear House of Commons,

I would like to make a Freedom of Information request based on the
following questions:

1) Now that lockdowns are easing, is it the intention of the House of
Commons to introduce a policy that mandates the sitting MPs and
representatives of the House to be fully vaccinated prior to entering the
Chamber to carry out the business of the country?

2) If not, what considerations or working practices will be put in place
to ensure that those MP's and representatives who may not be fully
vaccinated are able to perform their duties on behalf of their
constituents while in the Chamber? Distancing, masks, etc.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Duncan Buckley

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[6][FOI #773671 email]

Is [7][House of Commons request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to House of Commons? If so, please contact us using
this form:
[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[9]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[10]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Commons, Tŷ'r Cyffredin

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Buckley,

 

 

Freedom of Information Request F21-327

 

Thank you for your request for information as copied below.  You have
asked the House of Commons two questions about Covid-19 safety which we
have sought to answer below.

 

 1. Now that lockdowns are easing, is it the intention of the House of
Commons to introduce a policy that mandates the sitting MPs and
representatives of the House to be fully vaccinated prior to entering
the Chamber to carry out the business of the country?

 

This information is not held by the House of Commons.  We have no record
of any such intention at the time of your request.

 2. If not, what considerations or working practices will be put in place
to ensure that those MP's and representatives who may not be fully
vaccinated are able to perform their duties on behalf of their
constituents while in the Chamber? Distancing, masks, etc.

 

The House of Commons does not hold any records of considerations or
working practices established specifically for Members who have not been
fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

 

However, it may help you to know that a wide range of measures are already
in place on the parliamentary estate to ensure the safety of Members and
others working on the premises.  At every stage of the Government roadmap,
or when updated guidance has been published, the Parliamentary Covid risk
assessment has been reviewed and updated to ensure the appropriate
mitigations are put in place. The latest version of the risk assessment
was published in the last week, incorporating Government guidance on ‘how
to stay safe and help prevent the spread from 19 July’ and the sector
specific guidance published on the 14th July.  The risk assessment has
been made available to all and can be found at
[1]https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/t...

 

 

You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, complain to
the House of Commons. Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of your request you may ask the House of Commons to conduct an
internal review of any decision regarding your request.  Complaints or
requests for internal review should be addressed to: Information Rights
and Information Security Service, Research & Information Team, House of
Commons, London SW1A 0AA or [2][House of Commons request email].  Please ensure
that you specify the full reasons for your complaint or internal review
along with any arguments or points that you wish to make.

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner
at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF,
[3]https://ico.org.uk/.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Abigail Richmond
Information Rights Manager 
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) 
+44 (0)20 7219 2559 

Text relay: 18001 020 7219 2559
House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0AA 
[4]parliament.uk
[5][IMG]

[6]House of Commons Privacy Notice for the public

[7]Supporting a thriving parliamentary democracy

 

 

 

From: Duncan Buckley <[8][FOI #773671 email]>
Sent: 13 July 2021 14:59
To: FOI Commons <[9][email address]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Vaccination requirement to enter
the Chamber

 

Dear House of Commons,

I would like to make a Freedom of Information request based on the
following questions:

1) Now that lockdowns are easing, is it the intention of the House of
Commons to introduce a policy that mandates the sitting MPs and
representatives of the House to be fully vaccinated prior to entering the
Chamber to carry out the business of the country?

2) If not, what considerations or working practices will be put in place
to ensure that those MP's and representatives who may not be fully
vaccinated are able to perform their duties on behalf of their
constituents while in the Chamber? Distancing, masks, etc.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Duncan Buckley

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[10][FOI #773671 email]

Is [11][House of Commons request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to House of Commons? If so, please contact us using
this form:
[12]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[13]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[14]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear House of Commons,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of House of Commons's handling of my FOI request 'Vaccination requirement to enter the Chamber'.

My request initially was to find out information about plans in place to accommodate MPs who have or have not yet had the vaccination on entering the chamber to conduct Government business. You report you do not hold that information, why is that? Perhaps you can redirect my inquiry on to the relevant office that does currently have that information.

With the current vaccination drive in the UK affecting all areas of the UK from personal individual levels up to businesses and the upper chambers of our elected government, there must be plans in place by MPs or the Civil Service about what to do in this circumstance.

The Government is requesting plans of businesses to ensure their staff are vaccinated, why isn't the Government?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/v...

Yours faithfully,

Duncan Buckley

FOI Commons, Tŷ'r Cyffredin

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Buckley,

 

 

Freedom of Information Request F21-327

 

Thank you for your further email as copied below.  You have asked the
House of Commons to carry out an Internal Review of our response but, in
the first instance, I hope that it will be quicker and more convenient for
you to have more information informally.

 

I am sorry that you were disappointed that the House does not hold
information about the vaccination status of Members.  Members of
Parliament are not employed by the House and have a similar status as 650
self-employed persons.  This means they are responsible for their own work
- including employing and managing their own staff – and the amount of
information they are required to tell the House about that is minimal.

 

The House Administration offers a range of services to support Members in
their work.  This includes catering services, IT services, procedural
advice, health and wellbeing support etc.  You can find more information
about what we offer in the Members’ Handbook, which is published on our
web pages here:
[1]https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/d...
Please note that these services are optional, and Members are under no
obligation to use them and are free to utilise other, commercial services
if they choose.

 

I hope this will help you to understand why there is no single office or
public authority that would hold information about Members’ vaccination
status.  You are welcome to ask the individual Members themselves, and
their contact details can be found on the parliamentary website here:
[2]https://members.parliament.uk/members/co....  However, individual
Members are not classed as public authorities, and so are not obliged to
answer requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Lastly, please be aware that the House of Commons Administration is not
part of the Government.  Our primary role is to make laws and to
scrutinise the Government’s work, and Members attend the House to do
that.  It is the Government’s role to manage the country, commissioning
research, formulating policies and carrying out relevant work in the
various government departments and associated bodies.  The House has plans
to ensure that the parliamentary estate is a safe and secure working
place, but we work within guidelines published by the Government.

 

If you wish to know future Government plans or policies, you should
redirect your request to the appropriate government department who may
hold this information. In the case of vaccination plans, this is likely to
be the Department for Health and Social Care, whose contact details can be
found on the Government website here: 
[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati....

 

I hope this helps you better understand the House’s position on this
matter.  If you would still like us to carry out a full Internal Review,
or if you require any other recorded information the House might hold,
please do let us know.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Information Rights Manager 
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) 
House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0AA 
[4]parliament.uk
[5][IMG]

[6]House of Commons Privacy Notice for the public

[7]Supporting a thriving parliamentary democracy

 

 

 

From: Duncan Buckley <[FOI #773671 email]>
Sent: 01 August 2021 09:05
To: FOI Commons <[email address]>
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Vaccination
requirement to enter the Chamber

 

Dear House of Commons,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information
reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of House of Commons's handling
of my FOI request 'Vaccination requirement to enter the Chamber'.

My request initially was to find out information about plans in place to
accommodate MPs who have or have not yet had the vaccination on entering
the chamber to conduct Government business. You report you do not hold
that information, why is that? Perhaps you can redirect my inquiry on to
the relevant office that does currently have that information.

With the current vaccination drive in the UK affecting all areas of the UK
from personal individual levels up to businesses and the upper chambers of
our elected government, there must be plans in place by MPs or the Civil
Service about what to do in this circumstance.

The Government is requesting plans of businesses to ensure their staff are
vaccinated, why isn't the Government?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on
the Internet at this address:
[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/v...

Yours faithfully,

Duncan Buckley

 

 

From: FOI Commons
Sent: 28 July 2021 16:23
To: '[FOI #773671 email]'
<[FOI #773671 email]>
Subject: F21-327 Response

Dear Mr Buckley,

 

 

Freedom of Information Request F21-327

 

Thank you for your request for information as copied below.  You have
asked the House of Commons two questions about Covid-19 safety which we
have sought to answer below.

 

 1. Now that lockdowns are easing, is it the intention of the House of
Commons to introduce a policy that mandates the sitting MPs and
representatives of the House to be fully vaccinated prior to entering
the Chamber to carry out the business of the country?

 

This information is not held by the House of Commons.  We have no record
of any such intention at the time of your request.

 2. If not, what considerations or working practices will be put in place
to ensure that those MP's and representatives who may not be fully
vaccinated are able to perform their duties on behalf of their
constituents while in the Chamber? Distancing, masks, etc.

 

The House of Commons does not hold any records of considerations or
working practices established specifically for Members who have not been
fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

 

However, it may help you to know that a wide range of measures are already
in place on the parliamentary estate to ensure the safety of Members and
others working on the premises.  At every stage of the Government roadmap,
or when updated guidance has been published, the Parliamentary Covid risk
assessment has been reviewed and updated to ensure the appropriate
mitigations are put in place. The latest version of the risk assessment
was published in the last week, incorporating Government guidance on ‘how
to stay safe and help prevent the spread from 19 July’ and the sector
specific guidance published on the 14th July.  The risk assessment has
been made available to all and can be found at
[9]https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/t...

 

 

You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, complain to
the House of Commons. Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of your request you may ask the House of Commons to conduct an
internal review of any decision regarding your request.  Complaints or
requests for internal review should be addressed to: Information Rights
and Information Security Service, Research & Information Team, House of
Commons, London SW1A 0AA or [10][House of Commons request email].  Please ensure
that you specify the full reasons for your complaint or internal review
along with any arguments or points that you wish to make.

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner
at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF,
[11]https://ico.org.uk/.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Information Rights Manager 
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) 
House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0AA 
[12]parliament.uk
[13][IMG]

[14]House of Commons Privacy Notice for the public

[15]Supporting a thriving parliamentary democracy

 

 

 

From: Duncan Buckley <[16][FOI #773671 email]>
Sent: 13 July 2021 14:59
To: FOI Commons <[17][email address]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Vaccination requirement to enter
the Chamber

 

Dear House of Commons,

I would like to make a Freedom of Information request based on the
following questions:

1) Now that lockdowns are easing, is it the intention of the House of
Commons to introduce a policy that mandates the sitting MPs and
representatives of the House to be fully vaccinated prior to entering the
Chamber to carry out the business of the country?

2) If not, what considerations or working practices will be put in place
to ensure that those MP's and representatives who may not be fully
vaccinated are able to perform their duties on behalf of their
constituents while in the Chamber? Distancing, masks, etc.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Duncan Buckley

UK Parliament Disclaimer: this e-mail is confidential to the intended
recipient. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender and
delete it from your system. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying
is not permitted. This e-mail has been checked for viruses, but no
liability is accepted for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by
this e-mail. This e-mail address is not secure, is not encrypted and
should not be used for sensitive data.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/d...
2. https://members.parliament.uk/members/co...
3. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
4. http://parliament.uk/
5. https://www.parliament.uk/business/commo...
6. https://www.parliament.uk/documents/Data...
7. http://www.parliament.uk/documents/Strat...
8. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/v...
9. https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/t...
10. mailto:[House of Commons request email]
11. https://ico.org.uk/
12. http://parliament.uk/
13. https://www.parliament.uk/business/commo...
14. https://www.parliament.uk/documents/Data...
15. http://www.parliament.uk/documents/Strat...
16. mailto:[FOI #773671 email]
17. mailto:[email address]

Dear FOI Commons,

Thank you for your email response.

Just to clarify, I wasn't asking if you could confirm the vaccination status of the Members, I have no interest in that as it should remain private for everyone.

What I was asking was about the provisions the House of Commons has put in place to accommodate those members that have been or have not yet been vaccinated and what those provisions are. Presumably the House of Commons should have information on how the House of Commons will accommodate that.

If you could respond to let me know that would be acceptable.

Yours sincerely,

Duncan Buckley

FOI Commons, Tŷ'r Cyffredin

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Buckley,

 

 

Freedom of Information Request F21-327

Thank you for your further email.  I am sorry that your enquiry was
misunderstood and I’m happy to provide a further clarification. 

 

In your original request, you asked what considerations or working
practices will be put in place to ensure that MPs who may not be fully
vaccinated are able to perform their duties in the Chamber.  Our original
response advised you that we do not hold any records of considerations or
working practices established specifically for Members who have not been
fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and there is no vaccination requirement
(nor current plans for such a requirement) before Members can enter the
Chamber.

 

As explained, we do not have records of the vaccination status of Members,
but we do hold information about changes made in the Chamber of the House
for all Members, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not,
and those details can be found here: 
[1]https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/covi....

 

In your follow-up email you asked to know why we do not hold this
information, and to redirect your enquiry to an office which did. You also
asked why the Government isn’t requesting plans to ensure all staff are
vaccinated.  In our second response, we advised you that Members were not
employees of the House of Commons Administration, so each represents their
constituents as they see fit.  The House has undertaken general measures
throughout the whole of the parliamentary estate in line with the Risk
Assessment we provided you, and that this was constantly being reviewed
and updated in line with Government policy.  We also suggested that if you
wanted to ask for information about Government policy – such as why the
Government isn’t requesting plans from the House to ensure all Members are
vaccinated – you should direct your request to the Government itself.

 

No other public authority would hold that information.  If Government
policy changes and requires further action by the House of Commons in the
future, we may hold information then, but not at this time.

 

I hope this is helpful, has addressed your questions and clarified our
position in this matter. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Information Rights Manager 
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) 
House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0AA 
[2]parliament.uk
[3][IMG]

[4]House of Commons Privacy Notice for the public

[5]Supporting a thriving parliamentary democracy

 

 

 

From: Duncan Buckley <[FOI #773671 email]>
Sent: 03 August 2021 13:50
To: FOI Commons <[email address]>
Subject: RE: Internal review of Freedom of Information request -
Vaccination requirement to enter the Chamber

 

Dear FOI Commons,

Thank you for your email response.

Just to clarify, I wasn't asking if you could confirm the vaccination
status of the Members, I have no interest in that as it should remain
private for everyone.

What I was asking was about the provisions the House of Commons has put in
place to accommodate those members that have been or have not yet been
vaccinated and what those provisions are. Presumably the House of Commons
should have information on how the House of Commons will accommodate that.

If you could respond to let me know that would be acceptable.

Yours sincerely,

Duncan Buckley

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Duncan Buckley anodiad ()

It appears, by the response, that that they do not hold any "records of considerations or working practices established specifically for Members who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and that there is no vaccination requirement (nor current plans for such a requirement) before Members can enter the Chamber". Ergo, with no provisions being made to accommodate either vaccinated or non vaccinated, there is no mandatory requirement for MPs to be vaccinated in their work.