Access and Temporary Passes

Nick Leaton made this Freedom of Information request to House of Lords

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear House of Lords,

I recently made an FOI request submitted on the 12 February 2011 on the Use of Passes, about access by Lords to the Parliamentary estate.

It's not clear from the reply, or in fact from my request, whether to not the figures supplied in the response include temporary passes, which when issued are recorded in the security system.

Can you confirm if the temporary pass usage was included in your reply?

If the answer is no, then I would like to submit a further FOI request.

Between the dates of 1 April 2008 - 31 March 2009, can you please supply the number of sitting days that each Lord used a temporary pass, and didn't use they other pass to access the houses of Parliament.

Alternatively, if it is easier, between the dates of 1 April 2008 - 31 March 2009, can you please supply the number of sitting days that each Lord used a normal pass or a temporary pass to access the parliamentary estate.

I also notice that several Lords who accessed the estate have not got any expenses recorded on your website for the period in question. Can you please tell me why this is the case?

Yours faithfully,

Nick Leaton

House Of Lords Information Office, House of Lords

Thank you for your email.

The House of Lords Information Office receives large numbers of e-mails and we aim to reply within 10 working days. If you need the information sooner please telephone the House of Lords Information Office on 020 7219 3107.

The following information may answer many of your enquiries.

House of Lords
If you have access to the internet you may find the answers to most of your queries on the House of Lords pages of the Parliament website: http://www.parliament.uk/lords

House of Lords Press Office
If you are a member of the press and wish to contact the House of Lords Press Office please call 020 7219 8550.

Judicial Questions
For information about appeal cases, please contact the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Parliament Square
London SW1P 3BD
Tel: 020 7960 1991/1992
Fax: 020 7960 1901
http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk

Appointments to the House of Lords
For queries about appointments to the House of Lords, contact the House of Lords Appointments Commission, which is a separate independent body and NOT part of the House of Lords:
The House of Lords Appointments Commission
35 Great Smith Street
London
SW1P 3BQ
Tel: 020 7276 2005 (020 7276 2315 for an Information Pack)
www.lordsappointments.gov.uk<http://www.lordsappointments.gov.uk>

Thank you.

show quoted sections

FOI LORDS, House of Lords

Dear Mr. Leaton

I am writing in response to your query and request for information
received by the House of Lords on 10 May.

If a pass holder forgets their pass, a day pass is issued, this contains a
proximity card that enables them to temporarily gain access to those areas
of the Estate protected by an electronic pass reader. This process cancels
their own pass and transfers all access rights and details of that person
onto the temporary card, the reason being that only one valid pass can be
issued at any one time. Use of the temporary pass is then logged in
exactly the same way as the original “forgotten” pass on the
individuals record in the database.

The report that we previously disclosed to you identified all valid passes
that were used on the sitting days covered by your request. If a temporary
pass was issued, this is a valid pass and would be included in the report.
These records would not identify whether a passholder was using their
normal pass or whether they had been issued with a temporary day pass.

As I stated previously the pass system’s sole purpose is to maintain the
security of the Parliamentary Estate, it is not used to record the
attendance of Members and it would not reliably serve this purpose as
Members may enter the Estate at one of the entrances staffed by security
personnel and have their pass checked manually. A pass checked in this
way does not result in an electronic record being created against that
Member’s name in the database and yet they would obviously still be on
the Estate and may attend the House. In addition Members may enter the
Parliamentary Estate, place their pass on a proximity reader and therefore
be recorded in the database but choose not to attend a sitting of the
House or a committee.

Members may also formally attend the House but opt not to claim financial
assistance, they would therefore not be listed in the information
published on the Parliamentary website.

You may, if 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
[1][email address] 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.

Yours sincerely,

Alex Daybank

Information Compliance Manager

House of Lords

[2][email address]

------------------- Original Message

show quoted sections

Dear Alex,

Thank you for your reply, including lots of detail I didn't request. I wonder why.

Interesting too about the bits where you contradict other FOI requests, but I guess you've been tasked with that. :-)

Yours sincerely,

Nick Leaton