Crowned Portcullis

John Cross made this Freedom of Information request to House of Commons Commission

The request was partially successful.

From: John Cross

13 April 2010

Dear The House of Commons Commission,

I am writing to request information relating to the crowned
portcullis emblem under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I note the following facts in support of my right to request an
receive information from the Commission:

(1) Schedule 1(1) of the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978
states that: "The Commission shall be a body corporate."

(2) For the purposes of Section 6 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000: "“company” includes any body corporate;"

(3) Section 6 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 defines
“publicly-owned company” in such a way as to include a company
"wholly owned by the Crown".

(4) Publicly-owned companies are public authorities for the purpose
of section 3 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

(5) Government departments are subject to the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (see schedule 1 part I)

(6) The term 'Government department' is defined widely to include
"...any other body or authority exercising statutory functions on
behalf of the Crown" in section 84 of the Act.

(7) The Commission is a company wholly owned by the Crown which
exercises statutory functions on behalf of the Crown under the
House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978.

(8) The House of Commons Commission is responsible allocating
functions to House departments and appointing staff of the House.
Before and after dissolution these staff have access to and custody
of various records and documents stored in the Palace of
Westminster.

(9) According to the guidance published online "The House of
Commons Information Office's services for the public will operate
as usual."
http://www.parliament.uk/documents/uploa...

According to HCIO Factsheet G9 (General Series) the usage of the
crowned portcullis by the two Houses of Parliament was formally
authorised in 1996 by licence granted by Her Majesty the Queen.
[http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_p...

Please provide me with:

(A) a copy of the 'formal grant' from 1996.

(B) copies of any subsequent amendments to that grant or any new
grants in relation to the Portcullis.

(C) copies of any covering letters or explanatory notes which
accompanied documents referred to in (A) and (B) above.

Please send documents in electronic form. Please acknowledge
receipt. If you are aware of any other authority that currently
holds records or documents in the Palace of Westminster please let
me know.

Yours faithfully,

John Cross

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John Cross left an annotation (13 April 2010)

Quote-marks I originally made this request to the House of Lords but they refused to process it while Parliament was dissolved. See here: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cr...

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From: FOICOMMONS
House of Commons Commission

14 April 2010

Dear Mr Cross

Thank you for your request for information which is copied below.

When Parliament has been dissolved there is no ‘House of Commons’ for the purposes of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and there is therefore no ‘public authority’ to which the 20 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 new House of Commons first meets.

As your request was received during the dissolution period, the time limit will commence on 18 May, being the day the new Parliament first meets. We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case within 20 working days i.e. on or before 16 June 2010.

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

Yours sincerely

Victoria Carpenter
Freedom of Information Assistant

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From: John Cross

14 April 2010

Dear Victoria,
My request was to the House of Commons Commission which exists even
after Parliament has dissolved.

Schedule 1 of the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978 states
that:

"On a dissolution of Parliament the person who is then Mr. Speaker
shall continue in office as a member of the Commission until a
Speaker is chosen by the new Parliament."

Please answer my request.

thank you,

John Cross

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From: FOICOMMONS
House of Commons Commission

16 April 2010

Dear Mr Cross,

Thank you for your recent message, to which I am replying on behalf of the House of Commons Commission. I note your comments, but would point out that the House of Commons Commission is not a 'public authority' within the meaning of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In so far as your request concerns the House of Commons we will endeavour to reply on or before 16 June, as we explained in reply to your request.

Yours sincerely

Katarina Ndrepepaj
Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

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From: FOICOMMONS
House of Commons Commission

20 May 2010

Dear Mr Cross,

Thank you for your request for information which is copied below. In response to your questions:

The HCIO Factsheet G9 (General Series) to which you have referred (available at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commo... ), contains a great deal of information on the subject of the crowned portcullis.

In particular it contains a copy of the ‘formal grant from 1996’.

In answer to your other questions, no subsequent amendments to that grant or any new grants in relation to the Portcullis have been made.

The House of Commons does not hold any covering letters or explanatory notes which accompanied the original grant.

It is possible that documents such as these might be held by the House of Lords. They can be contacted at [email address] .

You may, if dissatisfied with the treatment of your request, ask the House of Commons to conduct an internal review of this decision. Requests for internal review should be addressed to: Freedom of Information Officer, Department of Resources, House of Commons London SW1 OAA or [The House of Commons Commission request email] . Please ensure that you specify the nature of your complaint and any arguments or points that you wish to make.

Yours sincerely

Bob Castle

Head of Information Rights and Information Security

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