The request was partially successful.
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.
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.
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.
Freedom of Information Assistant
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.
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.
Freedom of Information Co-ordinator
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.
Head of Information Rights and Information Security