Parliamentary papers guidance

This guidance will help you to understand the process of producing parliamentary papers, including Command, House of Commons and un-numbered Act papers.

It explains the distinctions between the different types of papers, their significance in the parliamentary process and where to go for further advice and support.

In the context of GOV.UK, these publications are referred to as ‘official documents’.

‘Parliamentary paper’ is a term used to describe a document which is laid before Parliament. Most government organisations will produce at least one parliamentary paper per year.

Command papers can cover a wide range of subjects, it is important to consider whether a document should be published as one at an early stage.

A range of services are provided under contract to help government organisations make sure that their parliamentary papers are produced to the required standard.

There are a number of organisations who set standards, provide guidance and services related to the production of a parliamentary paper.

Once there is agreement to publish a parliamentary paper, production is arranged to meet the paper’s laying and publication date, which in most cases will be fixed.

Government organisations are responsible for ensuring that parliamentary papers are published correctly on GOV.UK. This section explains the steps that organisations need to take to ensure that end users can access their publications.

All parliamentary papers are covered by copyright and should include an up to date copyright statement on the title-verso page (page 2) The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 place an obligation on government organisations to make their information, including parliamentary papers, available for re-use.

Most government organisations' annual reports and accounts are published as House of Commons (HC) or unnumbered Act Papers.

An overview of the alternative formats for Command, House of Commons and un-numbered Act Papers, bringing together different options that might otherwise be explained in different places.

Errors in parliamentary papers are rare but there are services available to help correct a document appropriately.

Once a parliamentary paper has been produced organisations should review the process.