Annual Report and Accounts 2000-01


Journal and Information Office
(Clerk of the Journals: Brendan Keith)

1  Purpose

The Journal and Information Office: provides procedural advice; maintains records on membership and business of the House; compiles the Journals of the House (the authoritative record of proceedings). It provides an enquiry service to the public, the press and Members. The Information Office produces publications about the role and work of the House, and manages contacts with the press and media. It also supports the activities of the Parliamentary Education Unit.

2  Organisation

The Office consists of two sections, each with its own management structure:-

    (a)   the Journal Office/Registry provides a research and record-keeping service and advises on present and past procedural developments. It has 7 staff, including one based in the Minute Room to produce the daily Minutes of Proceedings, one part-time secretary and a gap-year student.

    (b)   the Information Office aims to promote a better understanding and knowledge of the role and work of the House. Its staff consist of the Information Officer and her assistant and two persons who work primarily on the public telephone and e-mail answering service. In order to deal with a significantly increased number of requests for information, additional staff were appointed and began work in June 2001.

3  Activities and Financial Performance

Several of the activities in 2000-01 are described in the Review of the Year (paragraphs 49 to 52). Other activities included:

  • publishing volume 231 of the Journals (session 1997-98, 1,380 pages).

  • providing the Clerk for the Procedure Committee and for the Group appointed by the Leader of the House to consider the recommendations of the Committee on Standards in Public Life on standards of conduct in the House of Lords.

  • improving the Registry database.

  • handling nearly 20,000 calls to the Enquiry Service. The number of e-mails (5,287) more than doubled (2,522 in the previous year).

  • dealing with a significant increased demand (124%) for information packs. Approximately 2,500 were distributed, including a circulation (jointly with the Commons' Information Office) to all UK public libraries.

  • conducting a user-survey of the Weekly Agenda for select committees.

Net expenditure was £591,607 compared with £567,006 in 1999-2000.

4  Future Activities

These will include:

  • planning an event in Westminster Hall to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.

  • producing an illustrated staff directory for the Intranet.

  • maintaining the register of hereditary peers who wish to stand in any by-election for membership of the House to be held under Standing Order 10.

  • procedural and research work in connection with any further reform of the House.

  • developing further the House's public information strategy, including an action plan for House communications (print and electronic), based on the results of commissioned research.

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