Papers Laid before Parliament

Many different types of papers are presented to Parliament by bodies outside Parliament - some are then published under Parliament's authority.

Most are presented because the bodies are required to do so either by law or by a decision of Parliament. Others are presented because the government has decided or has previously undertaken to provide the information to Parliament (these papers are called 'Command Papers').

The following are some of the categories of papers that must be presented to Parliament:

  • Annual reports of government departments or other bodies and agencies.

  • Periodic reports of certain activities or programmes (eg, Reports of Her Majesty's Inspector of Prisons).

  • Reports by the National Audit Office.

  • Estimates, accounts and other government financial papers such as the Budget.

  • Reports of inquiries into particular events (e.g., the Hutton Inquiry, the Home Office report on the 7/7 London bombings).

Many, but not all, of these papers are published as House of Commons Papers.

Use this dataset if

  • You would like to track papers presented to Parliament.

Papers Laid Search

This provides a user interface which allows you to search papers laid before Parliament using multiple filters. Selecting this option will show you the first few records from the dataset and then allow you to select data from the dataset by filtering on any of the attributes of a paper. You will then be able to download or display the data in the following formats: CSV (e.g. for use in Microsoft Excel), TTL, Text, XML, JSON or RDF (e.g. for developers)

Papers Laid API

Developers can build API calls using the explorer tool. Help for the APIs can be found at

Papers Laid Example Atom Feed

This feed contains the 20 most recent resources for papers laid. It returns links to documents and any additional data for each paper. This format is mainly for developers.

Information of Secondary Legislation on

Statutory Instruments are included in the Papers Laid dataset. You can find out more about Statutory Instruments by clicking the link.

Statutory Instruments on Legislation.Gov

Statutory Instruments, also known as SIs, are a form of legislation which allow the provisions of an Act of Parliament to be subsequently brought into force or altered without Parliament having to pass a new Act. They are also referred to as secondary, delegated or subordinate legislation and are included on the Papers Laid dataset. You can find out more information about Statutory Instruments on the website by clicking the link above.