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, keep everyone involved informed of progress or any potential issues.

Copyright applies to parliamentary papers and must be indicated on a paper's title verso page (page 2).

Generally government organisations' annual reports and accounts are published as House of Commons (HC) or un-numbered Act Papers.

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.

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.