Contract services

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

The Print Vendor Partner Contract (PVP)

The National Archives is responsible for ensuring that services to produce documents for publication are available to government organisations. These services are currently provided through the cross-government Print Vendor Partner Contract (PVP), let to the Williams Lea Group and managed by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS).

To access PVP contract services for parliamentary papers, organisations must formally join the PVP contract if they have not done so already. This is a brief administrative process facilitated by the CCS. For further information on the process please contact a CCS Print Category representative or contact the CCS Service Desk on 0345 410 2222 well in advance of using contract services for the first time. Please also contact the CCS with any queries about the PVP contract’s fees and charges.

With some exceptions it is possible to use as many, or as few, of the services offered under the PVP contract as necessary. In line with CCS requirements, it is possible to continue to use in-house services or purchase services such as design, typesetting and/or print services elsewhere and combine them with the PVP contract’s services.

Are print copies still required?

Print copies of Command and House of Commons Papers must be produced for laying and for any other requirements set by HM Treasury, organisations’ parent departments, or select committees.

From the beginning of the 2016-17 Parliamentary Session (May 2016), there is no longer a need for print copies of Command and House of Commons Papers to be produced for legal deposit purposes. The British Library will instead harvest the web PDFs of these documents directly from GOV.UK. Government organisations should ensure that their web PDFs adhere to HM Government standards for PDFs.

Where the PVP contract has been used by an organisation to print their documents, the contractor will produce print copies for Members of Parliament at no cost to the organisation.

If the PVP contract is not used for print copies, organisations must supply their document’s print copies to the PVP contractor for onward delivery into Parliament. In such cases, please liaise with the contractor at the earliest opportunity to confirm that the document includes the required publication furniture (copyright statement, ISBNs, barcode) and that up-to-date delivery information is obtained. See the ‘distribution-only’ option for further information on the steps required when the contractor’s print services are not being used.

The PVP contractor will provide production and distribution services to ensure that the official versions of parliamentary papers are produced to standard. The distribution services must be used for House of Command and Command Papers. The services are optional for un-numbered Act Papers and un-numbered Command Papers and organisations may find the additional support useful.

Production and distribution services

The production and distribution services include:

  • expert advice about papers’ production and distribution specifications and processes
  • provision of quotations and timelines
  • provision and assurance of publication furniture including web and print ISBNs, and Crown copyright statements
  • publication furniture proofing
  • managing proofing and sign-off of content (if using PVP print services)
  • demand management of print copy quantities
  • print management (if using PVP print services)
  • provision of copies of print-ready PDFs and web-optimised PDFs (if using PVP print services)
  • facilitation of the delivery of print copies for Parliament
  • bibliographic and information services
  • delivery of one print copy to The National Archives
  • facilitation of three print copies for the contractor
  • access to other services, such as reprints and services to correct papers

The ‘distribution-only’ option

If an organisation has not used the contractor’s services to produce and print its document, then it will be necessary to use the PVP contract’s distribution-only option which includes the relevant services above.

This will ensure that print copies of documents are available for Members of Parliament after laying. Organisations using this option will need to contact the contractor to:

  • obtain and check the inclusion of print and web ISBNs and print ISBN barcode
  • check the inclusion of the most up to date Crown copyright and re-use statement if applicable
  • ascertain the number of print copies to be delivered to the contractor
  • ascertain the date and time print copies should be delivered, generally on the working day before laying
  • obtain labelling, packing and delivery instructions
  • deliver appropriately labelled and packaged print copies to the contractor