How a parliamentary paper is produced

Government organisations should consult any in-house publishing guidance and/or information provided by their parent department. Some papers are relatively complex, such as annual report and accounts, and statutory inquiry reports, where additional guidance applies. It may also be necessary to factor in an organisation’s own procedures and where responsibilities sit within different teams. In general it is best to start planning and liaising with colleagues and potential suppliers as early as possible.

Who to consult

In addition to those responsible for drafting the paper, you might need input from other teams within and outside a government organisation. Within an organisation, you may need to consult parliamentary, communications and/or publishing teams to confirm that a paper is being produced and the expected date of publication, as well as discussing any media publicity or digital engagement that may support the paper. You may also need to seek external advice from a number of organisations.

Who
Area of advice
Contact details
Government organisations
The National ArchivesCommand Paper numbers and requirements

Publishing advice including the use of appropriate copyright and re-use statements
official.publishing@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

020 8392 5218
Crown Commercial ServiceInformation on using the PVP contract and contract fees and charges Contact existing departmental Crown Commercial Service Print Category team contacts
or email HMRC.cpprintimplementationteam@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
Government Digital ServiceManages GOV.UK

Information on making web PDFs usable and accessible
Contact existing Government Digital Service contacts (which maybe through a parent department if applicable)
or email official.publishing@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

www.gov.uk/service-manual/user-centered-design/resources/creating-accessible-PDFs.html
Cabinet OfficeInformation on HM Government identity system and branding branding@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

communication.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/hmg
Office of Disability IssuesInformation on making publications accessible for disabled people odi.dwp.gov.uk/
Suppliers
PVP Contractor Command and House Papers Service Delivery TeamProduction services (print, creative and distribution)hmgpublishing@williamslea.com

020 7394 4571

Organisations should continue to liaise with their usual Command and House Papers contact on firstname.lastname@williamslea.com or contact their Williams Lea Account Manager

Any initial queries about using the PVP contract and its charges and fees should be put to the Crown Commercial Service
Other suppliersProduction services as necessary
Parliamentary offices
Journal OfficeHouse of Commons Paper numbers and requirements

Un-numbered Act Paper requirements

Advice on laying procedures
JOURNALOFFICE@parliament.uk

020 7219 3361/3252

Guidance on laying parliamentary papers
Vote OfficeDistributes print copies of papers to members of the House of Commons The PVP contractor is responsible for liaising with the Vote and Printed Paper Offices on the number of print copies they require.

Generally, it should not be necessary for organisations to contact these offices directly on parliamentary papers
Printed Paper OfficeDistributes print copies of papers to members of the House of LordsThe PVP contractor is responsible for liaising with the Vote and Printed Paper Offices on the number of print copies they require.

Generally, it should not be necessary for organisations to contact these offices directly on parliamentary papers

You may have to consult the following organisations for advice on publishing annual reports and accounts:

Controlling costs and schedules

There are a number of steps that government organisations can take to keep down the production costs of parliamentary papers. Consider these if a paper is being produced to a very tight schedule:

  • Use monochrome (black and white) throughout which is cheaper and quicker than colour. Avoid grey tints and photos – in other words – keep any images such as graphs to black and white lines or dots so that the document can be printed on uncoated (cheaper) paper
  • Opt for colour only if colour images or graphics are necessary for understanding the content of the paper If the paper is being typeset, avoid high correction charges by ensuring the text is as final as possible before it is sent to an external typesetter
  • Produce black and white documents in Word to remove the need for a typesetter. If you have the appropriate Adobe software, and the skill, produce web and print PDFs from the Word file. Or the contractor can produce them for you for a fee
  • Avoid trying to produce print PDFs directly from colour Word documents – have colour documents typeset. This ensures that colours, bleeds and so on are correctly specified for printing
  • Avoid solid opaque ink coverage over large areas. The print technology used for short print runs can result in the finish of printed documents being poor. Large areas of colour can also take longer to dry
  • Aim for extents fewer than 72 pages. Papers longer than 72 pages have additional binding requirements that increase cost and production time
  • Keep the number of print copies required as low as possible. Additional copies increase the overall cost and take longer to produce. After the document has been laid and published, email the paper’s URL instead of posting printed copies to the stakeholders

Production and publishing flowchart and planning checklist

The National Archives and Department for Transport have produced a production and publishing flowchart. The flowchart provides a detailed breakdown of the steps involved in the production and publication of parliamentary papers, particularly Command Papers.

Not all documents or organisations will include all of the steps outlined here; for example not all papers will include third-party copyright photographs. In addition, some organisations’ documents are produced in an in-house Word template which may mean that there is no need to purchase typesetting services.

The flowchart will assist those who have no or limited publishing experience and can help ensure that no important steps are missed: Parliamentary papers production flowchart (XLS, 0.10Mb)

In addition you might find our planning checklist useful. It lists points to consider and what you must do.