House of CommonsShort guide to procedure and practice

Appendix 3: Other information about procedure

Written material

  • The Members' Handbook, including a section on each department of the House, including the Clerk's Department. It is available on the Parliamentary Intranet (see below).

  • Factsheets on various aspects of procedure, published by the Public Information Office. Several are noted in this guide. They are available in the Library (on the far side of the rack to the right as one enters the Oriel Room) and on the Parliamentary Intranet.

  • General introductions include John Biffen, Inside Westminster: behind the scenes at the House of Commons (1996); Paul Evans, Handbook of House of Commons procedure (2nd edn, 1999); and Paul Silk, How Parliament works (4th edn, 1998).

  • The authoritative guide to procedure is Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice (usually known as 'Erskine May'). (References in this booklet are to the 22nd edition, published in November 1997).

PDVN, POLIS and the Internet

The PDVN (Parliamentary Data and Video Network) is the House's IT network, and gives access to the Parliamentary Intranet. On the Intranet can be found (via the index on the home page) the Order Paper, parliamentary questions, Early Day Motions, forthcoming adjournment debates, Hansard, select committee reports, the factsheets and much more. Training in how to use the PDVN and the Intranet is provided by the Communications Directorate.

POLIS (Parliamentary On-Line Information System) is a database of parliamentary proceedings, including parliamentary questions and answers and Early Day Motions. Training for POLIS is provided by the Library.


© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 14 February 2001