Parallel Parliament User Guide

This guide is designed to assist with the operation of the features and functions of the Parallel Parliament website.

Table of Contents


Overview

Parallel Parliament is an independent aggregator of UK Parliamentary and Governmental information

Purpose

Parallel Parliament exists to increase the accessibility of information to those interested in Parliament and Government, and to empower individuals through the democratisation of data.

What data is covered?

We are always adding new sources and increasing the size of our available database. Below is a list of some of the data that we cover.

We currently assess most information sources on an hourly basis, along with a comprehensive overnight run to cover more infrequently updated data.

The earliest document in our database is indicated, though we may not have all documents since this date.

Currently, the site covers:

UK information Scottish information

In addition, we also monitor and record:

  • Order Papers
  • Parliament Live Broadcasts
  • Parliament Annunciator
Where can I learn more about the website?

Our terms and conditions can be viewed here. Feel free to use the contact form for more detailed inquiries.


My Account

The My Account page is the location through which alerts, Subscriptions, Enterprise Users and personal details can be managed

Creating a Parallel Parliament Account

Anyone can create a Parallel Parliament account through the sign up form by providing an email address and password. In order to receive email alerts, you will need to purchase a subscription.

Managing your Parallel Parliament Account

You can update any of your Parallel Parliament Account information by selecting the relevant header from the My Account page.

  • Alerts - See the Alerts section for more information on alerts.
  • Subscription - View details of your current subscription and access the Billing Portal to view historical invoices and update payment information.
  • Enterprise Users - Only available to those with Enterprise Subscriptions. See Enterprise Subscriptions for more details.
  • Account - Update your personal information, change your password of delete your Parallel Parliament account.
Deleting a Parallel Parliament Account

After deleting your account, you will no longer be able to log in and access your alerts. If you have purchased a subscription and delete your account, your subscription will be immediately cancelled and any active alerts will be suspended.


Subscriptions

Subscriptions allow users to receive email alerts directly to their inbox

Summary

A range of subscriptions are available through the Parallel Parliament website, that allow users to receive alerts directly to their inbox. Details on how these alerts can be created and scheduled are available in the Alert Section.

We offer a range of subscriptions that provide either a set or unlimited number of alerts. Those who have purchased an Enterprise Subscription can add additional users to create and administer accounts for other users on the same domain.

Purchasing a Subscription

Subscriptions will be activated immediately on completion of the purchasing process.

You must have create a Parallel Parliament account, and enter your details before purchasing a Subscription. In the event you have not done this in the My Account section of the website, you will be prompted to do so on the Pricing page.

The Pricing page contains details for each subscription type and to complete the purchasing process.

Payment for Subscriptions

Subscriptions are invoiced monthly, through a charge made against your provided payment method.

Changing your Subscription

Changes made to subscriptions are effected immediately upon completion of the payment process.

You may change your subscription at any time while your subscription is active. If you upgrade your subscription, you will be required to make a immediate payment of the pro-rata billing period cost of the upgrade.

If you downgrade your subscription, you will be credited with an account credit for the unused proportion of your previous subscription. This credit will be offset against any future invoices made on the new subscription.

Subscription and Billing information

Subscription and billing information can be accessed from the 'Subscription' tab of the 'My Account' page. The tab provides access to the Billing Portal where payment information can be updated and historical invoices retrieved.

Cancelling a Subscription

Subscriptions can be cancelled from the Subscription page. The subscription will remain active until the conclusion of the most recently paid period.

Any credit that may have accrued to the subscription from earlier subscription downgrades will not be refunded when the subscription is cancelled.


Stakeholder Targeting

Stakeholder Targeting allows Subscribers to identify organisations and individuals relevant to your concerns.

Using Stakeholder Targeting

Input a phrase or keyword, and we will present you with the most relevant APPGs, Select Committees, Departments, MPs, and Lords associated with your search.

The results will show the most relevant APPGs, Select Committees, Departments, MPs, and Lords associated with your search.

An example of stakeholder targeting for the term "reproductive health" is shown below:


Datasets

Datasets allow for a range of information to be structured and downloaded in a variety of formats.

Downloading Datasets

A range of datasets are available and can be downloaded in a variety of formats. Quick links can be downloaded simply by choosing the preferred download format.

Additional filtering options may be available for some datasets which allow for a narrower selection of information to be downloaded.


PDF Packs

PDF packs allow for multiple documents to be combined into a single publication which will be emailed to you and made available for later download.

Creating a PDF Pack

PDF packs can be created from any Bill page by clicking the 'Create PDF Pack' button and selecting the desired documents.

Once opened, the PDF pack creator allows you to select which documents should be included in your pack, along with the order in which the documents should be included and whether the documents should be grouped.

You must be logged in to your Parallel Parliament account in order to use the PDF Pack functionality, as the pack will be automatically emailed to you once it has been created.

In the event that the document you wished to include could not be added to the PDF file, the file link will be included in the PDF pack and you will be notified in the email of what files were unable to be added.

Using the PDF Pack

Each PDF pack will contain a table of contents with page numbers for each of the contained files.

The Navigation Pane of the PDF file allows simple browsing through the files contained within the PDF Pack.

Downloading PDF Packs

PDF packs can be downloaded at a later date from the Account page. Files will be retained for 30 days before they will be deleted.


Enterprise Subscriptions

Enterprise Subscriptions allow the creation of additional users ('Enterprise Users') under the same Subscription. All Enterprise Users and the subscriber have unlimited alerts available

Using the facilities of an Enterprise Subscription

After an Enterprise Subscription has been purchased, the Enterprise Tab will become available in the 'My Account' page, where Enterprise Users can be created or removed from the account.

Enterprise Users can only be created on the same domain as the Subscription holder. If you wish to add additional domains under the same account, please contact us here. Be aware that only domains with a clear and direct justification will be considered for addition.

As an Enterprise Account holder, you will also have unlimited alerts available for your own use.

Adding an Enterprise User

Enterprise Users can be added by completing the new Enterprise User form on the Enterprise tab. The Enterprise User will be created immediately upon completion of the form.

If the Enterprise User already holds a Parallel Parliament account, they will be informed of their unlimited alerts through addition to the Enterprise subscription, and the email address of the account holder.

If the Enterprise User does not have an existing account, we will create an account and supply the initial login details directly to the Enterprise User.

Removing an Enterprise User

Enterprise Users can be removed from the list of Enterprise Users by clicking and confirming the 'Remove User' dialog from the list of Enterprise Users.

The Enterprise User will be informed that their unlimited Enterprise alerts have been withdrawn. Any alerts they have that are in excess of any other alert quota they have available will be suspended.

Downgrading your Enterprise Subscription

If you downgrade your subscription, your subscription will be immediately changed to the new subscription. This action will immediately remove all of your Enterprise Users, and they will each be informed of the reduction in their available alerts.

Cancelling your Enterprise Subscription

As with all other subscriptions, should you cancel your Enterprise Subscription, it will remain active until the conclusion of your currently paid period. At the conclusion of this period, your Enterprise Users will be removed, and they will each be informed of the reduction in their available alerts.


Alerts

Alerts are emails through which users can remain informed of events. Alerts are only available to Subscribers.

Summary

Alerts can be triggered on the activities of Departments, MPs/Lords, Legislation, or through a text-based search (keywords).

Alerts can be scheduled to be received either Immediately, Daily or Weekly

Alerts can be created directly where a bell symbol appears. Alerts can also be created, once logged in, from the 'My Account' section of the website.

Previewing an Alert

Alerts created from the 'My Account' section of the website allow the expected frequency and content of alerts to be seen before the alert has been created.

This can be useful when assessing the correct use of conditional operators such as 'OR' and 'AND' for keyword alerts.

For all other alerts, a black 'Alert Sample' button will allow a preview of the alert email that would be received.

Alert timings

Immediate alerts are sent on an hourly basis, otherwise alerts are sent at the scheduled time (Daily), or the scheduled time and day (Weekly)

The timezone for scheduled alerts is UK Local time.

If the first alert is within the initial period, for example a daily alert created at 12:00 which will be sent at 13:00, the first alert will look backwards to the previous 13:00 when being sent.

Department, Legislation, MP or Lord Alerts

Alerts based on these items will include all information that is directly linked to the item, along with a text-based search for the name of the item itself.

Text-based Alerts

Whereas alerts based on an object (MP, Legislation or Department) are clearly defined in scope, text-based alerts are more flexible and offer more potential for customisation.

Text-based alerts can be created from the search page, or from the account management page. A sample of the text alert can be pre-viewed from both locations

By default, text phrases are considered as a whole phrase, for example 'Widget Manufacturing' will only trigger an alert when that full phrase is present.

  • If you created an alert for 'MOD Long Term Widget Capability Upgrade Programme (LTWCUP)', you will receive fewer alerts.

The text search is able to locate plurals and possessives, there is no need to make separate alerts for grammatical variations.

Quotation marks and conditional expressions (AND and OR) can be used to join phrases together.

  • For example,"LTWCOP" OR "Widget Capability" will trigger an alert when either phrase is found in an item.
  • Similarly, "Widget" AND "Capability" will trigger an alert when body phrases are found, even if separately in the text.

Commas are interpreted as OR statements. If you wish to search for a phrase that includes a comma, the phrase must be enclosed with quotation marks.

  • For example 'Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee' without explicit quotes will be interpreted as 'Business' OR 'Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee'
Creating an Alert

There are three ways in which alerts can be created through Parallel Parliament:

1. Using the direct link on the item main page
  1. Click the button on pages for MPs/Lords, Departments, Inquiries or search results.
  2. Once selected, a pop-up menu will allow you to choose the preferred time of your alert, along with the opportunity to view a sample of that alert:
2. Utilise the alert creator in the ‘My Account’ section of the website.

    On the 'My Account' page you will find the following menu, allowing you to select all types of alert, and the desired frequency:

3. The alarm bell symbol on debates when an MP has made a contribution.

Clicking on the alarm bell will bring up the alert creation dialog for the MP selected.

Editing, Suspending and Deleting Alerts

After an alert has been created, it can be edited, suspended or deleted as required.

Suspending an Alert

Clicking on the alert slider in the 'My Account' page causes the alert to be inactivated or reactivated as desired

Editing an Alert

Alerts can be edited from the 'My Account' page by clicking the pencil item in the alert row.

The timing or subject of any alert may be amended and resaved.

Deleting an Alert

Alerts can be cancelled by logging into 'My Account' and clicking the Delete button on the relevant alert:

Alerts can also be deleted by clicking the Unsubscribe link included in the alert email footer.