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Temporary changes to how petitions are checked

2 June 2020

The Petitions Committee have agreed temporary changes to how the Committee staff check coronavirus petitions. 


Since Parliament’s petitions website re-opened on 3 March, more than 3 times as many petitions have been submitted to the site per week as during the 2017-19 Parliament. As a result, it has been taking far longer than the 7-day target to check petitions.

The Petitions Committee wants to ensure that petitioners can raise concerns about coronavirus as quickly as possible, given it is such a rapidly-changing situation.


Petitions on an issue relating to coronavirus will be expedited for checking if:

  1. There are multiple petitions on that issue waiting to be checked
  2. These petitions relate to an urgent deadline or impending Government decision
  3. These petitions are overdue for a decision by the Committee team


Where petitions on an issue meet these criteria for being expedited, the oldest petition on that issue that meets the petitions standards will be published. If necessary, the Petitions Committee team will make small edits to make sure the petition is within the standards, but they won’t change the substance or meaning of any petitions. 

This will not cause any undue delay in checking all other petitions, which will continue to be checked in the order they receive their 5 sponsor signatures. 

The Committee team will resume checking petitions solely in the order they become sponsored as soon as it is possible to do so.  


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