UK Parliament Ontologies

Work in progress to design data models for UK Parliament (and hopefully beyond).

Edited by Anya Somerville (@bitten_) - House of Commons Library.



  1. Interface classes

    An ontology describing interfaces between models used by UK Parliament, by means of equivalent classes.

Domain specific

  1. Agency ontology

    A model describing people and groups of people with agency. The model also describes a person’s membership of and positions in groups.

  2. Business item ontology

    A model describing items of business taking place in Parliament or outside Parliament - as part of a process involving Parliament - and their scheduling.

  3. Contact point ontology

    Model to handle the contact details of things. Postal addresses, phone numbers, emails etc.

  4. Contribution ontology

    A model to handle contributions to things by agents.

  5. Description ontology

    A model describing the connection between a thing having a description and the thing providing that description, for example: a procedure as described by an item of legislation, or a procedure route as described by a Standing Order.

  6. Election ontology

    A model describing incumbencies resulting from general elections and by-elections for seats in the House of Commons, by-elections for excepted hereditary peers in the House of Lords and elections for positions including that of the Speaker of the House of Commons. The model describes the result of an election process, rather than the process by which an election has been conducted: election returns by the “first past the post” system and those which follow other methods are included. Where applicable, the model is aligned with the Cabinet Office Election Result Data Standard.

  7. Formal body ontology

    A model describing formally constituted bodies, including committees.

  8. Formal body affiliation ontology

    A model describing specialisations of group affiliations and positions specific to formal bodies, for example: ex-officio membership of a committee, or chairing of a committee.

  9. Government organisation ontology

    Adds some specialised classes to the agency model to capture specific types of incumbencies, positions and groups.

  10. House membership ontology

    A model describing a person occupying a seat in a House, by means of an incumbency over a period of time.

  11. Laying ontology

    A model describing the process of laying papers before a House and any subsequent withdrawal and replacement.

  12. Legislation ontology

    A model describing the forms of draft and made legislation considered by Parliament, powers delegated by primary legislation and accompanying duties toward Parliament.

  13. Making available ontology

    A model describing the means of making material available to a House, for example: by presenting, laying or depositing.

  14. Parliamentary bloc ontology

    A model describing the whipping of a Member to a parliamentary party or the affiliation of a Member with a parliamentary bloc. A parliamentary bloc may be a parliamentary party, or may be a non-political group, for example: the Crossbenchers in the House of Lords.

  15. Peerage ontology

    A model describing peerages, the holding of peerage by a person, Letters Patent affirming the creation of a peerage - and kingdoms, monarchs and reigns as they apply to peerages.

  16. Petition ontology

    A basic model to allow for the subject indexing of petitions.

  17. Place ontology

    Place ontology for UK Parliament.

  18. Procedure ontology

    A general purpose process flow model used to describe parliamentary procedure as a set of steps connected by routes. A step is a waypoint in a process, a route is a direction between steps and a procedure is analogous to a map of all possible routes. The model also describes the package of work in Parliament resulting from a bill or an instrument subject to a procedure.

  19. Procedure step annotation ontology

    A model describing annotations added to procedure steps by the Indexing and Data Management Section of the House of Commons Library. Annotations are used to describe how a procedure step is actualised.

  20. Publisher ontology

    A model describing the publishing of material by offices within Parliament, for example: the House of Commons Library.

  21. Question and answer ontology

    Model for questions, assignment to answering bodies and answers. Covers parliamentary questions (both oral and written), urgent questions, private notice questions and business questions.

  22. Record ontology

    A model informed by FRBR - describing works, collections of works, their expressions and manifestations.

  23. Standing order ontology

    A model describing standing orders for both Houses of Parliament, establishing persistent identification of orders and fragments of orders.

  24. Submission ontology

    Model for calls for submissions into Parliament.

  25. Tabling ontology

    Ontology to describe the activity of members tabling parliamentary questions, motions, amendments and nominations.

  26. Time period ontology

    Model for Parliamentary and associated time periods.

  27. Treaty ontology

    A model describing the form of treaties considered by Parliament, treaty membership of an FCO series and the relationship of a treaty to legislation required to be passed in order for the UK to comply with treaty obligations.


  1. Utility ontology

    Provides a set of common properties available for use by other models. Includes modelling for basic web links and alternative identifier schemes.


  1. Concept ontology

    Concept ontology for UK Parliament. Deprecated in favour of SKOS.

  2. Stats series ontology

    Statistical series ontology for UK Parliament. Primarily aimed at modelling statistical information around places. Deprecated in favour of RDF Data Cube.


SPARQL queries

  1. Query library


  1. Weeknotes


  1. Procedural board
  2. Main board

Blog posts

  1. Modelling Parliaments
  2. Teeny tiny, fag-packety, parliamentary data models
  3. Mithering about the unmodellable
  4. Attempting to teach parliamentary procedure to machines
  5. What would Erskine May do?