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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Great FOI Idea From Across the Pond...

A charity is testing a website which automates the submitting, tracking, and publishing requests made under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.

MySociety, which runs sites including elected representative service TheyWorkForYou.com and mass pledge system PledgeBank.com, has built a list of FoI contacts at central government departments and is creating one for local authorities.

A request made through the new site is sent to the appropriate state sector contact from a unique email address, allowing all responses to be tracked and published on the site. "Everything the department sends to that address is tacked on," mySociety director Tom Steinberg said. "The whole communication is all online."

Steinberg said so far only one organisation – Parliament – has refused to reply to a request made through the system: "They said, we can't send you this information as you are going to put it on the internet."

More here.

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