Feeds

MySociety tests FoI website

Will UK.gov develop auto-deny software?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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."

The reply mentioned parliamentary copyright as its reason. However, it had provided information in response to an earlier enquiry made through the site, as had the Home Office, while several others are outstanding.

The website tracks requests against the 20 working day deadline under which FoI requests must be fulfilled. Steinberg said the site will add a reminder service for users when a response is overdue, adding that the design and final name of the service are yet to be decided: "We'll finish building the site around what users are asking for," he said.

He added that mySociety is eager to work with state sector bodies on publishing their FoI responses, and believes this could help government organisations. "I hope they will be positive – it will save them a great deal of effort," he said, as citizens would be able to avoid requesting material that has already been subject to an FoI request.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI
Read the paperwork very carefully - or fall victim to marketing shysters
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.