Freedom of information

FOIArchives (Credit: Commadore Gandalf Cunningham, CC by 2.0)

Freedom of Information is a key resource for holding the Government to account. Although the Prime Minister who introduced and championed the reform has since indicated that he regrets doing so, it has become an established tool for citizens, journalists, and opposition politicians to obtain information about what the state is up to.

There are a number of resources which allow us to take advantage of FOI, and most local Councils and public bodies will have a dedicated FOI officer. The most useful resource for submitting FOI requests is the excellent ‘What do They Know’ – which is another site under the ‘My Society’ banner.

There is also information available which aims to make more sense of the occasionally confusing and often frustrating world of freedom of information How to make a Freedom of Information Request from the gov.uk website (itself improving after a long spell of relative uselessness).

The Campaign for Freedom of Information campaigns for a better quality of FOI, for greater rights for those who submit requests, and a speedier response time. Their blog is another useful and informative place for keeping up with FOI world.

Freedom of Information and the Scottish Government

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