Leading the pack
A special shout out to FYI in New Zealand, Imamo Pravo Znati in Croatia, Dostup Pravda in Ukraine, AskTheEU in Europe, Right To Know in Australia, and KiMitTud in Hungary, which are all making a big splash.
And brand new this year!
FOI was first conceived in Sweden, so how better to mark its anniversary than by launching an Alaveteli site for the nation?
In Belgium, Transparencia.be is highlighting authorities that don’t fulfil their transparency obligations.
That’s how old the concept of Freedom of Information is. Still looking good.
79% success rate
Yep, 79% of FOI requests on WhatDoTheyKnow result in some (if not all) information being released.
But don’t take our word for it…
FOI remains a right in the UK
It looked worrying for a moment there back in November 2015. But in March this year, the government commission on Freedom of Information reported their findings. Not only were current rights upheld, but WhatDoTheyKnow was validated with the statement that:
publishing responses to requests should be the norm.
Obviously, we think so too…
A service for journalists
We announced the start of work on Alaveteli Professional, a toolset for investigative journalists and other activists. After consulting journalists and FOI officers in the UK and Czech Republic, we began coding. Sign up here if you’d like the news on Alaveteli Professional as it happens.
Alaveteli sites really make a difference
Have you seen these incredible stories of just what they’ve uncovered around the world?
And a few more discoveries closer to home…
“My dog could have negotiated a better deal for the taxpayer.”
The West Ham stadium contract is opened up on WhatDoTheyKnow.
“Without WhatDoTheyKnow I wouldn’t have been able to collect the data.”
Lucie Stephens is uncovering which schools contains asbestos.
“Does your council break the law?”
Using FOI to uncover which councils aren’t paying their ‘sleep-in’ workers a fair wage.
And we have the research to prove it
mySociety’s Research Team found plenty to look at in the world of FOI. This year:
- We analysed the subjects people make requests about on WhatDoTheyKnow.
- We looked into whether direct emails get a better response than requests sent via a website.
- We ran experiments galore, and found out how to make Alaveteli sites more impactful.
- And we asked whether Brexit had made a difference to the requests people make.
Wait… 250th anniversary, you say?
We thought 250 years of FOI deserved a bit of a fuss. So we celebrated by talking to journalists all over the world, and whipping up a nice Twitter storm with the help of our partners.
But that’s not all. We’d like to think we were the only organisation to also invite two Finnish comic book artists to the UK to talk about Anders Chydenius, the forefather of FOI.