Publishing FOIs

Publishing FOIs on Surrey councils/a website This would help people get access to the data, see what questions have already been asked, easier to make comparisons, part of transparency agenda etc.

No_avatar_small Submitted by Giuseppina Valenza
Shift Surrey Challenge - Turning ideas into action
How can we make Surrey an even better place to live?

Publishing FOIs - Demonstrates openness - Sharing of information - Cuts down on councils being asked the same questions - people could see what has already been asked - Shows people the wide range of questions we are asked - Allows people to make comparisons between authorities

We want to find a simple, cost effective way to publish FOIs like the What do they know website does - we all keep the data in our systems, it's a case of finding an easy way to publish it.

If we did this Surrey wide it has more impact and sends a clear message about how transparent we are and how well we work together.

  • Ben Unsworth
    17 May at 11:15

    Great idea. I would love to see this extended to include making it easier for people to access any data behind their questions, in an open format.

  • Andy Spragg
    21 May at 07:03

    This is a great idea, and already happens to some extent here:
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/

    However, it requires the requestee to log their FOI request with the website.

  • Gary Green
    21 May at 11:10

    I know What Do They Know doesn't have a full api yet, but maybe with some encouragement/support from local authorities they could build one. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/api I wonder if there are any techy local government camps happening in the near future that might be used to encourage people to help develop a full api for this site?

  • Stuart Mitchenall
    22 May at 11:57

    Certainly the case that we shoudl be working with whatdotheyknow and not reinventing anything. Working with the Surrey GIS officers would help with Bens ideas about opendata.

  • Giuseppina Valenza
    23 May at 08:30

    Anything that gets built needs to connect to the MySociety site so all FOIs can be accessed.

  • T E
    29 May at 11:41

    How do you give this idea a thumbs down?

  • Ben Unsworth
    29 May at 11:52

    There is not a 'thumbs down' option - if you don't like an idea, you don't give it a 'thumbs up'.

  • Deborah Fox
    19 Jun at 17:30

    I think we should also put a cost to the officer time taken in preparing the enquiry responses as it takes a lot of time. Often FOI is used by students or journalists and is in some cases a waste of taxpayers money

  • Adrian Creek
    20 Jun at 08:18

    Agreed. I believe that the time and cost of preparing FOI answeres should also be estimated and included. People would then get a more rounded picture.