Expansion of ‘Whatdotheyknow’

Describe your idea:

Maybe you could contact public organisations to try and persuade them to provide all of their FoIA requests and responses to be added to the WDTK site?

Clearly it would be voluntary and some would not comply but mysociety would have more ‘pester power’ than individuals.

You could possibly combine it with petitions to individual organisations calling them to publish their info.

What problem does it solve?:

WDTK is a great site but clearly only a small number of FoIA requests go via the site. Any expansion in the amount of info published is a bonus.

Type of idea: New feature for an existing project


  1. I would like to see more public bodies have “disclosure logs” listing their responses to freedom of information requests. I think the law ought be strengthened to require at least certain bodies such as councils and police forces to have disclosure logs.

    While I agree all FOIA requests and responses ought be accessible online I’m not sure it matters too much if they are available on a site like WhatDoTheyKnow or via an organisation’s own website.

    Perhaps for organisations without the ability to run a disclosure log themselves WhatDoTheyKnow could offer that as a service – enabling bodies to upload both requests and responses?

  2. WhatDoTheyKnow has made a positive decision to just focus on the one thing that it does – putting requests made via the site online along with their responses and all associated correspondence.

    Where it is relevant to a request on WhatDoTheyKnow anyone can make an annotation to either summarise information they’ve received or provide a link to where it has been made available on another site.

    There are a few websites from the USA which try and run on the model of asking users to contribute information they have obtained via FOI, but none have amassed anything like the amount of information that WhatDoTheyKnow’s repository has. WhatDoTheyKnow doesn’t require users to put in any extra effort to make their request and response public.

    You might be interested in the list of FOI repositories at