Faster and better targeting of requests to multiple bodies on WhatDoTheyKnow Pro

WhatDoTheyKnow Pro is the paid-for, premium, version of our Freedom of Information service, designed for journalists, academics, campaigners and others whose needs exceed what our free service provides.

Features available to Pro users include the ability to delay publication of requests and responses; and to make requests to multiple authorities at the same time via the batch request tool. 

We’ve just made it much easier for Pro users to add relevant bodies to a batch request via a list of authorities within specific categories.

WhatDoTheyKnow Pro batch: browse by category

Our database contains FOI contact addresses for more than 42,000 authorities. Using our service saves you from having to source appropriate contact details yourself, and we’ve now made it even quicker and easier to make batch FOI requests. 

Since WhatDoTheyKnow Pro’s launch, creating a batch request has involved searching for bodies and adding them individually to the batch. WhatDoTheyKnow’s fantastic volunteers curate over 200 categories to help users on the main site to explore and navigate the UK authorities subject to FOI, and we’ve now incorporated these listings into WhatDoTheyKnow Pro’s batch tool.

As a result, requests are more likely to be sent to the bodies that hold the information being requested, and the number of requests sent to inappropriate bodies is minimised.

We’ve been trialling this feature in a limited beta period for a while, and thanks to our funding from the Swedish Postcode Foundation we were able to work with to iron out some bugs and performance issues before making it available to all Pro users.

We hope the new feature will aid some great cross-authority research, while helping to ensure that requests are targeted to appropriate bodies. 

Let us know if there are additional categories you’d like us to add!

Image: Nick Youngson (CC BY-SA 3.0)