We Know A Lot More: a quarter of a million pieces of information since 2008

Back in January 2012, I wrote a blog post to mark a milestone: WhatDoTheyKnow, our Freedom of Information site, had processed 100,000 requests. Just three years later, that number now stands at 250,000. That represents a quarter of a million requests for information that have been processed through the site, and published for anyone to…

FixMyTransport launches – mySociety’s biggest project since 2008

Everyone at mySociety is quite bubbling with excitement at the news that we’re today officially launching FixMyTransport.com , mySociety’s first new core charitable website since WhatDoTheyKnow launched in 2008. We’ve never before launched a site that took so much work to build, or that contained so much data. What is it for? FixMyTransport has two goals –…

Summing up 2008

According to some, today is the day when the world is going to be saved. Not sure if I agree with that, but recognise that the inauguration of Barack Obama is of some importance :-)). And, naturally, so is the work carried out by mysociety.org. I therefore thought today would be a good time to…

FixMyStreet — not just for streets

Location-to-email reporting software Our FixMyStreet software was created to fulfil a specific purpose — to allow residents to report issues such as potholes and fly-tipping to the local authority responsible for getting them fixed. But the FixMyStreet platform can also be used and adapted for any other project where you require users to make location-based…

The big one million: celebrating FixMyStreet

This month, FixMyStreet.com sent one more report off to a council. There was nothing to distinguish it from all the other reports of fly-tipping, potholes and graffiti… except that it was the one millionth to be sent since the site began. Back in 2007, when mySociety first launched FixMyStreet, we had a feeling it’d be…

Workfare: what happens when the government doesn’t want to release information?

You might have seen it in the Daily Mirror: the full extent of the Department of Work and Pensions’ legal costs, incurred while fighting the obligation to name the companies who participated in the Workfare scheme. Workfare is a government program which required the unemployed to work for one of the participating organisations, in exchange…

Journalists celebrate Freedom of Information: UK

All this week, we’ll be celebrating International Right to Know Day and the 250th anniversary of Freedom of Information with some insights from journalists who have used FOI in their work. Here in the UK, two names are particularly linked to FOI: Professor Heather Brooke, the investigative journalist who is responsible for the publication of…

They’re back, and they’re bad: WriteToThem responsiveness stats

If you’ve used WriteToThem, you’ll know that two weeks after you submit a message to your MP, we send a follow-up questionnaire to check whether you received a response. Each year, we collate that data to see how MPs are doing at responding to constituents’ mails*, and we publish the results. (This year, we waited…

What People Want To Know on WhatDoTheyKnow

mySociety’s flagship Freedom of Information (FOI) request portal WhatDoTheyKnow.com, operating in the UK since 2008, has amassed a whopping 330,000 FOI requests (and counting) from citizens over its eight year life-span. That equates to approximately 15-20% of all FOI requests made in the UK. It also represents the largest database of FOI requests in the…

Case Study: EmptyHomes

With homelessness an increasing problem in the UK, and demand for housing outstripping supply, one obvious answer is to look to unused buildings. In 2008, the Empty Homes Agency approached us to create a website where users could report vacant or derelict houses. The result was ReportEmptyHomes.com, a site which used the core FixMyStreet codebase,…