Alaveteli is mySociety’s Freedom of Information software: a platform that makes it easy for anyone, in any country, to run an FOI website. In the UK, we run our own site WhatDoTheyKnow on Alaveteli, and there are over 25 other Alaveteli sites around the world, too, including ones for the EU, Australia, Ukraine, Hong Kong and many more.
All of them have the same basic principles:
- They provide a simple means by which to request information from public authorities
- They publish the requests and the subsequent correspondence/responses, thus building into a public searchable archive of information
If you are a journalist or campaigner wanting to pursue a story, Freedom of Information can be a very useful tool. Check here to see if there is an Alaveteli site running in your country.
It’s also worth knowing that, in most cases, a country’s Freedom of Information law does not require that you be a citizen of that country in order to make a request. So if your story covers countries outside your own, these sites can still be a useful resource.
Crowdsourcing and FOI
See how AskTheEu was used to uncover full details of EU commissioners’ travel expenses.