An open-source FOI service for councils that provides a user-centred FOI request process while intelligently leveraging already published information to reduce request volume.
Developed in collaboration with Hackney Council, FOI for Councils is a user-needs focused solution to streamlining authorities’ FOI workflows, and reducing request volumes. It currently integrates with the Infreemation FOI case management system, but could be extended to work with another similar system – contact us for more information or find us on GCloud.
Benefits for citizens
FOI for Councils is built on over a decade of mySociety’s experience in making simple, easy to use websites that empower citizens. We’ve combined that with a deep understanding of how authorities handle FOI requests most efficiently and effectively.
No complicated forms, no unnecessary questions. We ask only for the user’s request, name, and email address.
Once the request has been submitted, the user receives a reference number and confirmation email from the integrated case management system.
We match the request against pre-existing content and the disclosure log, so the user doesn’t have to wait for a response if their question has already been answered.
Whether their question is answered automatically through the suggestion engine or not, customers have a good experience, increasing trust that the authority has nothing to hide.
Benefits for councils
We worked closely with Hackney Council to understand the challenges faced by Information Officers, and the untapped value in channel-shifting more FOI requests into a fully integrated, automated solution.
Requests get sent straight through to your case management system.
Suggestion system helps redirect citizens to existing material before making a request.
|Get value out of your responses
Answers to FOI requests that have been published to your Disclosure Log are automatically fed to citizens as suggested answers.
Links to existing information (such as pages on the council website) can also be curated by Information Officers to feed suggestions.
Instantly see which suggestions are most popular, and which are helping to reduce the number of new requests.
|Government Service Standard
FOI for Councils was built from the ground up to meet the Government Digital Service Standard, including WCAG AA accessibility.
- Drop us a line to ask any questions, or explore how your organisation could deploy this software.
- Download this page as a PDF
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