David Higgerson, head of multimedia for Trinity Mirror Regionals, regularly blogs about Freedom of Information requests, from best practice advice to what he’s learned thanks to FOI requests each week.
In his latest post he warns that there is a danger that journalists may “default to FOI” too often, which can have an impact on the quality of the results they get. In order to get the best responses he suggests posing a series of questions to yourself before requesting the information. In summary they are:
- Is this information available elsewhere?
- Will they release the information to me without going through FOI?
- Is there another way of getting this information?
- Do I need to think about jargon in my FOI request?
- Are there examples of the information being released elsewhere?
- What reasons for refusal could a public body come up with?
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- AP test claims 50% of countries with FOI laws ‘do not follow them’