Request Initiative makes requests for information using transparency legislation on behalf of charities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profits acting in the public interest.
We are a not-for-profit community interest company that uses the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA), Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA) to ensure the disclosure of documents and data held by public bodies wherever possible. Our clients use the information we obtain to complement and enhance research and public awareness campaigns.
Request also conducts its own investigations into areas of public interest that are published on our blog, shared with the media and provided to charities for further analysis.
Research by Request has shown that FoIA requests generate more than 200 stories every month in newspapers in the UK (see our blog for some examples). Transparency legislation has brought about significant changes to both policy and public opinion. For example, FoIA requests led to the MPs’ expenses scandal during which fraudulent and extravagant spending of taxpayers’ money was revealed.
FoIA, EIR and DPA are also important research tools that can be used to disclose confidential documents and conduct surveys on the performance of local institutions, from councils and hospitals to police forces.
Transparency legislation offers access to the records of more than 100,000 organisations across the country. More than 500,000 requests were made in the first three years after the legislation came into force, with 60 percent of requests leading to full disclosure.
However, transparency legislation is complex and public bodies frequently use in-house lawyers and specially trained staff to prevent disclosure. This means both specialist knowledge and dogged determination are essential.
Request does not make profits or pay dividends. Instead we invest every penny from our clients in employing and training our team of experts.
Read more about our services here.