Making a request is easy. But ensuring disclosure and delivering coverage requires extensive legal knowledge, journalistic news sense and dogged determination.
Request Initiative recognises that most press teams and campaign directors do not have the “head space” to fully utilise transparency legislation. They do not have access to expensive legal literature and databases. They do not have the time to keep up to speed with the decision notices from the Information Commissioner’s Office. Few people’s job descriptions include making requests, and so FoIA obligations often slip off task lists.
Request specialises in disclosing information using transparency laws. This is our core activity. Our internal culture and information management systems mean that none of our requests go unanswered. Our objective is to shift the campaigning approach from ‘Let’s have a punt with FoIA’ to ‘Let’s call Request and get every relevant document available under the Act’.
Request Initiative is cost effective and adds value to campaigning and media activity. The costs associated with paying a full-time FoIA officer is prohibitive for most charities and NGOs and an expensive luxury for even the largest ones. Requests are one research tool among many and so most organisations do not need a full-time specialist. At the same time, public bodies that resist disclosure can rely on expert information officers and in-house lawyers.
We also recognise that clients do not usually have a steady flow of requests they need to make, but will often have new campaigns and projects that would benefit from intensive research at the earliest stages. To accommodate this, Request offers flexible annual subscriptions and working arrangements so that we add value at the most opportune times. The flexibility of our system means your requests receive all the expert attention they need from full-time professionals without incurring overstaffing costs.
Request is driven by a determination to secure the release of information about publicly funded services in the public interest. Our values, and our aims and objectives, are calibrated to those of our clients.
For more information regarding our services please contact us.