Welcome to Open Secrets
Psstt! Wanna know a secret?
Well, I hope you’ll learn the occasional secret in these pages from time to time, but also more than that.
This blog is about freedom of information, or FOI as we know it in the trade. FOI laws which came into force in 2005 give everyone the right to see information held by the government or public authorities, unless there’s a good reason (supposedly) for not releasing it. It even applies to the BBC – partly, anyway. If you want to know more about FOI, click here.
It’s a valuable tool for journalists, who have been able to get all sorts of information that was previously kept secret. You can see some of the stories the BBC has obtained through FOI here.
FOI can be fascinating for what it reveals about the workings of the public sector, from the dramatically important to the surprisingly bizarre. I write about some of the things that we – or others – have found out, and some of the things that we haven’t found out too. Using FOI can also be an exasperating or entertertaining business, and some of that experience is reflected in this blog as well.
It’s also your chance – to comment on what I’m saying or doing, to tell me the subjects you think we should be chasing, or to report on your own experience of FOI.