search cancel – Requests to UK Public Officials

WhatDoTheyKnow.comGovernments are known for their secrecy; however, their citizens do have a right to know what they are up to, which is where WhatDoTheyKnow comes in. Still a work in progress, the site offers UK citizens a means to find out what their government is doing—how it’s spending your hard earn tax money.


Users simply write a note to any public authority listed on the site, and WhatDoTheyKnow will send it off. Government officials are compelled to share information under the Freedom of Information Act. If you do get a response it will be published on the website for everyone to see and read—currently all requests are made public. Additionally, users can request public authorities to be added to the database. Recent responses are tracked on the homepage. In Their Own Words

“What is WhatDoTheyKnow for?
To help you find out inside information about what the UK government is doing.

You choose the public authority that you would like information from, then write a brief note describing what you want to know. We then send your request to the public authority. Any response they make is automatically published on the website for you and anyone else to find and read.”

Why It Might Be A Killer

WhatDoTheyKnow gives citizens an easy means to get government information. They can demand accountability from their representatives and from top officials within the government. The site does all of the shipping work for you and it also organizes responses for easier retrieval and browsing. ‘What’ is especially relevant in this day and age.

Some Questions About

Will users be able to send private requests? Will inquiries be categorized for easy reference?

Author : Siri Marshall

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