London Borough of Waltham Forest

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Invited to apply

FOI Application and Answer Repository

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives the UK public a “right of access” to information held by public authorities. Councils have a duty to respond to FOI requests within 20 working days.

Commonly FOI requests:

  • contain several enquiries that require input from different services (30%)
  • ask for information already in the public domain (40%)
  • are common repetitive queries (40%).

This results in a lot of admin time managing responses to requests.  In 2017 Waltham Forest received 1974 FOI requests (increases YoY) and has two employees that work full time triaging requests. This doesn’t include the time spent by services responding.

We want to:

  1. Redesign the FOI application process to include a database repository of previous FOI requests and responses.
  2. Build the process using chatbot technology that guides users through a workflow series of questions from the repository before submitting an application.
  3. Redesign the internal process for requests so:
    • Services can select predefined responses from the repository
    • Requests are managed between services in a more effective way
  4. Produce a process that will be reusable by other local authorities.
  • Introduction to user research
  • Introduction to service design
  • Introduction to delivery management
  • Introduction to product management