Freedom of information

•   What are freedom of information requests?

•   How do I make an FOI request?

•   What is EasyFOI?

•   How does EasyFOI work?

•   How much does EasyFOI cost?

•   How can I unsubscribe?

•   How do EasyFOI's categories work?

•   Why did you make EasyFOI?

•   Is EasyFOI spam?

Prevention of future deaths reports

•   What are prevention of future deaths reports?

•   Why does EasyFOI track them?

•   How does EasyFOI use AI?

•   How much does EasyFOI's PFD database cost?

•   How can I use this information responsibly?

What are freedom of information requests?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 enables members of the public to request all kinds of information from public bodies like hospital trusts, local authorities, police forces, government departments and state-owned companies. You can request anything from a public organisation, so long as it isn't exempt for one reason or another.

How do I make an FOI request?

Making an FOI request is easy!

Just send an email, letter — or even social media request — to the organisation you're interested in, explaining what you'd like to find out. Be sure to include your name and a return postal or email address.

It's best to include as much detail as possible — and to be clear about exactly how you'd like the information to be presented. You can often include spreadsheet templates and other examples to help information teams understand exactly what you'd like to know.

What is EasyFOI?

EasyFOI is an email address compiler designed to help you send identical freedom of information requests to multiple organisations at once. This can be helpful if you want to compare and contrast data about different public bodies. It can also give you a 'state of the nation' understanding of a particular topic.

How does EasyFOI work?

EasyFOI.com stores FOI email addresses for a large number of public organisations. It allows you to select the kinds of organisation you want to FOI, then copies the relevant addresses to your device's clipboard.

Although EasyFOI strives to keep its database current, some results may be out of date or inaccurate. It holds records for more than 1,000 organisations, but is not yet fully comprehensive. Please email us at [email protected] if you spot any incorrect or missing results.

How much does EasyFOI cost?

It costs £4 to use EasyFOI's email address function for one day. If you just want to send the odd bulk request, this is probably the best option for you.

If you regularly send FOI requests, you may save money by subscribing. Monthly access to the email address function costs £16 — the equivalent of 5 day passes.

EasyFOI also offers an AI-powered database of Regulation 28 Prevention of Future Deaths reports. These are priced separately, as you can see below.

How can I unscubscribe?

You can unsubscribe from any EasyFOI product through our customer portal, which can be accessed here or by clicking the 'manage subscription' button at the bottom of the page. You can also use this link to view details about your subscription and change your billing method.

How do EasyFOI's categories work?

EasyFOI's categories group organisations by theme and type.

They allow you to contact all public bodies in the database focused on particular topics, like sport, rail or migration. EasyFOI also groups certain organisations by type, like ministerial departments, acute hospital trusts or local police forces.

You can also select certain public bodies by country.

Many organisations will be listed under multiple categories.

Why did you make EasyFOI?

The FOI act is a way of promoting the transparency and accountability in government. It's a really powerful tool for ordinary citizens to learn more about the public bodies they fund and rely on.

But actually collecting information can be difficult. Without a central database like EasyFOI, it can take time and effort to ask these questions. Each organisation must be FOI-d individually and, without a standardised email format or a universal way of advertising the appropriate contact details, surveying say, every hospital trust in the country, can be quite a task.

The laborious process inevitably prevents important questions from being asked.

EasyFOI is designed to make the process a lot quicker, enabling anyone from journalists to researchers to everyday citizens to make full use of the FOI act.

Is EasyFOI spam?

No. EasyFOI is not spam. Mass marketers, spammers and scammers send emails to large databases of private addresses — sometimes without the recipient's consent. FOI recipients, however, are public bodies required to facilitate information requests.

EasyFOI compiles public email addresses, not private ones.

What are prevention of future death reports?

Regulation 28 Prevention of Future Death reports are documents written by coroners following inquests into deaths. These usually take place if someone has died in an unusual way.

If a coroner believes more people could die in the same way without intervention or changes from a public body, company or individual, they will issue a Regulation 28 Prevention of Future Death report.

These documents are published online once a week at judiciary.uk.

Why does EasyFOI track them?

The primary purpose of these public documents is to prevent death. But they are also used by journalists, charities and researchers to understand more about — and raise awareness of — dangers citizens may face.

In addition to the details already presented on judiciary.uk, EasyFOI's database includes themes you can use to get a high level understanding of trends without having to comb through each report.

By cataloguing, summarising and storing thematic information about Prevention of Future Death reports in a simple spreadsheet, you may need to spend less time reading through them. This may relieve some of the emotional burden of reading through what can be distressing accounts.

It contains details about reports published from January 2023 onwards. This is when judiciary.uk began publishing the content of each report as text, rather than just uploading each report as a PDF.

It does not currently contain information about reports from before this date.

How does EasyFOI use AI?

EasyFOI uses artificial intelligence to summarise key information about each report and pull out details like an individual's age, where they died and how.

This information is all stored in an easy-to-use CSV, allowing you to analyse the data as you would any other spreadsheet.

Although EasyFOI strives to keep the database accurate and record details as sensitively as possible, please bear in mind that AI can return inncorrect and poorly-phrased results.

Make sure to read the specific reports you are interested into double-check they match the details AI provides. EasyFOI and its founder are not liable for any innacuracies, false statements or omissions found in the database

For this reason, it's best to treat the CSV as a high-level overview of PFD reports and the themes they contain.

How much does EasyFOI's PFD database cost?

You can buy the latest version of EasyFOI's database as a CSV for £149, or stay up-to-date with a three-month subscription for £189.

If you subscribe, EasyFOI will send you a new version every week, shortly after new reports are released on judiciary.uk. You can manage your billing or unsubscribe at any time here.

How can I use this information responsibly?

Prevention of Future Death results can contain distressing and sensitive details about the circumstances of an individual's death. Please remember these are real people with real families when using these reports.

If you are a journalist, make sure you follow IPSO guidelines when reporting on deaths and inquests.

If you report on suicide, please consult guidance from IPSO and the Samaritans.

If you report on eating disorders, please consult media guidelines from Beat.

Many charities have guidelines for appropriate and accurate ways to talk about health issues like diabetes, heart disease and mental illness.

When in doubt, ask for advice! Get in touch with IPSO or any other relevant organisation for advice on responsible coverage.

EasyFOI and its founder bear no responsibility for the way the EasyFOI Prevention of Future Death database is used by customers.

Have some feedback? Get in touch at [email protected]

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by Katie

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