An exciting announcement...

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Matthew Landauer

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Oct 7, 2012, 9:57:10 PM10/7/12
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Hi everyone,

I have a really exciting announcement to make.

We’re really close to launching a new site that makes Australian
Freedom of Information requests really straightforward for ordinary
people.

The site also opens up the whole process of making Freedom of
Information requests by making the whole paper (or rather email) trail
of request and responses public.

This has an amazing two-fold effect. Over time, the site becomes an
incredible repository of useful information, reducing duplication of
requests, so lessening the chance of someone needlessly making a
request and lessening the burden on the public service.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, it makes the whole process of
making a freedom of information request a lot less scary to a
newcomer. Anyone can look at another request and see the whole
correspondence and realise “Oh yeah, I could do. That’s not
difficult”.

Over the last six weeks or so, we’ve been hard at work writing code,
fixing bugs, learning about the intricacies of the laws and
guidelines, building the site, writing help text and collecting
information about public authorities.

We’re planning on having a soft launch, where we open up the site to a
select group of people to try it out, give us feedback and help make
it even more awesome.

You can be part of that select few!

We’re planning on soft launching next week Tuesday (16 October).

If you’d like to be part of this quiet revolution in Australian
Freedom of Information then please get in touch with us at
con...@openaustraliafoundation.org.au. We will then send you the
details on how you can access the site.

Have you ever?...

Have you ever thought of doing a Freedom of Information request in the
past, but just have never quite gotten round to it because it seemed
like too much hassle?

Have you ever made Freedom of Information requests in the past and
would like to help others do the same?

Have you ever campaigned on an issue and wished you had some more hard
facts to back up your argument?

Then, you should get involved!

Or, maybe you know someone, then please pass this on to them.

So, what are you waiting for? email con...@openaustraliafoundation.org.au

All the best,
Matthew

--
Dr Matthew Landauer
Director, OpenAustralia Foundation

Matthew Landauer

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Oct 10, 2012, 3:32:10 AM10/10/12
to openaustralia-dev
Hi OpenAustralia community!

I hope I just sent the email announcing the Freedom of Information
site at a bad time the other day.

Just in case you missed it the first time around, read below:

Steve Dalton

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Oct 10, 2012, 4:48:33 AM10/10/12
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Hi Matt
I did see the email, just didn't get chance to reply.... totally awesome.... hats off to you guys.
Steve

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Nick Evershed

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Oct 10, 2012, 4:58:11 AM10/10/12
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Great news! 

Andrew Perry

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Oct 10, 2012, 5:17:48 AM10/10/12
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Great work!

I'll spread the word.

Regards

Andrew


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Our ref:

Matthew Landauer wrote:
Hi OpenAustralia community!

I hope I just sent the email announcing the Freedom of Information
site at a bad time the other day.

Just in case you missed it the first time around, read below:

Hi everyone,

I have a really exciting announcement to make.

We�re really close to launching a new site that makes Australian
Freedom of Information requests really straightforward for ordinary
people.

The site also opens up the whole process of making Freedom of
Information requests by making the whole paper (or rather email) trail
of request and responses public.

This has an amazing two-fold effect. Over time, the site becomes an
incredible repository of useful information, reducing duplication of
requests, so lessening the chance of someone needlessly making a
request and lessening the burden on the public service.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, it makes the whole process of
making a freedom of information request a lot less scary to a
newcomer. Anyone can look at another request and see the whole
correspondence and realise �Oh yeah, I could do. That�s not
difficult�.

Over the last six weeks or so, we�ve been hard at work writing code,
fixing bugs, learning about the intricacies of the laws and
guidelines, building the site, writing help text and collecting
information about public authorities.

We�re planning on having a soft launch, where we open up the site to a
select group of people to try it out, give us feedback and help make
it even more awesome.

You can be part of that select few!

We�re planning on soft launching next week Tuesday (16 October).

If you�d like to be part of this quiet revolution in Australian
Freedom of Information then please get in touch with us at

josediacono

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Oct 10, 2012, 4:28:05 PM10/10/12
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this is a brilliant initiative. it makes so much sense to help requesters and also free up government for other work. can FOI be used to request data - I am thinking of data like that released on data.gov.au for use in mashups.
thanks

Matthew Landauer

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Oct 10, 2012, 9:32:17 PM10/10/12
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Yes, from my understanding at Federal level FOI can be used to request data.

There are legal technicalities, of course, and I imagine we'll work
our way through them as people start requesting data.

It will be really interesting!

All the best,
Matthew
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Dr Matthew Landauer
Director, OpenAustralia Foundation

232 Bathurst Road, Katoomba, NSW 2780
0424 563 655
mat...@openaustralia.org

Matt Joyce

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Oct 11, 2012, 12:43:20 AM10/11/12
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It definitely is interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing how its all going to work. If I recall, the codebase is Ruby, is that right?

Sent from my iPhone

Henare Degan

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Oct 11, 2012, 7:37:24 PM10/11/12
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Mark

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Oct 12, 2012, 1:20:37 AM10/12/12
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Is this for federal, state, local? If it's not for all three, how hard would that be? I'm guessing each level has it's own FOI laws? :/

Matthew Landauer

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Oct 12, 2012, 6:03:20 PM10/12/12
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The plan is to launch with Federal authorities and then as soon as we
can add State and local authorities.

The main complexity is understanding and handling the different FOI
laws in each jurisdiction and presenting it (in the form of help text
sprinkled through the site) in a way that's comprehensible to people.

If anyone is interested in helping out with that let us know. Seeing
the site will help you understand what's involved.

Also, what States or Territories or local authorities do you want to see first?

Matthew

On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 4:20 PM, Mark <cof...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Is this for federal, state, local? If it's not for all three, how hard would
> that be? I'm guessing each level has it's own FOI laws? :/
>
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Dr Matthew Landauer
Director, OpenAustralia Foundation

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Craig Thomler

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Oct 19, 2012, 9:49:50 PM10/19/12
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Matthew, did you invite the OAIC to be a beta tester?

I'm sure they'd be interested.

Also the NSW Information Commissioner is very active and may be interested when you extend beyond Commonwealth.

Peter Timmons from http://foi-privacy.blogspot.com.au/ would also potentially be interested.

And I'd love to have a look as well.

Cheers,

Craig

Matthew Landauer

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Oct 19, 2012, 11:21:20 PM10/19/12
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Hi Craig,

We're already talking to the OAIC and Peter Timmins is already involved, graciously helping check the help text and guidance through the site.

I'll send you an invitation to pre-release mailing list where you can find the details on how to access the site.

Thanks!

Matthew

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232 Bathurst Road, Katoomba, NSW 2780
0424 563 655

Mikey Leung

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Oct 22, 2012, 5:34:42 PM10/22/12
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Hi guys,

Great work getting RTK online. I'm really looking forward to it. Would be happy to beta test, if you're still looking for help on that, proofreading, etc. 

How can I help?

Cheers,
-Mikey

Henare Degan

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Oct 22, 2012, 7:44:26 PM10/22/12
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Thanks Mikey,

We're still looking for people to submit Federal FOI requests, I'll contact you personally to see if you're interested.

Cheers,

Henare

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