Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cost of publicising the Freedom of Information Act

The following information has been placed on the DCA's disclosure log following an FOI request

Information released:
Information about the different ways that the FOI act was publicised including the ways in which understanding was raised and the cost of raising awareness about it to the point that the Act came into force

Publicising of the Freedom of Information Act [PDF 27kb, 2 pages]

This is an interesting area, in terms of the addressing the issue of how FOI legislation should be publicised - the government has been quite tentative so far - spending a relatively low amount (387K) on promotion and awareness. The idea presumably being not to develop too high level of expectation or awareness that might have led to a deluge of requests. The Scottish Information Commissioner took a different approach - using TV adverts to promote the Act. (view here).

Earlier this year I highlighted that the Cabinet Office was using sponored links via yahoo when users searched on the term "freedom of information act" they were offered a link to the Directgov FOI page. My FOI request found out the amount (10p) they were paying per click and the number of clicks made. (see my previous post). Since then they have now also started using sponsored results on google (see this example)

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