Better case management of FOI and SARs: Prototyping and testing report

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Gareth Rees, Martin Wright

Part of: FOI and SARs Management

This document describes the prototypes built to address the user needs identified in the discovery phase of the the ‘Better case management of FOI and SAR requests’ project, funded by the Local Digital Fund. This was a discovery and alpha project looking at the user journey for council staff who handle information requests to determine if there are improvements to be made by a new digital tool. The prototypes were developed by mySociety in partnership with Hackney Council, Cornwall Council, Suffolk County Council, Stevenage Borough Council and East Herts District Council in early 2019.

Three main prototypes were developed: - A self assessment tool for FOI service managers, to help provide a clear path for understanding and improving the service they’re responsible for; - An example guide that defines the problem of time-to-allocate, and provides suggestions for measuring and improving it; - A demo install of the Ministry of Justice’s open source Correspondence Tool — an existing open source FOI and SAR case management system that could form the basis of a fully featured case management system suitable for local authorities.


  1. Introduction
  2. Oversight: the 10,000 ft Problem
    1. Self Assessment Questions
    2. Current Overview
    3. Problems & Guides
    4. Inspiration
    5. Next steps
  3. The Allocation Problem
    1. Getting the request to the right person
    2. Getting the request allocated quickly
    3. Next steps
  4. MOJ Correspondence Tool
    1. Creating a case
    2. Assigning a case
    3. Responding to a case
    4. Managing cases
    5. Missing features
    6. Correspondence handling
    7. Next steps
  5. The chunking problem
  6. The insight problem
    1. Next steps
  7. Conclusions

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Cite this

Rees, G. and Wright, M. (2019). Better case management of FOI and SARs: Prototyping and testing report. [online] mySociety Research. Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct 2021].