Help pages

Contact us

If your question isn't answered here, or you just wanted to let us know something about the site, contact us.

Credit where credit’s due #

Alaveteli, the software that powers, is a project of mySociety, a UK organisation. mySociety builds websites that empower citizens to hold authorities to account. And this is one of those sites.

Which people made #
Oh, nearly everyone (and maybe you too)!
  • Guy Freeman started the Hong Kong site you see here.
  • Heather Brooke (vampy!) has been pushing the idea of a UK FOI archive for years now.
  • Both Phil Rodgers and Francis Irving entered it in a mySociety competition for ideas for public interest websites to build.
  • It won, and then Chris Lightfoot (RIP :() thought up the wheeze of intercepting email responses to requests and automatically publishing them.
  • Tom Steinberg got the cash to pay for the site from a dead chocolate mogul (thank you!) ...
  • ... so that Francis Irving, Angie Ahl, Tommy Martin, Louise Crow, Matthew Somerville and Tom Steinberg could do the complex mixture of design and coding to build what you see today.
  • Thanks particularly to Julian Todd (great blog!), Francis Davey, and Etienne Pollard for using the site early on and giving feedback (and/or legal advice!), and also to all our other users and testers.
  • The amazing team of volunteers who run the site, answer your support emails, maintain the database of public authorities and so much more. Thanks to John Cross, Ben Harris, Adam McGreggor, Alex Skene, Richard Taylor.
  • Volunteers who have provided patches to the code - thanks Peter Collingbourne and Tony Bowden.
  • Everyone who has helped look up FOI email addresses.
  • We couldn't do any of this without those crazy people who volunteer, amongst many other things, to do the accounts and fill in our VAT return.
  • Finally, all the officers and servants who have answered the many requests made through the site. Their diligence, patience and professionalism is what has actually made the information that you see here. Thank them for helping make Government more transparent.
You're all stars.
How to help #
Become a volunteer #

If you have a passion for transparency, a great deal of patience, and a bit of spare time, consider becoming one of's volunteer admin team. Work includes user support, helping to resolve legal issues, and shaping the site’s direction, and is primarily managed via email.

In the first instance, get in touch.

mySociety, Alaveteli's parent organisation, is a charity. WhatDoTheyKnow, our most-visited Alaveteli site, costs thousands of pounds each year, for overheads such as servers, maintenance and development.

Your contributions, however small, really help. Donate here.

Sort things out #

Admin can be fun! Help people find successful requests, and monitor performance of authorities, by playing the categorisation game.

Or be a dear, and find out FOI email addresses of authorities that we're missing.

Spread the word #

We don’t have a massive marketing budget, so word of mouth really helps.

  • Write a blog post about, or an interesting request that you've found.
  • Post about the site, and what you can do with it, on a forum that you frequent.
  • Tell friends about it.
  • Let your local newspaper or community magazine know how useful we are.
  • Give a talk.
  • Ask us for leaflets to leave in your local library or coffee shop.
Improve our code #

Seen something that could work better? If you're a programmer, get the source code for our parent project, Alaveteli and send us a pull request. is coded in Ruby on Rails.