Consumer advocates often want government-held information and use the federal Freedom of Information Act (or state open government laws) to get that information. Check out the FOIA machine, a new on-line tool sponsored by the Center for Investigative Reporting. What is it? Here's what the FOIA machine says:
What is the FOIA Machine?
FOIA Machine is the open source web transparency platform that allows journalists and citizens to prepare, file and track public record requests to government agencies worldwide.
What I can do with the FOIA Machine?
- Prepare a request under the FOIA or any other Public Records state law from the agencies databases
- Send one or more requests to a right officer and agency, or schedule it for later sending
- Track the status of your requests
- Get the records back to your email and FOIA Machine mailbox
- Create projects from the group of similar requests
- Use automated request creation workflow or request letter templates to prepare request
- Search for other users requests and responsive documents
- Share your FOIA experience with other users