I made a couple of Freedom Of Information requests towards the end of last year, using What Do They Know.
My first request asked Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust for
any reports you have created or commissioned measuring the effectiveness of programmes you support to reduce re-offending
They very helpfully responded by placing a number of reports on their website and sending me the link to the page. There are some useful and intriguing reports on there. The reoffending analysis on the Anawin Project, who support “vulnerable women” in Balsall Heath is particularly impressive, showing a statistically significant impact on reducing re-offending rates.
However, my second request for individual organisations’ data behind Arts Council England‘s
Regularly Funded Organisations: key data from the 2011/12 annual submission report
has been refused. This data provides information on the benefits brought through millions of pounds of funding to arts and cultural organisations around the country. It’s money that is derived through taxation and so I was a bit surprised when my request was refused, although Arts Council England were able to provide me with a list of the organisations that either didn’t complete their return, or sent it in late.
I asked for an internal review and although the reasoning was amended, the original refusal has been upheld.