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Research effectiveness of state and local requests #566

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henare opened this Issue Jul 5, 2016 · 13 comments

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henare commented Jul 5, 2016

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henare Sep 14, 2016

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I've got a local copy of production that I can run against my pull request to start getting this data. I think I'm going to create a Google Sheet with every request to state authorities to start with.

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henare commented Sep 14, 2016

I've got a local copy of production that I can run against my pull request to start getting this data. I think I'm going to create a Google Sheet with every request to state authorities to start with.

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henare Sep 15, 2016

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I had a think about the fields we wanted and wrote a scraper to get all of it via the API.

This has the added advantage of allow @equivalentideas to feed his pivot table addiction with All The Data 📊

I've imported it into Google Sheets.

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henare commented Sep 15, 2016

I had a think about the fields we wanted and wrote a scraper to get all of it via the API.

This has the added advantage of allow @equivalentideas to feed his pivot table addiction with All The Data 📊

I've imported it into Google Sheets.

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henare Sep 15, 2016

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How many are there across the different states and local government authorities?

As at 2016-09-15:

Jurisdiction Number of requests
Federal 1736 (85%)
NSW 199 (10%)
Victoria 58 (3%)
ACT 30 (1%)
NT 11 (1%)
SA 4 (<1%)
TOTAL 2038

RTK requests by jurisdiction

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henare commented Sep 15, 2016

How many are there across the different states and local government authorities?

As at 2016-09-15:

Jurisdiction Number of requests
Federal 1736 (85%)
NSW 199 (10%)
Victoria 58 (3%)
ACT 30 (1%)
NT 11 (1%)
SA 4 (<1%)
TOTAL 2038

RTK requests by jurisdiction

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henare Sep 15, 2016

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Are they being replied to?

Requests that have had at least 1 reply (this could be anything including an automated acknowledgement), as at 2016-09-15:

Jurisdiction Number of requests
Federal 1643 (95%)
NSW 171 (86%)
Victoria 53 (91%)
ACT 27 (90%)
NT 6 (55%)
SA 2 (50%)
Overall 1902 (93%)
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henare commented Sep 15, 2016

Are they being replied to?

Requests that have had at least 1 reply (this could be anything including an automated acknowledgement), as at 2016-09-15:

Jurisdiction Number of requests
Federal 1643 (95%)
NSW 171 (86%)
Victoria 53 (91%)
ACT 27 (90%)
NT 6 (55%)
SA 2 (50%)
Overall 1902 (93%)
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henare Sep 15, 2016

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Are they successful?

Requests displayed as "successful" or "partially successful", as at 2016-09-15:

Jurisdiction Number of requests
Federal 488 (28%)
NSW 49 (25%)
Victoria 6 (10%)
ACT 9 (33%)
NT 3 (27%)
SA 0 (0%)
Overall 555 (27%)

In 2014-2015, according to the OAIC there were a total of 5232 request for non-personal information received and a total of 2099 were determined as "granted in full" or "granted in part". That makes the claimed federal success rate 40%.

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henare commented Sep 15, 2016

Are they successful?

Requests displayed as "successful" or "partially successful", as at 2016-09-15:

Jurisdiction Number of requests
Federal 488 (28%)
NSW 49 (25%)
Victoria 6 (10%)
ACT 9 (33%)
NT 3 (27%)
SA 0 (0%)
Overall 555 (27%)

In 2014-2015, according to the OAIC there were a total of 5232 request for non-personal information received and a total of 2099 were determined as "granted in full" or "granted in part". That makes the claimed federal success rate 40%.

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equivalentideas Sep 15, 2016

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Why are requests not being successful?

To work this out we're going to:

  1. define what display_statuss are part of the unsuccessful category
  2. go through all (or a lot of) the requests in that category and note our observations as to why they were unsuccessful
  3. work out basic categories for these reasons so we can make generalisations about these reasons and answer this question
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equivalentideas commented Sep 15, 2016

Why are requests not being successful?

To work this out we're going to:

  1. define what display_statuss are part of the unsuccessful category
  2. go through all (or a lot of) the requests in that category and note our observations as to why they were unsuccessful
  3. work out basic categories for these reasons so we can make generalisations about these reasons and answer this question
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henare Sep 17, 2016

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Interesting research suggestion from @Br3nda on Twitter:

Comparison of average charge, and % of zero charges, between agencies.

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henare commented Sep 17, 2016

Interesting research suggestion from @Br3nda on Twitter:

Comparison of average charge, and % of zero charges, between agencies.

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henare Sep 19, 2016

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Why are requests not being successful?
To work this out we're going to:

  1. define what display_statuss are part of the unsuccessful category

I've done any that aren't classified as successful or partially successful.

  1. go through all (or a lot of) the requests in that category and note our observations as to why they were unsuccessful

I've started this by doing ACT. I added a "Reason not successful" column to capture my findings.

  1. work out basic categories for these reasons so we can make generalisations about these reasons and answer this question

In the 19 requests I looked at for the ACT I came across 9 different reasons:

application form requested (3)
charges imposed (1)
documents already public (2)
exemptions claimed (1)
no response (3)
not a request for documents (1)
not held (7)
too voluminous (1)

It's also worth noting that as I went I reclassified a few "refused" to "not held". I updated one request marked internal review that had received no response to "waiting response".

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henare commented Sep 19, 2016

Why are requests not being successful?
To work this out we're going to:

  1. define what display_statuss are part of the unsuccessful category

I've done any that aren't classified as successful or partially successful.

  1. go through all (or a lot of) the requests in that category and note our observations as to why they were unsuccessful

I've started this by doing ACT. I added a "Reason not successful" column to capture my findings.

  1. work out basic categories for these reasons so we can make generalisations about these reasons and answer this question

In the 19 requests I looked at for the ACT I came across 9 different reasons:

application form requested (3)
charges imposed (1)
documents already public (2)
exemptions claimed (1)
no response (3)
not a request for documents (1)
not held (7)
too voluminous (1)

It's also worth noting that as I went I reclassified a few "refused" to "not held". I updated one request marked internal review that had received no response to "waiting response".

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henare Sep 20, 2016

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Why are requests not being successful?

I've now looked at every request on Right To Know to state/local authorities that is not marked as "successful" or "partially successful".

This chart shows simplified data about the reasons the requests were not successful:

selection_001

Simplified data:

application form/fees requested 94
no response 46
not held 30
requester issue 9
delivery failure 5
exemption claimed 5
"claimed no request received" 2
gone postal 1

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henare commented Sep 20, 2016

Why are requests not being successful?

I've now looked at every request on Right To Know to state/local authorities that is not marked as "successful" or "partially successful".

This chart shows simplified data about the reasons the requests were not successful:

selection_001

Simplified data:

application form/fees requested 94
no response 46
not held 30
requester issue 9
delivery failure 5
exemption claimed 5
"claimed no request received" 2
gone postal 1

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henare Sep 21, 2016

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Why are so few Victorian requests marked as successful?

This is the same chart as above but for only requests in Victoria - reasons requests have not been successful:

selection_001

And the absolute numbers:

application form/fees requested 26
no response 8
not held 4
requester issue 2
too voluminous 1

For comparison, here's NSW:

selection_002

There's not a massive amount of difference. This leads me to think Victoria is somewhat more aggressive in demanding application fees and because our numbers are so small they're looking more like an outlier than they really are.

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henare commented Sep 21, 2016

Why are so few Victorian requests marked as successful?

This is the same chart as above but for only requests in Victoria - reasons requests have not been successful:

selection_001

And the absolute numbers:

application form/fees requested 26
no response 8
not held 4
requester issue 2
too voluminous 1

For comparison, here's NSW:

selection_002

There's not a massive amount of difference. This leads me to think Victoria is somewhat more aggressive in demanding application fees and because our numbers are so small they're looking more like an outlier than they really are.

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henare Sep 21, 2016

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Why are requests being successful?

I've classified all "successful" and "partially successful" requests now.

In this little analysis I've excluded ACT requests since their Act is very similar to the Federal Act and most importantly they don't have application fees.

It's not because application fees are being paid: Application fees have been paid on 11 requests. 3 of these requests have resulted in documents being published on RTK. 4 either went postal or got sent to the requester privately, 2 asked for further charges that the requester didn't pay, 1 didn't hold the documents, and 1 is still pending.

documents provided 3
went postal (fees paid) 2
went private (fees paid) 2
further charges requested 2
not held 1
pending 1

Here's the simplified reasons the request was successful for the remainder of the requests where the application fee wasn't paid:

selection_001

documents provided 14
information provided 15
link provided 10
went offsite 4

That overwhelmingly says it's because the authority is just choosing to do the right thing (for some reason) - in 35% of cases ("information provided") they're doing what would usually be classified as "creating documents" and is not required under the law even for formal requests. In 23% of cases ("link provided") they're helpfully pointing to already published information. And in 33% of cases ("documents provided") they're providing documents like they would have been required to do under the law (you could also argue the 9% of "went offsite" requests are in this category too).

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henare commented Sep 21, 2016

Why are requests being successful?

I've classified all "successful" and "partially successful" requests now.

In this little analysis I've excluded ACT requests since their Act is very similar to the Federal Act and most importantly they don't have application fees.

It's not because application fees are being paid: Application fees have been paid on 11 requests. 3 of these requests have resulted in documents being published on RTK. 4 either went postal or got sent to the requester privately, 2 asked for further charges that the requester didn't pay, 1 didn't hold the documents, and 1 is still pending.

documents provided 3
went postal (fees paid) 2
went private (fees paid) 2
further charges requested 2
not held 1
pending 1

Here's the simplified reasons the request was successful for the remainder of the requests where the application fee wasn't paid:

selection_001

documents provided 14
information provided 15
link provided 10
went offsite 4

That overwhelmingly says it's because the authority is just choosing to do the right thing (for some reason) - in 35% of cases ("information provided") they're doing what would usually be classified as "creating documents" and is not required under the law even for formal requests. In 23% of cases ("link provided") they're helpfully pointing to already published information. And in 33% of cases ("documents provided") they're providing documents like they would have been required to do under the law (you could also argue the 9% of "went offsite" requests are in this category too).

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equivalentideas Sep 27, 2016

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For interests sake, here's the proportion of reported federal government requests that went through Right To Know. Pretty cool. This uses data from the OIAC annual reports 2014 and 2015 and the 2015-16 data released.

Financial year Requests through Right To Know Requests reported by Federal Government agencies % of requests that used Right To Know
12/13 255 5117 5%
13/14 362 5773 6%
14/15 432 5253 8%
15/16 557 5394 10%
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equivalentideas commented Sep 27, 2016

For interests sake, here's the proportion of reported federal government requests that went through Right To Know. Pretty cool. This uses data from the OIAC annual reports 2014 and 2015 and the 2015-16 data released.

Financial year Requests through Right To Know Requests reported by Federal Government agencies % of requests that used Right To Know
12/13 255 5117 5%
13/14 362 5773 6%
14/15 432 5253 8%
15/16 557 5394 10%
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equivalentideas Feb 13, 2017

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I just updated that comment above ☝️ with the 2015/16 data from here http://data.gov.au/dataset/freedom-of-information-statistics/resource/6c3b7465-cf87-448c-8be5-afe5cd005f2f

10% of federal FOI requests in the period. Pretty awesome 🏆 🎉 🍹

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equivalentideas commented Feb 13, 2017

I just updated that comment above ☝️ with the 2015/16 data from here http://data.gov.au/dataset/freedom-of-information-statistics/resource/6c3b7465-cf87-448c-8be5-afe5cd005f2f

10% of federal FOI requests in the period. Pretty awesome 🏆 🎉 🍹

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