A new court of appeal ruling could make it easier for journalists to request data under the UK Freedom of Information Act in a specific file format.
The decision relates to a 2010 FoI request to Buckinghamshire County Council for information about the 11+ school entry exam to be supplied "in Excel format". When the council complied with the FoI request a month later, it supplied the applicant, Nick Innes, with 184 pages of data in PDF format instead.
Appeal court judge Lord Justice Underhill said in last week's ruling: "The result of course was that, although he had all the information for which he had asked, it could not be manipulated or processed in any of the ways permitted by the standard Excel software (e.g. generating graphs or tables or performing statistical analyses)." Continue>>>