Anyone who regularly sends Freedom of Information requests will have, from time to time, forgotten to follow-up on one that’s overdue. 

But – I hope – this spreadsheet will make things a little easier.

The sheet, which is based on Google Docs, updates to say when a request should be due and how many working days it has been since the request was sent.

When 20 working days has been exceeded the ‘Overdue’ column changes from green to red. (Snazzy, I know).

 

To get the spreadsheet to work (the link to view online/download is below) you need to enter the date that the request was sent.

The spreadsheet (Due Date column) calculates 21 working days from when you sent the request. It has been set to 21 working days as the ‘clock’ for FOI starts the working day after the response has been received and this was the most practical way of using the formula. The overdue column then shows how many working days it has been since the request was sent and when it is overdue turns read. Each time you add a new request copy the formulas from the Due Date and Overdue? columns into the row below the previous request.

Unfortunately, I haven’t got it set up to include Bank Holidays in the working days, but there really aren’t that many of them. So unless you’re sending a request around the Christmas period, the spreadsheet will almost certainly be accurate.

 


You can view the spreadsheet online and download it from here. 

I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.