Guidance

for users, publishers and sysadmins

Data Requests management

Introduction

A “data request” is a request for government to publish a dataset that is not yet published on data.gov.uk. The public can create a request at: https://data.gov.uk/data-request

A request can be public or private. Making them public allows others with interest in it to see the progress, make comments and apply public pressure on the government to answer it. A private request is more suitable for a journalist or company that doesn’t want others to know what they are researching, although the data itself would not be supplied privately - this process is only for data to be released publicly on data.gov.uk.

If a request is in scope, it will be directed to the relevant department by the Cabinet Office team.

Scope

Administration

Moderation

When a request comes in, the ‘central data request administrator’ (central admin) will receive an email.

Inevitably some will be spam or not fit to be answered. The central admin (or anyone with ‘moderator’ permission) can approve or delete them here: https://data.gov.uk/admin/workbench/needs-review?title=&type=dataset_request&items_per_page=100

Approved requests appear on the Data Requests page. If it is private then it is just added to the count of ‘confidential requests’.

Decline if out of scope

A number of requests are out of scope of the system (see above), such as asking for personal data or from a local authority. These should be identified by the central admin and closed, stating that they are out of scope.

Assign to a department admin

The request should now be assigned to a ‘departmental data request administrator’ (department admin) by the central admin. This is so that the department can take responsibility for the request, routing it to one of their agencies as necessary.

Both central admin and departmental admins have ‘data request administrator’ permissions, to be able to have full control over the data request.

To assign the request:

  1. Whilst viewing the request click ‘Edit’
  2. Set the Relationship Manager to the department admin
  3. Change the ‘status’ to ‘Escalated to data holder’
  4. Click ‘Save’

If a suitable user is not on the list of Relationship Managers then ask a data.gov.uk sysadmin to add them.

Whoever is assigned a request will receive an email notification of this and also whenever there is a comment or change to it in future (even if they are unassigned).

Closure

To close a request:

  1. Whilst viewing the request click ‘Edit’
  2. If the data is already published on data.gov.uk or newly published on data.gov.uk, then provide the link to the dataset in ‘Dataset link’ field
  3. Explain what the result is in the ‘Notes’ field - either successful or unsuccessful
  4. Set the ‘status’ to ‘Closed’
  5. Click ‘Save’