In this meeting we'll explore how the Official Information Act can help us to find useful information and highlight issues. We'll start by collecting data for the Religion in Schools project, using the OIA to send requests to schools in NZ.
Once we've agreed on the wording of an OIA request for schools (to gather info on religious education and school chaplains), we'll test a python script that will be used to send out our requests by email to 20 schools. At the following meeting, if we've received enough responses, we'll check from the emails we've received that the wording of our request was easily understood by the schools, fix our request where necessary and then send out further requests to all 2,123 state schools in NZ. We'll also try to write a script that will be able to parse our return emails and add the information to our schools database automagically.
We will also submit some other OIA requests, via http://fyi.org.nz, to find out useful facts such as government spending on alternative medicine, incidence of fluorosis in NZ and the salary of the government's Chief Advisor of Integrative Care, Dr David St George.