[UPDATE 18 November 2014 – AsktheEU.org was successfully transferred over to the mySociety servers]
13 November 2014
Dear Users and Potential Users of AsktheEU.org
First of all, thanks to all our users and all those who have collaborated with AsktheEU.org in the first three years of our existence. AsktheEU.org has become and will continue to serve as an important platform for increasing the transparency of the EU institutions by permitting citizens to make access to documents requests to EU bodies and publishing the answer to those requests online.
This is to let you know that on 17-18 November, AsktheEU.org will be taken out of service for a period of approximately 2-8 hours, in order to transfer it to the servers run by mySociety, the team that developed the software which also powers the successful Whatdotheyknow.com request website in the UK (which has over 230,000 requests), and other similar websites around the world.
During the transfer period starting from 20:00 CET on Monday 17 November, it will not be possible to submit new requests or send correspondence. We are informing all EU bodies about this transfer and can arrange to deliver responses directly to requesters. We will contact EU institutions via mail and post a message as soon as everything is back up on line and running smoothly. We thank you in advance for your patience during this period.
The change in servers will help to ensure that the website runs smoothly. We recognise that whilst our efforts have kept AsktheEU.org running 99% of the time since it was launched on International Right to Know Day 2011, we have had some technical problems (a mixture of server and security issues) which have caused sporadic but limited outages. We have communicated with users and EU officials to inform them when this has happened and have been able to resolve most problems rapidly.
The European Commission has, however, raised concerns with us about the technical issues and considers them to be “unacceptable”. You can see our correspondence with the Commission officials below. We remain committed to ensuring that AsktheEU.org runs as smoothly as possible, and regret any inconvenience caused to users or EU bodies by any technical problems we have had in the past.
We are confident that by now merging management of the AsktheEU.org technical operations with mySociety, we will be able to safeguard against technical problems as advanced support will be provided should any concerns arise.
Should you have any questions about AsktheEU.org, either on the technical issues or more broadly, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant Access Info Europe team members on team[a]asktheEU.org.
To see the letter from the Commission, click here
To read our response, click here
Thanks again for your part in contributing to making EU transparency more transparent.
With best regards
Executive Director Access Info Europe.