Today marks the eighth International Right to Know Day - a day dedicated to reminding people across the globe that it is their right to access government-held information.
In the UK any member of the public can request information held by the government and a number of other public bodies under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
In just the three months from April to June 2010, government departments received 6,339 requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act and associated environmental regulations.
The Ministry of Justice received the most requests of any department of state during this period, with 805 requests for information ranging from the cost of food in prisons to how many people had reported paranormal activity in MoJ buildings.
Accountability and transparency are key themes for the coalition government, and the Ministry of Justice is currently looking at extending the scope of the Freedom of Information Act.
Lord McNally, the minister responsible for Freedom of Information, said: 'Government, at national and local level, has become a lot better at delivering information requests. What we are promising to do is release lots of information which was within government, but stayed within government. That’s out there now for those with the initiative to request it. It remains a solid right of the citizen to ask for information.'