Monthly Archives: May 2010

Birmingham City Council website investigation: report released

Birmingham City Council have published a report into the content management system that was investigated by Help Me Investigate users last year and generated a number of news reports.

The report suggests that the website could have come in at least ?900,000 more expensive than the ?2.8m it eventually cost – but suggests that the ?2.8m figure included "many other major items which were involved in the project apart from the website and it is important that this continues to be communicated to the citizens of Birmingham"

However, the report also notes that, for all the money spent "?It is widely believed by BCC personnel that the new Content Management System (CMS) ? which empowers individuals to upload content to the website and intranet ? requires further work before it can be said to function effectively?"

We've also posted copies of the report on Scribd, where they can be annotated and commented on.

The investigation can be seen here, where you can also request an invite

Internships at Help Me Investigate

Are you looking for experience in investigative journalism or community management??We are currently looking for interns to spend a week or two working at Help Me Investigate.?

The internships are for a Support Journalist and a Community Manager. Role descriptions can be found at the links.

As part of the role you will gain experience in investigating issues of public interest, and supporting online communities.

The internship can be done online although you may be required to attend meetings with other members of the team. You'll need to be able to work on your own initiative to support investigations, with the support and guidance of the Help Me Investigate team.

If you're interested email Paul Bradshaw on with a CV and any other relevant information.

Help Me Investigate latest – April

How are you doing? Late night? Well, here's the latest from Help Me Investigate – see if you can make a difference…

Who funds the New Schools Network? That's the question being asked by Jack Cues, which will become more relevant as the new government looks into education policy:

"NSN is charity aiming to take advantage of proposed education policy to set up what are described as ?free? schools. Many companies such as and will have the opportunity to profit but who is financing the charity?"

This is a nice investigation to get your teeth into, as it mainly involves looking into the directors of the company. Join the investigation here.

Other new investigations:

Completed: Another investigation has been marked as complete since last month: Why my doctors have an 0845 number?

Useful: A great tool for checking which companies people hold directorships in.

Remember you can invite anyone you know to Help Me Investigate – just click on 'Invite People' on the top right of any individual investigation.