I’m a big believer that a more transparent and accountable state is a better state, and I’ve written a few times about some problems with the FOI system as implemented. This sort of comedy FOI request does not help. But I would like to write it off as the cost of doing business. More to the point I would like to stress that each of these requests where likely deal with as swiftly by the FOI staff as the switchboard would have dealt with a prank call.
For many Christmas is a time to have fun, share a few jokes and act a bit silly.
However some people have taken this silliness further than most, even as far as governmental departments, by writing funny festive Freedom of Information requests.
Hopefully they raised a smile on the faces of their recipients, although the lack of cheer and goodwill in some of the responses suggests otherwise (this might have something to do with all the paperwork).
What do you think? Are they just a holly bunch of time wasters whose jokes (like mine) only belong inside a Christmas cracker, or are they spreading seasonal joy to councils, civil servants and press officers?
Well, maybe not.
More to the point – if we are going to do a comedy request (and I’m guilty of often being somewhat scathing on my own corraspondence), then one should at least do it properly: I give you this Durham University request (Warning, ever so slightly NSFW).