Comic Sans Freedom of Information

Although many consider the use of Comic Sans to be next only to clubbing baby seals to death this has to be the most bizarre Freedom of Information Request ever

Dear Ministry of Defence Please provide all instances of correspondence, electronic, using Microsoft font Comic Sans, wholly or partially within the body of the message. Yours faithfully, Jarek Zaba

The answer should have been this


But sadly, the MoD are obliged to process the request within the bounds of Freedom of Information Act 2000

I can confirm that the MOD holds some information in scope of the subject you requested. However, I have to advise you that we will not be able to answer your request without exceeding the appropriate limit. Section 12 of the Act makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for central government is set at £600. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3.5 working days in determining whether the department holds the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting it. It is estimated that to retrieve and extract information in scope of your request would involve a read through of every piece of electronic correspondence held within the Ministry of Defence which would take one person in excess of 10,000 man days of effort.

The response also states that JSP 101 ‘The Defence Writing Guide’ states that Arial is the MoD’s nominated font de jour :)

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 19, 2014 4:49 pm

What’s wrong with clubbing baby seals? If they need to be clubbed, they should be.

Am posting this in MS Comic Sans.

July 19, 2014 9:18 pm

What a sad FOI request, a true connoisseur of wasting taxpayers money via FOI requests would not have fallen into a section 12 trap. When extracting information via FOI always assess how long you think it would take to comply with the request and make multiple requests for small packets of information, leaving a reasonable time interval between each request, it’s also a fair tactic to divide the requests between a number of requesters.

Dangerous Dave
Dangerous Dave
August 4, 2014 11:29 am

Errm, so exactly how many emails/documents has the MoD produced that it would take 10,000 man days of effort??? Or the mind boggling thought that it actually *uses* Comic Sans in official documentation?

August 4, 2014 12:16 pm

Dangerous Dave

Surely that’s the time it will take the various most junior staff (each with of the various appropriate security clearances) to go through every MoD document, ever produced, to check if anyone did use the font (by mistake).

Sounds like an excellent use of civil service time to me though (only joking Sir H).