Some employees of the National Science Foundation (NSF)Â have been using their government computers to look at materials that are decidedly not safe for work (NSFW). And that has caught the eye of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
Grassley has launched an investigation into the misuse of computers at the agency after the NSF’s inspector general reported in December that it investigated six employees for downloading, viewing, saving and sharing pornographic videos and images at work.
On his blog, Grassley said:
This report raises real questions about how the National Science Foundation manages its resources, and Congress ought to demand a full accounting before it gives the agency billions of dollars in the stimulus bill.
In one case cited by the IG, a senior agency official, who is not named, spent 20 percent of his official work time viewing sexually explicit images and in sexually explicit online conversations. The IG estimated that employee alone cost the agency $58,000 in lost work time. The employee has been fired, according to the report.
The IG found that all six employees had the appropriate training on NSF computer use policy, which forbids viewing pornography or offensive materials on office computers. But the agency did not have a filter, as most agencies do, to prevent such viewing. A filter has since been installed, according to the report.