NSF Workers Surfing for So Much Porn That The IG Office is Flooded

IG being the “inspector general” for the agency, of course, and the NSF being the National Science Foundation.

But hey, how are taxpayers harmed by employees searching for porn? Well, it’s being done on the taxpayers dime and has, in fact, cost taxpayers quite a few dimes.

Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants, according to budget documents and other records obtained by The Washington Times.

The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency’s inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars.

“To manage this dramatic increase without an increase in staff required us to significantly reduce our efforts to investigate grant fraud,” the inspector general recently told Congress in a budget request. “We anticipate a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions in coming years as a direct result.”

The Washington Times, showing a level of curiosity most of the media simply don’t these days, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and discovered the scope of the problem.

For instance, one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected, the records show.

When finally caught, the NSF official retired. He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women. Investigators put the cost to taxpayers of the senior official’s porn surfing at between $13,800 and about $58,000.

“He explained that these young women are from poor countries and need to make money to help their parents and this site helps them do that,” investigators wrote in a memo.

Uh huh. Can you imagine how much “humanitarian” work American males without telling anyone every year? It’s enough to make you shed a tear of happiness, I tell ya. Except, of course, that most do their “humanitarian” work at home and off the taxpayer’s dime.

The National Science Foundation is charged with the task of handing out $6 billion in taxpayer funds to universities, colleges, and research institutions. They’ve now had to shift employees away from watching for waste of taxpayer money from that $6 billion to investigating misconduct and waste by other employees searching for porn at work.

While the NSF says it’s installed computer software to stop such activity from occurring in the future, that doesn’t solve the general culture that apparently permitted this to happen. The Washington Times reports that the senior executive’s habits were an open secret amongst the staff.

As for the unnamed “senior executive” who spent at least 331 days looking at pornography at work, investigators said his proclivity for pornography was common knowledge among several co-workers.

“At the same time, employees were generally reluctant to make any official report or complaint because the misconduct involved a senior staff member and employees feared that they would suffer in some form of complaining,” the investigators later wrote in a summary of the case.

Another employee in a different case was caught with hundreds of pictures, videos and even PowerPoint slide shows containing pornography. Asked by an investigator whether he had completed any government work on a day when a significant amount of pornography was downloaded, the employee responded, “Um, I can’t remember,” according to records.

Fantastic. This man guy was so busy searching for porn at work that he can’t recall if he actually did any of the work American taxpayers pay him to do. And what was his punishment? Termination maybe? No. He was suspended for ten days and is now back on the job.

Another employee who stored nude images of herself on her computer told investigators she mistakenly had downloaded the pictures. She received counseling and was told to adhere to the foundation’s policies on computer use.

She received counseling and a talking-to. For storing naked pictures of herself on a government computer during work hours. Counseling.

Your government at work. Surfing for porn.

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