There are all sorts of ways to steal if one is so inclined. Some are very obvious, others more subtle. Many are considered so trivial as to be ignored, or at least not worth the time it would take to pursue matters. The employee who takes a few pens home from the office, or runs some copies of personal materials on an office copier is unlikely to be hunted down and prosecuted for theft, although if you want to get terribly specific, that is exactly what these acts are.
Then there is another form of theft. This would involve getting paid to do a job while instead getting sexual stimulation by watching internet porn on your office computer. This is a good way to get fired. Unfortunately, it is a practice that has been prevalent enough in federal government agencies and departments to get the attention of Congress.
Apparently the porn problem at government offices has gotten so bad that Congress has chosen to intervene. Why is this even necessary? Just establish the policy that viewing porn on the job will result in immediate discharge and then fire those who do. How difficult is that?
Well, Congress is now involved in what must be a much more widespread practice than we imagined. “The problem of federal employees watching pornography while on duty runs so stunningly deep that members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform felt compelled to approve a bill Wednesday aimed at putting a stop to this madness. Dubbed H.R. 680, the bill specifically ‘prohibit(s) accessing pornographic websites from federal computers.'”
How much of this is going on? Obviously due to the private nature of this offense, no one knows. Yet,“[a]ccording to NBC affiliate WRC, ‘(a)lmost 100 federal government employees have admitted to or been caught viewing copious amounts of pornography while on the job in the past five years.'”
That may not sound like a lot of people considering that the time frame was five years and the US government employs millions. However, these are just the ones who got caught or otherwise chose to disclose their behavior. For ever one such person there are another 100? 1,000? Again, who knows?
Keep in mind also that those statistics record infractions; they do not say whether the employees in question were disciplined or fired. There is no evidence to support the following, but it would not be a shock to learn that many were sent to counseling (at government expense) and are still on the job.
Pass a law outlawing watching pornography on government computers is fine. But the question remains of how effective its enforcement will be. Given only 100 government employees have been caught or fessed up over the past five years, the problem is more likely one of motivation by supervisors to enforce the rules than a lack of support for a policy outlawing the practice. Or maybe it’s the supervisors who are the offenders?
Now you can wonder what that government employee is doing while you sit on hold listening to some inane recording telling you how your government is serving you.
Source: Conservative Tribune