|The use of government computers gamble, check out porno, visit chat rooms and read personal e-mail is 'widespread' among Internal Revenue Service (IRS employees, a US Department of the Treasury investigation found.|
IRS employees viewed more than 1 million ‘questionable’ images and 'objects' on Web sites during a one-week period last October, according to a study released last week in Washington by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. That was six months after the IRS instituted a policy limiting personal use of the Internet at work.
The audit marked the second time the Treasury Department has found inappropriate use of government computers by IRS employees.
The report said only a small number of employees appear to be chronic abusers: 28 percent of all inappropriate accesses were made from 122 computer addresses.
It warned that inappropriate Internet usage could lead to security breaches of IRS computer networks. Such problems at organizations similar in size to the IRS caused system restoration and productivity losses of up to US$11.5 million annually, the report said.
The inspector general recommended the IRS require employees to sign forms stating they understand the Internet usage policy, improve software blocking access to inappropriate sites, especially pornographic and gambling sites and spend more time monitoring employee Internet usage.