WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a world exclusive with the headline “Porn Surfing Rampant at U.S. Science Foundation,” the Washington Times is reporting that the National Science Foundation (NSF) is awash in perverts whose extracurricular activities downloading pornography at work have cost the agency $2 million a year in lost “investigative recoveries.”
While the wayward employee problem may be real, with responsibility for an annual budget of $6 billion the agency’s porn dilemma can hardly be described as rampant.
According to the Times, which filed a freedom of information request with the agency after Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) made mention earlier this year of a report by the agency’s inspector general that contained summaries of several cases under investigation, “the problems at the 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 told Congress in a budget request. "We anticipate a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions in coming years as a direct result." The estimated amount of the decline was put at the aforementioned $2 million.
The paper also mentions the case of “one senior executive [who] 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.” Cost to taxpayers for the senior official's porn surfing was pegged at between $13,800 and about $58,000 by investigators.
While the paper cites a "6-fold increase in employee misconduct cases and associated proactive management implication report activities," the released documents do not say how many cases were involved in the increase and officials could not immediately provide a figure.
The number of actual cases is hardly overwhelming, however, with released documents showing that “the foundation's inspector general closed 10 employee misconduct investigations last year, up from just three in 2006. There were seven cases in 2007. Of the 10 cases closed last year, seven involved online pornography, records show.”
With 1,200 career employees, therefore, the National Science Foundation’s “rampant” porn problem is being caused by seven people.
Now that’s an exclusive.