FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The state Transportation Cabinet has
imposed a strict Internet policy after some employees were found
spending too much time surfing the Web instead of working.
Government workers who read newspapers, visit search engines or use their state computers to shop online could face suspension
under the new policy. Eight employees have been suspended, as
cabinet officials have been conducting a "pilot" review program
examining the Web sites viewed by almost 200 employees, the
Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Deputy Secretary Crystal Murray Ducker ordered the review,
claiming several employees had been spotted surfing the Internet
during work hours.
"There were several employees who were not producing," Ducker
said. "I noticed a lot of folks on the Internet."
One employee allegedly viewed nearly 6,500 Web sites during a
38-day period. The sites included visits to online banking sites
and free music download services, the Herald-Leader reported.
But the cabinet's inspector general, David Ray, said he was
concerned the people might have been unfairly targeted for having
filed complaints against their former boss who resigned in May.
Ray said cabinet officials have not given him any information
about the Internet review.
"If there is an abuse of the Internet system, then that falls
right squarely into our lap," Ray said. "We conduct those types
Ducker said that Ray was aware of the reviews.
Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert said Ray was bypassed
because his office was overworked.
One of the eight employees has appealed the cabinet's decision
to the state Personnel Board.
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)