After uncovering which websites Department for Work and Pensions staff had been visiting, yesterday we received a Freedom of Information response from the Department for Transport, which covered their six month internet history from January to the end of May this year. There’s some pretty interesting hits in there, such as role playing games and a Doctor Who toys website.
There are of course many civil servants that are hard-working and dedicated, and web browsing on lunch breaks or before a shift isn’t a problem, but online activity shows there are some not fully dedicated while at work. Pay is the biggest expenditure most public bodies have so it’s vital that taxpayers get value for money from staff that work at their expense.
The Department for Transport have now published the list themselves, and we encourage all departments – and other public bodies too – to do this proactively.
Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
"It looks like many officials at the Department for Transport are spending a lot of time surfing websites that clearly have nothing to do with their jobs. While many staff work very hard, there have been enough anecdotal reports of time wasters within the Civil Service that it is vital taxpayers are able to scrutinise how time they are paying for is spent. Other Departments need to follow suit and publish this information, there is no practical obstacle to proper transparency."