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January 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Audit: State worker, boss spent hours shopping on the job

A state Department of Social and Health Services worker spent more than 75 hours browsing the Internet on the job during a four-month stretch last year, according to an audit released Monday.

The worker, who was not identified, used his computer to shop for boats, motorcycles, pet supplies, guns and a chainsaw, according to a report from the State Auditor’s Office, which investigated after a whistleblower complaint.

Between late December 2012 and January 2013, the worker spent more than three and a half hours browsing for fish and an aquarium. On one April 2013 work day, he spent more than two and half hours browsing.

Asked to explain his actions, the worker “stated his supervisor was aware of his use and had never addressed it with him as being an issue,” according to the audit.

That may have been because the boss was doing the same thing.

The audit found he spent 72 minutes over 11 days in April 2013 browsing for a boat.

Both employees admitted to browsing during down times but told auditors they never purchased or sold anything while using their work computers.

State workers are allowed to use state resources for personal use if it is “de minimis” — brief and infrequent.

The auditors found that both employees violated that standard.

The audit did, however, clear a third state worker who was named in the whistleblower complaint.

The department pledged to review the audit and take “any appropriate disciplinary action” after the employees are given an opportunity to respond.

0 Comments | More in Government | Topics: Audit, Department of Social and Health Services, DSHS

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