Corrections staff caught viewing porn

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 10/01/2013

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Corrections staff have used work computers to surf porn sites and inappropriately view prisoners' details.

The Dominion Post asked government departments and lower North Island councils for details of all computer and social media policy breaches in the past year, with most reporting staff were well behaved.

By far the worst was Corrections, which recorded 19 misconducts in the year to October 31.

One person was dismissed for viewing "inappropriate" content, 10 were warned for the same misconduct and a further six were cautioned.

A Corrections spokeswoman confirmed each of these 17 incidents were for viewing pornography on the internet but did not provide details of what sites were viewed or why punishments varied from dismissal to cautions.

The department also cautioned an employee for inappropriately accessing prisoner files, and a further one was given a final written warning for unauthorised access to YouTube. Corrections would not name the prisoner whose file was accessed.

Organisational development general manager Vincent Arbuckle said the department expected high standards of employees and took action when there was misconduct.

The department employed more than 8000 staff and only 19 had breached computer policies.

Official Information Act requests sent to other major government departments and councils show most public servants were well behaved with their computers last year.

The ministries of health and justice and the Department of Internal Affairs had no breaches.

The Ministry of Education warned one staff member for excessive use of social media.

Of the councils asked, the Palmerston North City Council disciplined three staff for a minor breach of email policy but there were no security breaches.

A new staffer at the Hawke's Bay Regional Council had downloaded music but this was found to be a misunderstanding of policy.

The Wellington City Council had one breach, when a copy of an unapproved bit torrent was installed on a council device.

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- The Dominion Post

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