An Italian mayor has ditched the internet from council offices are discovering employees spent the working day trawling hardcore porn sites for up to six hours a day.
Narcisio Buffoni, 60, was furious after an investigation uncovered that several of his staff were using their work computers to watch online filth.
The investigation also uncovered other cyber-slacking activities, such as the excessive use of Facebook, but it was the extreme use of porn that angered Mr Buffoni, the centre left mayor of Montignoso near Massa Carrara in Tuscany.
He has now ordered that all computers have access to the web denied, with connections limited to the council’s internal system only.
Mr Buffoni said: ‘All I am prepared to say is that there has been an improper use of the Internet within the council offices – that’s why there is no access to the web.
‘I am not prepared to go into the details of what the sites visited were, other than to say they were not work-related and not ethical. It was restricted to a limited amount of staff, not all 74 employees.’
According to reports in the Italian media, some of the employees would clock on at 8am and then spend as long as six hours surfing pornographic websites hardly doing any work and only stopping when the town hall building closed for lunch.
It also emerged that the building’s wi-fi was not secure, so locals would gather outside the building to log on and surf the web, also enjoying internet pornography.
Despite the probe and crackdown, Mayor Buffoni, who has been in office for two years, has decided that he will take no disciplinary action against the council employees involved.
The case does no favours for the traditional view of many of Italian local government employees who have long had a reputation for laziness and being work shy – with numerous attempts by central government in Rome to try and clean up their act.
In 2008 then public administration minister Renato Brunetta launched a clampdown which claimed to have halved the number of sick days claimed by public employees by 50% although the initiative is said to only have had a short-term effect.
Among incidents uncovered at the time were a council worker who punched his time-card, then went boar hunting – only to get found out when he got shot in the leg and had to be rushed to hospital.
Another who claimed to have been on sick leave was actually discovered to have been on a ‘long vacation in Kenya, claiming that ”the sun would help” speed up her recovery from a sprained back.
More recently the mayor of the southern Italian town of Bari took to exposing lazy employees by posting pictures of them on his Facebook site below the question: ‘Why are these people not working?’
But the slacking is not just limited to Italians – an investigation at the Vatican once revealed how dozens of civil employees there would also clock in and then leave to go out shopping or spend the day with friends and families when they should have been at their desks.