From the Washington Post: In May, the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general disclosed that a senior-level employee was caught spending as much as six hours of his day looking at porn. The IG found that the employee had downloaded and viewed more than 7,000 pornographic files. The Justice Department is investigating further for possible prosecution.

Four months later, the employee has not been fired and is still collecting government pay, Environment & Energy Publishing reported last week.

That prompted Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) to introduce a bill the day Congress left town to make it a uniform federal government law that employees cannot look at porn at work.

Many agencies, including the EPA, have such rules, but Meadows says they are not enforced. EPA’s spokeswoman Liz Purchia confirmed that the porn-watching employee is still employed but on leave, but could not comment further because of the ongoing investigation.

The agency’s overall policy, which has not been updated since the incident, is vague and doesn’t say anything about porn watching:

Unauthorized or inappropriate use of Government office equipment may result in the loss or limitation of your privilege to use Government office equipment. You may also face administrative disciplinary action ranging from closer supervision to removal from the Agency, as well as any criminal penalties or financial liability, depending on the severity and nature of the misuse.

Meadows notes this problem isn’t limited to the EPA. Several agencies over the years have dealt with employees’ using government computers for activities that are, well, outside the scope of government work.

“It’s not just casual porn viewing, but hours and hours of unproductive time doing things we shouldn’t be condoning. There seems to be a need to reinforce agency rules that might be in place, but not enforced,” Meadows said.

His bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to issue guidelines to prohibit porn watching on federal computers. An OMB spokeswoman was not aware if any specific porn policy was already in place. An Office of Personnel Management spokeswoman clarified that watching porn falls under general rules against misusing government property. (They likely assumed there was no need to spell it out.)

During an Oversight Committee hearing in May, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was incensed that, at least at the EPA, the mechanisms that are  supposed to be in place didn’t block the employee from surfing his apparent favorites, “Sadism is Beautiful” and “Bare So Horny.”

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