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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The web habits of civil servants

There are times when I wonder why some items are regarded as news and this is one of them. For some reason the Taxpayers Alliance has submitted a Freedom of Information request so as to find out the web browsing habits of employees of the Department of Transport.

The DfT spokesman is at pains to stress that personal internet use by staff should be restricted to official breaks. The BBC say that amongst the interests of the civil servants are belly dancing, Doctor Who and the Roman Empire. The BBC website came top (of course), but employees are also spending time apparently shopping, gambling and house-hunting. So not much different to anybody else.

Then again: But there are a number of unusual sites which reveal some more unexpected pastimes among civil servants.

Coming in at number 385 - with 27,634 hits - is bearsfaction.org.uk - a website run by the Lorien Trust which organises fantasy role-play festivals.

It invites users to "leave reality behind" and "walk amongst goblins, elves and dwarves".

Even more popular, coming in at 115, is etiquettehell.com which gives frustrated sticklers for good manners a forum in which to vent.

Smallworldbellydance.com - a south London belly dancing studio - gets 3,170 hits, while a website for fans of the Roman Empire attracted nearly 100,000.

Some civil servants also seem to be interested in matters of glamour within Whitehall itself.

Sexymp.co.uk - where users get to rank Members of Parliament in order of attractiveness - got 21,477 hits in the five-month period, making it the 465th most popular site.

I wonder which sites the Taxpayers Alliance like to browse in their spare time.
Carmarthenshire librarians (or some of the male ones) used to like rugby websites, rugby betting, sometimes frogger and shoot em ups..most of the time earmarking what they believed were offlimit sites for council tax payers
Perhaps the Tax Payers' Alliance (sic) should ask how much it cost the civil service to obtain the response to their inane request!
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