By Max Clarke
A freedom of information request by the taxpayers’ alliance has revealed the 1000 websites most frequently visited by Department of Transport staff during office hours.
A host of BBC websites topped the lost, followed by Google Analytics and the Telegraph.
But moving further down the list, some more perculiar sites cropped up. Among them was the Nathan Barley-esque ‘urban culture dispatch’, Urban75.net, which offers information on drugs, parties and clubs- both legal and illegal- across the capital, as well as online games and football news. A total of 99340 visits were clocked up by transport workers between January and May, placing the site 123rd on the list.
Seeking new property also appeared a priority to the civil servants, with rightmove.co.uk and findaproperty.com making the top 200.
“It looks like many officials at the Department for Transport are spending a lot of time surfing websites that clearly have nothing to do with their jobs,” said Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance.
“While many staff work very hard, there have been enough anecdotal reports of time wasters within the Civil Service that it is vital taxpayers are able to scrutinise how time they are paying for is spent. Other Departments need to follow suit and publish this information, there is no practical obstacle to proper transparency.
Not all browsing appears to be procrastination, with a number of transport-related sites including the high speed rail think tank, greengague21,net, along with the DfT’s own website- transport.gov making appearances.
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