Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Civil Servants Sacked after Office Scandal Is Revealed

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Civil Servants Sacked after Office Scandal Is Revealed

Article excerpt

Byline: By Craig Hope

Chronicle told of whistleblower claims

Four staff have been sacked and five disciplined as part of the 'naked civil servants' scandal.

The action came after a whistleblower lifted the lid on shocking behaviour by staff at the Rural Payment Agency's offices in Newcastle.

The Chronicle revealed in June allegations of drug-taking and sex in the toilets as well as staff holding fun-fights in the foyer and break-dancing competitions at work.

The alleged antics came at a time when the Rural Payments Agency, set up to make payments to farmers from Euro subsidies, left thousands of farmers penniless because of a massive backlog.

Lurid claims also included allegations that staff at the Lancaster House office in Newcastle had vomited in cups and left them to fester in cupboards, smeared excrement over the walls of the toilets and placed used sanitary products behind the drinks cooler.

An investigation was launched by the Government following the revelations and yesterday resulted in the sacking of four members of staff and a further five being disciplined with a combination of verbal and written warnings.

Emails sent at the office detailed some of the appalling pranks.

Agency accommodation manager Janet Alexander wrote: "Our daytime cleaner Pat starts at 7am cleaning the toilets and tea points and over the last couple of weeks when entering the tea points has encountered noxious smells.

"On investigation she is finding cups of vomit and having experienced the finding of two of these this morning, along with several poor souls who were coming into the tea point, the smell will stay with me forever."

Tony Cooper, RPA chief executive, said: "I am satisfied that the correct actions have been taken to deal with the misbehaviour of the small number of individuals involved.

"While the investigation made clear many of the initial reports were overblown, there have been incidents of misbehaviour that are simply unacceptable in this organisation.

"We have taken this matter very seriously and the action taken as a result of the investigation draws a firm line under all this. …

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