Patent office covers up worst gov’t worker abuses in report to its watchdog

Records of abuse pulled from investigation
Patent office covers up worst gov't worker abuses in report to its watchdog

Image Credits: Aude / Wiki

by Lisa Rein | The Washington Post | August 11, 2014


Prompted by multiple whistleblower complaints, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office began an internal investigation two years ago of an award-winning program that’s been praised in and outside government: Employees are allowed to work from home.

What the inquiry uncovered was alarming.

Some of the 8,300 patent examiners, about half of whom work from home full time, repeatedly lied about the hours they were putting in, and many were receiving bonuses for work they didn’t do. And when supervisors had evidence of fraud and asked to have the employee’s computer records pulled, they were rebuffed by top agency officials, ensuring that few cheaters were disciplined, investigators found.

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