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Investigators interviewed one employee’s supervisor. Calling the employee’s work “very good,” the supervisor added that the worker’s “timeliness still remains a concern,” according to the case report.

One worker told investigators that he didn’t start out looking at pornography, just Internet sites that contained pictures of people in swimsuits. But from there, he said, he clicked on links that led him to pornographic sites.

The names of the employees and contractors investigated were not released in the documents provided in response to The Times’ open-records request. In a letter, officials said the names weren’t being released in part because that could subject the employees to “harassment and annoyance in the conduct of their official duties and private lives.”

Republicans criticized the SEC over the porn issue last week: “While watching porn all day undoubtedly contributed to the ineffectiveness of the SEC’s work force, the administration, Congress and the investing public must demand accountability at all levels of the agency,” said Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the House Financial Services Committee.

Memos obtained by The Times show the activities occurred during both the Obama and Bush administrations. Records also show the SEC isn’t the only agency with workers who have looked up illicit sites at work. It’s an issue that has surfaced in a handful of cases at agencies across government for years.

Last year, The Times reported on several cases at the National Science Foundation. In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general announced the suspensions of two employees for looking at pornography at work. Earlier this year, the inspector general for the Department of Veterans Affairs reported on one employee caught looking at pornography who, at first, denied it.

The employee, who was caught with more than 2,500 pornographic images on his computer, eventually told investigators that “if the images are there and the forensics support that, then they must be there.”