FOUR civil servants have been sacked and a further five disciplined following claims that staff had sex in the toilets, jumped naked from filing cabinets and held breakdance competitions in their office.
Staff at the Rural Payments Agency, Newcastle, were also accused of drug taking at work, swearing, holding "fun-fights" in the reception area and leaving vomit in cups festering in cupboards. The lurid claims were made by a whistleblower 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. As a result of the allegations, there has been an in-depth investigation.
Now four members of staff have been dismissed and five disciplined with a combination of verbal and written warnings. The agency said evidence of many of the most outlandish accusations had not been found but some "inappropriate behaviour" had taken place.
Chief executive Tony Cooper 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 wereoverblown, there have been incidents of misbehaviour that are simplyunacceptable in this organisation."