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DVLA staff sacked over pornographic emails

Staff at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency were unhappy when 'hardcore pornography' started appearing on their computers, sparking mass disciplinary action

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has dismissed 14 members of staff at the licensing centre in Swansea for distributing pornographic email attachments to people outside the centre.

"It is everywhere. It is hardcore stuff and very offensive," an employee at the centre told the South Wales Evening Post. "A lot of people have been unhappy to have the emails popping up on their computers," the worker added.

The DVLA confirmed the dismissals to ZDNet UK. "Following an investigation, DVLA has dismissed 14 members of staff for gross misconduct," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

"The staff concerned were found to have used the Agency's electronic systems to send pornographic email attachments out of the Agency, in direct contravention of DVLA's code of conduct."

The DVLA denied reports that so much pornographic email was being distributed in the centre that it caused the email system to slow down, triggering an investigation.

According to reports, a further 101 workers have been disciplined for sending pornographic emails within the centre, which employs around 6,000 people.

The scandal is the second to hit the DVLA in less than a year. A female worker was dismissed in July 2005 after sending a videoclip via her mobile phone of her having sex with her boyfriend.

The problem of staff distributing pornographic emails via corporate email and text messaging systems has been a sporadic problem over the years. In May 2002, Ford Motor company in Dagenham was forced to announce an amnesty on pornographic and other inappropriate emails, and in September 2000 Orange sacked forty people for sending pornography over the Internet.