A Republican senator on Wednesday proposed banning computer games in federal government offices and requiring a person, rather than a machine, to answer the telephone.
Sen. Lauch Faircloth of North Carolina said he introduced the “Responsive Government Act” because of suggestions from constituents “frustrated with the federal government not always being responsive.”
The bill would require a person rather than an automated system to answer the main telephone number at service-oriented federal offices until at least 5 p.m. Eastern time.
Faircloth proposed the computer game ban after his staff took the senator on a tour of his Web site, and he saw how easy it was to switch from games to work areas on the computer, a spokesman said. “So that was the end of the games in our office,” Peter Hans, the senator’s spokesman, joked.
“We were showing him the games that were on there and he said, ‘There’s no reason that should be on any government computer,’ ” Hans said, adding that the games have been removed from the office computers.
Faircloth said the computer game ban “could save the taxpayers millions of dollars recovered from lost productivity.”
The bill would also require federal agencies to publish main telephone numbers in local directories, locate service offices in areas with sufficient parking and include a telephone number of the author on all official correspondence.