Right before I hit the sack I decide to type in the name of a former employer in Search to see what comes up.
And to think I was there during that time and met a benefactor…geeeeeez.
I remember when clients would ask for a lead test on the gasoline samples; no one ever did them. "Why should we? Gas doesn’t have lead in it"….But they paid for the test anyway. I decided to find out why. In order to run the test, you had to read the method from a manual of various tests. The test for lead required a prep time of approximately 2 hours, which really isn’t that bad seeing that a lot of the test required a half day prep. BUT the reagents used couldn’t be found in the lab. So I had to synthesize the reagent (more prep time). Then I find out that the instrument to be used had to have a certain range which our particular model did not have. So I sat there…fine, I thought to myself. I’ll let someone else do that test and go up to the sheet to assign it to someone and lo and behold…the result is already there: >.01ppm (or whatever the reporting % was) WHAT? Who did that test?! No one said a thing.
It’s called pencil-whipping.
From the article:
SAYBOLT is part of a multinational group of companies whose primary business is to conduct quantitative and qualitative testing of bulk commodities, such as petroleum, gasoline, and other petrochemicals. SAYBOLT typically performs testing and inspection services for oil and gas refiners and importers. The data falsification charges, which predate SAYBOLT’s acquisition by Core Laboratories in 1997, arise from SAYBOLT’s pattern of falsifying the results of qualitative tests on petroleum products.
The conspiracy centered on the testing of the oxygen content of Reformulated Gasoline ("RFG"). RFG is blended to meet environmental specifications for various chemical and physical properties, including oxygen content. Under the Clean Air Act, in areas of the country where national air quality standards have not been met, importers and refiners are required to sell RFG. In order to attract and keep customers, SAYBOLT routinely inflated the oxygen content of its customers’ RFG in reports that were submitted to the EPA, which monitors the RFG program. SAYBOLT falsified its data, reporting results that were not actually obtained in the lab, and manipulated testing equipment to generate higher oxygen figures. In some instances the falsified reports enabled refiners and importers to sell RFG that did not meet minimum requirements. In other instances, sellers received undeserved "credits" for selling RFG that purportedly exceeded minimum environmental specifications.
SAYBOLT also falsified lab results in areas unrelated to RFG, acceding to customer demands that SAYBOLT report as "on-specification" lab results for other petroleum products, such as home heating oil, regardless of the actual test results. Often, these instances of data falsification involved commercial, rather than environmental, specifications. "