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7 Percent of Civil Servants with Fake Diplomas

22 July 2014 / 20:07:18  GRReporter
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The first inspection of the public administration auditors in regard to false documents provided for the appointment of employees has uncovered hundreds of cases of invalid high school diplomas that have been submitted.

According to the results, the percentage of false documents among 5,000 employees in municipalities, government agencies and state-owned companies is 7 percent, or 316. At the same time, 266, or 70 percent of the above mentioned 7 percent, are fake high school diplomas. In most cases, the diplomas have been used for the recruitment of staff and, in fewer ones, for the promotion of employees in the hierarchy. In turn, the owners of the fake diplomas either have not completed their secondary education at all, or have falsified their final score in order to meet the appointment requirements.

Until now, the auditors have found 110 false statements in the personal folders of about 1,000 employees of the Public Transport Company in Athens. 80 of them are fake diplomas.

156 of the total 3,530 members of the now defunct municipal police have been removed and will not be transferred to another agency because they have used fake credentials to be appointed. 74 of them have submitted false high school diplomas.

The third case has been discovered in the municipality of Athens, where 52 persons or 10 percent of the total 507 employees in municipal companies have submitted false certificates. In this case too, most of the invalid documents have been high school diplomas.

After ascertainment of the abovementioned violations, fraudsters are expected to face disciplinary and criminal persecution. If it is proved that they have used forged documents in order to be appointed to the offices they are holding, they will be fired.

According to the estimates of experts from the state administration, the number of redundancies due to the use of false documents may exceeds 2,500. Their hopes are that these redundancies will be included in the total number of 6,500 redundancies in the public sector, which are to be implemented by the end of the year, under the Memorandum of financial support.

In this regard, the Minister of Administrative reform, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has ordered that the auditors need to accelerate their work on re-screening the documents in all state and municipal offices, institutions and companies. They will have to investigate not only regular employees, but also those whose temporary contracts were automatically converted into permanent ones. The Minister also requested that the heads of the institutions and companies verify the authenticity of the documents submitted by the employees upon their appointment. He reminded them of their obligation to provide detailed information on the measures taken and the results obtained.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Administrative Reform and e-Governance, the auditors of public administration and the High Authority for the selection of personnel have been conducting verification of procedures regarding the appointment of employees who have been initially appointed to work on temporary contracts. It is expected that over 45,000 files will be checked across the public sector, with 35,000 appointments made ​​during 2004-2005.

Despite that the union of municipal employees is referring to the auditors as "persona non grata" and the fact that they are doing everything possible to prevent the checks, the law clearly states that the institutions are required to submit lists of the people appointed under this procedure. Otherwise, the employees entitled to that task are threatened by disciplinary punishment.

Only the number of employees appointed in the local authorities structures to a permanent job after an initial temporary contract is about 25,000. The remaining 10,000 who were appointed at the same time were employed in ministries (6,000 people) and public companies (4,000 people).

This is not the first time when the government is engaged with specific appointments. The fears that the opportunity provided by the presidential decree of 2004 has led to mass submission of false documents for appointment purposes started back in 2010, but to date no concrete measures have been taken.

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