New report reveals 2000 civil servants were employed using fake certificates

The Ministry of Interior, Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, and the Geothermal and Development Corporation, which is a parastatal under the Ministry of Energy, are the government institutions with the highest number of public servants who possess fake academic certificates, according to the Public Service Commission (PSC).

PSC chairman Anthony Muchiri disclosed that a total of 2,067 cases of forgery were discovered during the investigation initiated in October 2022.

This investigation targeted 331 institutions, including 52 Ministries, State Departments and Agencies (MDAs), 239 State corporations and Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies, and 40 public universities.

As part of the probe, these institutions were required to provide a list of graduates from the past decade and an annual list of subsequent graduations.

They were also supposed to provide the commission with access and verification credentials for online confirmation of educational and professional certificates of job applicants.

However, only 195 institutions complied with the requirements. Out of the 58,599 cases submitted, 1,280 cases were found to be in possession of forged certificates and were subsequently referred to the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) for further action.

“This number is not final as the authentication exercise is still ongoing and we expect to receive more cases of forgeries,” the commission said.

Some 787 officers in Ministries, State Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been found to have secured appointments and promotions in the public service using forged documents – MDAs include universities and tertiary institutions.

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The common types of forgeries discovered include alteration of KCSE mean grades, forged KCSE certificates by those who did not sit the exam, and fake education certificates while others were found to have never sat the alleged examinations or registered as candidates.

Other forgery types include certificate numbers of submitted certificates that did not belong to the alleged owner and names on some certificates that were faked – where the culprit’s name is different from the real owner.

Some bachelor’s degree certificates Second Division (Lower) were also found to have been altered to reflect the Second Division (Upper).

PSC recommended that all cases should be referred to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations for prosecution and recovery of money and assets gained from the fraudulent positions.

The commission also wants all persons of interest to be denied any form of benefits including pensions, allowances or leave.

The report was handed over to DCI and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for further action.

EACC chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak, chairman David Oginde and DCI boss Mohamed Amin were present.

They promised to look into the report and take necessary action.

Amin termed the event a momentous occasion which he deemed a win for Kenyans who demand efficient and effective service delivery from public servants, which can only be delivered by those qualified for the job and not those who used forged academic and professional certificates to secure employment.

“The effects of hiring unqualified employees are decreased productivity and performance, lower quality of work, negative impact on team morale and engagement, increased training and supervision costs, damages reputation and customer dissatisfaction, higher employee turnover rates, and increased recruitment expenses,” he said.

“Hiring unqualified employees can have significant negative effects in organizations across various aspects of their operations thus exposing the country to economic insecurity.”

He added that in 2023 and this year, the DCI has investigated 23 cases of alleged forgery of academic and professional certificates, and those of unqualified persons masquerading as professionals.

“This is a clear indication that the problem is rampant and it is high time that all organisations took a cue from what the Public Service Commission has done today, and act on employees with bogus academic and professional certificates,” he said.

He said the fight cannot be won by one agency hence need to join hands and ensure meritocracy in the recruitment and promotions of employees.

He sought the cooperation of the Ministries, Departments and Government Agencies involved to cooperate with the DCI by expediting the investigation.

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