PSC: Over 2,000 public officers secured jobs using fake certificates

Public Service Commission headquarters in Nairobi.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has revealed that over 2,000 public officers secured jobs, promotions and re-designations using fake certificates.

Speaking in a press briefing at Commission House on February 13, 2024 where together with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), they unveiled a report on the matter, PSC Chairperson Ambassador Anthony Muchiri said that the Commission undertook an authentication exercise to verify academic credentials in October 2022.

Amb. Muchiri reported that there were substantial cases of forged academic and professional certificates used for the award of appointments, promotions or re-designation in the public service.

The Commission targeted 331 institutions – 52 in Ministries, State Departments and Agencies (MDAs); 239 in State Corporations and Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies, and 40 in Public Universities – 40, institutions – but only 195 complied.

Out of the 53,599 cases referred to Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) by 91 public institutions for authentication, 1,280 were verified as forged. However, the number is not final as the authentication exercise is still ongoing and the Commission expects to receive more cases.

A total of 195 MDAs – including Universities and other tertiary institutions – have so far finalized authenticating 29,314 certificates. From this number, 787 officers have been verified to have used forged certificates to procure appointment, promotion or re-designation in the public service.

The report reveals the following as some of the most common types of forgeries on academic certificates by officers; Alteration of KCSE mean grades, forged KCSE Certificates – alleged candidates did not sit for exams but produced certificates required for appointment/employment, fake certificates – submitted certificates disowned altogether by the alleged issuing learning institutions.

Alleged candidates were confirmed as not ever being registered in the institutions alleged to have issued certificates, Certificate numbers of the submitted certificate were non-existent, Faked names on the certificates in question – where the culprit’s name is different from the real owners of the produced certificates, Candidates never sat the alleged examination or registered as candidates and forged Bachelor’s Degree Certificate Second Division (Lower) altered to reflect Second Division (Upper).

The Commission observed challenges among them  difficulty in reaching out to some foreign training institutions where public officers have obtained certificates and cases of implicated officers resigning or applying for early retirement before disciplinary action was meted against them.

Ambassador Muchiri noted that the Commission is handing over the findings of the academic and professional certificates report to the EACC and DCI for necessary legal action against the officers affected.

EACC Chairperson Dr. David Oginde and the Director Criminal of Investigations Mr. Mohamed Amin, lauded PSC for taking a bold step in cleaning up the fake papers mess in the public service.

“The hiring unqualified employees decreases productivity and performance, it lowers quality of work and has a negative impact on team morale,” said Amin.

He said that EACC will work closely with DCI and PSC to ensure all holders of fake certificates in the public service who have dented the image and effectiveness of our public service are sacked.

Also in attendance were; EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak, EACC Director for Ethics and Leadership John Lolkoloi, PSC Vice-Chairperson Charity Kisotu, PSC Commissioner Dr. Mary Mwiandi, Deputy Commission Secretary Remmy Mulati, Directors and PSC Secretariat.

By Obegi Malack |

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