KUWAIT CITY, July 19: The National Assembly has put the credentials of academicians, individuals and high-ranking government officials under the microscope in a bid to eliminate fraud.
MP Khaled Al-Otaibi submitted a proposal on criminalizing the act of presenting forged credentials and the establishment of an institution for academic inspection and authentication. He explained the institution will review the credentials of both Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti government employees in accordance with the executive regulations that the government will lay down once the proposal is passed.
The bill prohibits submission of academic qualifications or credentials without the authorization or approval of the institution. This also applies to adding the title ‘doctor’ to one’s name.
According to the bill, those found guilty of submitting unauthenticated certifications to secure jobs or used such documents for any governmental paperwork shall be sentenced to six months in prison and fined not less than KD 1,000 or any of these penalties.
If proven that the credentials are forged, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years and fine not exceeding KD 225 or any of these penalties.
Those proven to have used unauthenticated credentials in any governmental work or obtained credentials from an imaginary institution or university, or one that is known for fraudulent work will be imprisoned for a period not exceeding three years and fined not exceeding KD 3,000.
On the other hand, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh assured the Assembly and Kuwaiti public that the government is closely monitoring the fraudulent credentials case under the direct administration of the ministries of Higher Education and Interior and supervision of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
He pointed out the recent referral of those found guilty to the Public Prosecution is the outcome of the intensified anti-corruption efforts of the government.
Furthermore, MP Naif Al-Mirdas stressed the importance of solving this problem as it negatively affects the general productivity of the country and well-being of its people who are demanding for a solution “today, not tomorrow.” He suggested that non-Kuwaitis found guilty of submitting fake credentials to obtain jobs should be prevented from leaving the country and use them as a means to track down others involved in this unscrupulous act. He advised the minister of higher education not to falter as some highranking officials are holding fake credentials.
The MP asserted this is one of the most affective directives in terms of combating corruption, which will result in positive changes and appointment of qualified manpower. He affirmed the Assembly will remain vigilant “until the law is applied on both the big and small, and the case is closed.”
In addition, MP Mohammed Al- Dalaal said the ministers of education and interior should expose any minister, high official or MP who attempts to derail efforts to refer those involved in the case to the prosecution
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff