Crackdown on forged certificates intensifies

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KUWAIT CITY, May 26: A government source said examining employee certificates is a top priority, with a timetable for completion expected in the coming days, reports Al-Qabas daily. The source revealed that higher directives have been issued to identify employees who refuse to submit their certificates, and legal measures will be taken against them. The examination and audit process will be accelerated, and employees found to have forged their certificates will be referred to the Public Prosecution.

Three charges await those involved in certificate forgery: seizing public funds, forgery, and fraud to obtain unlawful gains and privileges. The penalty for such offenses can be up to seven years in prison, along with the return of double the salaries and bonuses obtained. The source noted that hundreds of employees who refused to submit their certificates have requested retirement, raising suspicions against them. Their files and certificates will be scrutinized, and legal action will be taken against those suspected of fraud, even if they have been employed for years. Some employees have claimed their certificates are with the hiring authority since their initial appointment. However, this excuse will not be accepted.

All employees are required to submit their certificates automatically to avoid administrative procedures, which may include salary suspension and final warnings. Cultural offices are intensifying communication with foreign universities to audit certificates issued abroad. The government will implement other methods to detect forged certificates, searching archives for those who abstain from submitting their documents. Legal penalties will be studied for those who fail to comply with the submission requirement, as submitting a forged document is a serious offense.

Government agencies are urging employees to upload their certificates to the automated systems for examination. Any incorrect certificates will not be tolerated, and all legal measures will be taken in coordination with the Civil Service Commission. The certificate examination process will extend beyond the government sector to include private sector employees. The Public Authority for Manpower has already begun requiring non-Kuwaiti employees to attach their academic certificates and relevant validations for work and residence permit renewals. The Ministry of Higher Education and the Civil Service Commission will bear the greatest burden of ensuring certificate authenticity, especially those issued outside the country.

Modern certificates, especially those issued after 2018, are easier to examine due to new measures like barcodes on equivalency documents. The source stated that having a student’s record with the cultural office from the beginning of their studies will facilitate the examination process for newly issued certificates. Local certificates will also be examined to ensure authenticity. All administrative procedures are being carried out in cooperation with the relevant authorities. The following are the five continuous steps
■ Urging employees to raise certificates
■ Verifying the certificates of all employees
■ Working to resolve the file once and for all
■ Punishing anyone proven to be involved in forging a certificate
■ Applying the law to everyone without tolerance The following are the ongoing procedures
■ Accelerating the examination and audit mechanism
■ Identify those who abstain from submitting their certificates
■ Giving them final warnings
■ Referring counterfeiters to the relevant authorities

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