The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has suggested that government authorities institute a system of appointing and promoting employees only after thorough verification and cross-checking of academic credentials and other documents.

In its 31st annual report recently submitted to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the anti-graft body warned that the tendency of submitting fake academic credentials, teaching licence and citizenship certificate for the purpose of joining government service, getting promotion and receiving government facilities was on the rise.

The CIAA said that the highest cases of fake academic certificates involved schoolteachers and police personnel.

Similarly, health workers, technical employees, administrative employees of local levels and other employees in civil service are also among persons joining government service and enjoying promotion and other facilities by submitting fake documents. It urged the authorities concerned to verify the authenticity of academic credentials submitted for appointment and promotion.

As per the CIAA, it dealt with a total of 22,625 complaints in the fiscal year 2020-21. Of them, 5.61 per cent of complaints were related to fake educational certificates. However, it managed to file only three charge-sheets related to fake credentials in 2020-21 in the Special Court due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"CIAA employees could not travel to India to verify educational certificates amid the surge of COV- ID-19, which resulted in just three cases being filed," it said. Most of the fake educational certificates bear the name of Indian universities and colleges.

In 2019-20, the CIAA had filed 85 charge-sheets related to fake credentials in the court.

The CIAA warned that appointing, promoting and providing facilities to any person on the basis of bogus or forged certificate of academic qualification and other documents had badly affected performance and service delivery in offices. It was also detrimental to the morale of qualified and capable employees. The anti-graft body said it attached high priority to the investigation of suspicious academic credentials of government employees to ensure a positive impact on the qualification system and performance of the concerned offices.

The CIAA also said the concerned authorities had implemented only a few recommendations given by the CIAA last year.

Making commitment to implement the recommendation in haste without adequate preparation, lack of coordination among government bodies, lack of reward and punishment, delay in implementation of suggestions, lack of effective regulation and strategic plan in the fight against corruption are stumbling blocks to honesty, integrity and good moral conduct in government offices, it warned.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 6, 2021 of The Himalayan Times.