Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is overseeing a troika-imposed overhaul of the civil service, on Thursday issued a circular to all ministries and state bodies calling for an intensification of checks aimed at weeding out public sector employees who were hired on the basis of forged degree certificates or other fake qualifications.
The circular calls on all state services to provide the ministry’s internal audit service with details about their employees’ professional qualifications within the next four weeks.
The inspection concerns all civil servants but will start with permanent staff at ministries and state bodies, the circular said.
Mitsotakis said the initiative was an attempt to “fix chronic injustices” and boost the credibility of Greece’s public administration. “We are putting an end to a state of impunity while implementing procedures and structures that will prevent these unacceptable phenomena from happening again in the future,” he said.
According to the circular, state bodies should immediately dismiss employees found to have been hired on the basis of forged certificates. The officials who recruited such employees will face disciplinary action. Also, employees who try to tender their resignation during the course of the inspection will also face disciplinary action, the circular said.
In a related development on Thursday, teachers protesting plans for mass layoffs in the civil service occupied Mitsotakis’s political office in central Athens for several hours.