Ministry of Manpower
(MOM) is taking a hard-nosed approach to employees who provide fraudulent educational documents.
In a blog entry yesterday, new Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say
reiterated the process MOM takes in dealing with forged degrees and those from degree mills in Employment Pass and S Pass applications.
In a survey
released last week, it was found that 20% of overall CV embellishments in the APAC region related to education, in three common areas: graduation dates with a variance of more than six months; graduation dates with a variance of less than six months; as well as unconfirmed or unverifiable degrees.
Lim’s entry included the infographic below, which stated that those who provide forged educational documents will be barred for life from working in Singapore.
Forged education documents were defined as fraudulent qualifications obtained without the person actually sitting the course of study, which was punishable by a $20,000 fine, up to two years’ imprisonment and a life ban from working in Singapore.
He defined degree mill qualifications as those from unaccredited institutions that may not ensure its students are properly qualified.
Degree mills would be disregarded and more stringent criteria in terms of salary and experience, the blog said.
His blog post come hot on the heels of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) being criticised for the hiring of Nisha Padmanbhan - who was employed on the basis of her Bachelor’s degree from University of Mumbai.
She also has a Master’s degree from Southern Pacific University, which has been slammed as a “fake” and a “diploma mill”.
The IDA said in a statement that did not it did not take the Master’s degree into account when hiring her.
Lim’s blog post was prompted by Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam’s question in Parliament about the checks and balances conducted when processing S Pass and Employment Pass applications.
In a written answer to Parliament, Lim said MOM conducts internal database checks as well as external checks through third party screening agencies and verifications with educational institutions.
Employers have the primary responsibility to ensure the authenticity and quality of the academic qualifications of the foreigners they wish to hire, he noted.