PSC Chair Justice Ralph Ochan

The Public Service Commission has expressed concern over the increased fake academic documents applicants are using to apply for government jobs.

The concerns were raised by Ralph Ochan, the Chairperson of Public Service Commission, while handing over the 2016/2017 annual report to the Speaker of Parliament yesterday.

“The Commission continued to grapple with challenges associated with applicants who presented forged documents in order to secure jobs in the Public Service,” Mr. Ochan, a former High Court Judge, said.

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As a result, Mr Ochan the Commission was forced to work closely with the awarding institutions to verify the documents and then with the police to apprehend and investigate the culprits.

The Commission Chairperson also noted that modalities are being worked upon with the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) to reduce on the verification costs.

“Verification of the academic documents was done at a cost which aggravated the financial problems of the Commission further. We are in the process of negotiating with UNEB in order to come to a mutual agreement on modalities for cutting down the verification costs,” Ochan said, adding that the Commission has now asked for increased funding of this activity with Shs50 million being planned to carry out the exercise.

The Commission painted a grim picture on the high unemployment rate in Uganda citing an example of the huge numbers of candidates applying for jobs in the Public Service without a corresponding increase in job opportunities.

Ochan pointed out the Graduated Recruitment Exercise for 2016/2017, where 10,057 applicants sent in their applications against 154 vacancies; representing a vacancy applicant ratio of 1:65.

However, the Commission is also battling with practices like bribery, awarding of marks, coaching  candidates, conflict of interest, coercion and political interference that have become the order of the day, as reported from District Service Commissions, Mr Ochan added.