KARACHI: The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has decided to verify the academic degrees of its employees of grade 16 and above within the next two months.
In a meeting held on Monday under KWSB managing director Hashim Raza Zaidi, the decision was taken in order to remove employees holding fake degrees. Earlier this year, the water board had also run a campaign to root out ghost employees.
Talking about the verification process, a KWSB spokesperson said that it would be carried out across the board and not in any specific department. "The government has instructed all the departments to verify the documents of their employees," he explained.
However, a KWSB official, requesting anonymity, claimed that the board hired employees without proper verification and documentation, adding that many of them had been employed on the basis of political influence.
Imran Chishti, the examinations controller at the Board of Intermediate Education, Karachi (BIEK), said that if the KWSB sent them the educational documents of its employees for verification, they will verify them as top priority. "It will take us some days to verify the degrees but I can assure you that we will play a positive role in this."
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Board of Secondary Education, Karachi, Anwar Zai, offered to set up a special desk for the verification of the degrees. "The issue is not just about verifying degrees, it is administrative and pertains to the working of a very important department," he said.
A BIEK official, requesting anonymity, told The Express Tribune that the step is being taken to avoid any action by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The KSWB spokesperson, however, refuted this, saying that the NAB and FIA were only working to end corruption while the degree verification programme was KWSB's own initiative.
The NAB Sindh spokesperson, Qudsiya Qadri said that while the bureau had already received complaints about the KWSB, they lacked adequate proof. "We only take action on a complaint when substantial evidence is submitted," she explained, adding that NAB had a separate wing for financial investigation as well as a complaint cell where it also received complaints related to the health and education sectors.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2015.