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Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Office of Personnel Management today hosted a seminar during which approximately 200 hiring and program managers were educated on techniques they can use to identify bogus academic degrees presented by individuals to gain employment or promotion, and which have the potential to hinder public safety.
OPM Director Kay Coles James called today's seminar an "important meeting for frontline officials" whose decisions on personnel affect all Americans, as well as the legitimacy of the federal civil service. The seminar will be repeated on May 7 for another 200 individuals.
"Following today's seminar, human resource professionals and program managers will be better prepared to identify the misrepresentation of academic credentials, specifically the presentation of bogus degrees issued through diploma mills by those who, for self gain, would attempt to perpetrate a hoax or fraud upon the American public," said James. "Out of respect and admiration for our nation's honest and hard-working federal civil servants, the Bush Administration is committed to weeding-out those who would misrepresent themselves and their credentials in ways that put the nation's health and security in jeopardy."
A second seminar, to be held May 7, has been scheduled to satisfy the response of government officials who understand the importance of this initiative to ensure American citizens receive quality, professional services for their tax dollars. OPM hosted similar seminars last August following disclosure of an official who had obtained a number of degrees from an established diploma mill. The seminars included presentations by a former FBI agent and a leading expert on diploma mills.
In a memorandum issued in July 2003, James reminded agency heads of the need to report to OPM all actions taken against employees who use bogus degrees to misrepresent their credentials. James also cited the Guidance for Agencies Concerning Bogus Degree Claims, an OPM manual, as a source of assistance. Since the mid 1980s, OPM has worked with federal agencies and the law enforcement community to identify businesses and individuals who knowingly misrepresent their academic programs or credentials.
The following is a list of federal agencies and departments represented at today's seminar:Department of AgricultureDepartment of ArmyDepartment of CommerceDepartment of DefenseDepartment of Health and Human ServicesDepartment of Homeland SecurityDepartment of Housing and Urban DevelopmentDepartment of InteriorDepartment of JusticeDepartment of LaborDepartment of NavyDepartment of StateDepartment of TransportationDepartment of TreasuryDepartment of Veterans AffairsAgency for International DevelopmentArmed Forces Retirement HomeBroadcasting Board of GovernorsCentral Intelligence AgencyCommodity Future Trading CommissionEnvironmental Protection AgencyEqual Employment Opportunity CommissionExecutive Office of the PresidentExport-Import Bank of the United StatesFederal Deposit Insurance CorporationFederal Energy Regulatory CommissionFederal Reserve BoardFederal Trade CommissionGeneral Services AdministrationInternational Trade CommissionNational Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNational Credit Union AdministrationNational Gallery of ArtNational Labor Relations BoardNational Science FoundationNational Security AgencyNational Transportation Safety BoardNuclear Regulatory CommissionOffice of Government EthicsOffice of Management and BudgetOffice of Personnel ManagementSmithsonian Institution
Many agencies that sent representatives to today's diploma mill seminar - as well as agencies not listed above - will send representatives to the May 7 seminar.
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.