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Government exam cancelled after leak.


Elias Hazou

A GOVERNMENT examination for entry into the civil service has been cancelled after a police investigation concluded that the contents had been leaked to the candidates.

According to the findings of the police probe, a staff member of a company charged with photocopying the exam papers was "responsible for the leak."

The police file has been sent to the Attorney-general's office. It is not clear whether the person in question is suspected of negligence or of deliberate fraud; the latter would constitute a criminal offence.

A statement released yesterday by the relevant Education Ministry committee said the examination was declared null and void and would be repeated at a later date.

The committee expressed its grief over the "irresponsibility" of the photocopying company, and said it regretted any inconvenience caused to the candidates.

As a result of the incident, the committee said, in the future tighter measures would be taken with the police to ensure exam contents are kept secret at "every stage of the process."

The examination in question was held in Limassol on 25 September. The leak emerged when, shortly before the exam got underway, one of the candidates confided to another that she knew the topic of the essay for the English-language test.

The second candidate then informed the invigilator, who confirmed the information after opening the sealed envelope. The invigilator then contacted the police.

However the police investigation has since revealed that other parts of the exams were leaked. In addition to the English-language essay, police found that the Greek-language essay topic, as well as some of the questions in the General Knowledge test, were also known to the examinees beforehand.

The exam in question was part of requirements for admission to the civil service for positions with a pay grade of up to A7 (e1/416,600 per annum).

When the incident was first reported in the media, the head of the relevant Ministry of Education department conceded that the exam system as a whole suffered from security vulnerabilities due to the large number of people who come in contact with the exam papers.

Copyright Cyprus Mail 2009

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Oct 15, 2010
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