HireRight Press Releases

German Defence Minister Resigns Over Allegations Of Plagiarism In His PhD Thesis

London, 01 March 2011. Germany’s defence minister Karl‐Theodor zu Guttenberg has resigned after admitting to plagiarising parts of his PhD thesis.

Last week, the University of Bayreuth stripped Guttenberg of his doctorate after he admitted (albeit inadvertently) copying substantially from other sources. Mr Guttenberg, widely tipped to be a future German chancellor, today resigned from his position after 2 weeks of political and media pressure made his position untenable.

Alexandra Kelly, MD and founder of Powerchex and also MD of HireRight’s pre‐ employment screening operations in EMEA said:

“This example demonstrates that status or seniority does not necessarily indicate integrity, and this is especially true when it comes to claims made on a CV. Because we screen job candidates for companies across the financial services, we discover hundreds of embellishments and falsifications made on CVs and job applications every single day, ranging from the relatively minor to the sublimely ridiculous.

“Many organisations still do not properly appreciate all the risks of failing to properly check their prospective employees” Kelly continues. “Only by conducting thorough and relevant background checks before the individual starts in their new role can employers seek to mitigate the various types of risk involved, and these should include interviews with the candidate’s previous managers, to get an idea of their integrity and performance.

“High‐profile cases such as this underline the need to ascertain your new employees’ integrity and character before they enter your organisation,” concludes Kelly. “It is not simply a prudent business practice, but an absolute requirement for virtually every company.”

About Powerchex
Powerchex is the UK’s premier pre‐employment screening firm for financial institutions. Based in the City of London, Powerchex checks the background, employment history, criminal records and professional qualifications of applicants on behalf of financial institutions. It sets the industry benchmark of 5 days for a background check. www.powerchex.co.uk.