Tuesday, September 29, 2020

CIPS exams postponed following British Council security breach

An employee of the British Council and a student customer of his were nabbed by the police in connection with leaked examination papers.

As a result, the examinations were postponed.

The postponement came at great inconvenience to some students from out of town who had booked hotel accommodation in Gaborone for the period of time that they would have been writing the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) examinations.

CIPS is a United Kingdom-based organisation whose training and formalised assessment leads to internationally recognised certification.

Sunday Standard’s information is that the papers were selling for P500 a piece. One of the buyers was caught in Mochudi and the investigations led to the supplier, a British Council employee.

The employee’s main undoing was marketing his hot commodity to the wrong student who immediately tipped off the police.

The examinations were to have started on May 18 and ended on May 22 but the leakage made that impossible. CIPS now says that they could take place in six to eight weeks.

Central Police Station Commander, Superintendent Kevin Mookodi, says that they are no longer involved in the case as the British Council management has indicated that it would handle the matter ‘administratively.’
The British Council, which is in the Main Mall in Gaborone, falls under Mookodi’s policing district.

CIPS wants to make it clear that it had nothing to do with what it describes on its website as ‘a breach of integrity.’
The site quotes Carole Bain, the director of operations, as saying: “We acted as quickly as we could so the hard work of our students in Botswana didn’t go to waste. The breach did not involve CIPS operations but the problem occurred in Botswana itself. This kind of breach is very unusual for us. We are confident that it has been contained.”

It was not possible to ascertain whether this breach has been contained because at press time (Friday) the offices of the British Council were closed for a UK holiday.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.