The Audit Office has uncovered another scandal at the Youth Board involving dodgy hiring practices that apparently were tailor-made to suit certain individuals, it was reported on Monday.

According to daily Politis, the auditor-general discovered the shenanigans at the Youth Board – a semi-governmental organisation – as a follow-up to his probe into Volunteerism Commissioner Yiannakis Yiannaki, who now faces trial on charges of falsifying his academic qualifications. Yiannaki had the status of full-time employee at the Youth Board, where he had filed his resume on getting hired.

In brief, the Audit Office found that the Youth Board decided in December 2007 to hire on a full-time basis twelve persons who up until then worked there as either contract workers or part-timers.

The twelve were officially hired as full-time employees in January 2008 – at around the same time as Yiannaki got the job. But the gaping flaw was that the Youth Board, in breach of regulations, had not published a notice of vacancies for any of the positions.

The Youth Board later tried to justify this, arguing that the rules allow for not publishing a vacancy notice where a full-time position is to be filled temporarily. However, in retrospect, this loophole did not apply here.

Worse, the Audit Office found that the hirees did not take a written exam – again in violation of the regulations. A full six years later, some of them did take an exam – but this was too late, as the regs provide for sitting the exam at the most two years after being appointed.

In addition, five of these individuals were high-school graduates with a grade point average of 14 out of 20 – raising questions as to whether they were the most qualified for the job.

Digging up the paper trail, the auditor-general also discovered that the job description for one of the two positions offered at the time was tinkered with in order to suit two specific individuals.

Specifically, the job description was amended to include as acceptable qualifications, university degrees in civil engineering and occupational therapy. These degrees happened to be held by the two individuals in question.

In another case, benefiting one person in particular, the job description was amended to include knowledge of the French language as an acceptable qualification. Previously, the language requirements concerned Greek and English. The person benefiting had a degree from a French university.

In correspondence with the Audit Office, a legal consultant for the Youth Board conceded that the rules had been broken. The consultant said that revoking these hires would be a possible remedy.

Despite this advice, the Youth Board never revoked the hires.