Contract cheating services are not tolerated

On 25 January, representatives of the Office met with several ad portals to find solutions for the prevention of contract cheating services in Lithuania. At the meeting, the Office’s Senior Specialist, Dr Eglė Ozolinčiūtė presented the results of the 2021 study on the supply of contract cheating services in Lithuania. She stressed that the true extent of this unethical but also illegal behaviour is difficult to detect but it is necessary for various reasons.

Gintarė Gudauskaitė, the Senior Specialist of the Office, explained in detail the legal aspects of this act and its consequences, presenting the provisions of the Code of Administrative Offences highlighting the unlawfulness of such actions and the penalties in cases of misconduct. The Ombudswoman, Dr Loreta Tauginienė invited for a discussion on what steps participants could take to prevent possible violations of not only academic ethics but also administrative offences.

The meeting discussed possible measures that could be taken by the administrators of ad portals to reduce the provision of such services. Discussions on the various options for action and their limitations were held, broader possibilities for inter-institutional cooperation (e.g., information exchange) were discussed, and the administrators of the ad portals also expressed a wish to monitor other market players with many offers to contract cheating services (e.g., social networking platforms).

We are pleased to see that the first steps taken by skelbiu.lt and alio.lt are already visible. These portals contained warnings to the authors of the ads about the possible administrative liability for offering and procuring contract cheating services. In this way, skelbiu.lt and alio.lt have expressed their support for the Office’s position that the contract cheating services is an intolerable activity.

A successful dialogue has also been launched with the social network Meta (Facebook).