The State Services Commission says public confidence in the state sector has been damaged by the former head of the Immigration Service falsifying her qualifications when applying for senior government jobs.
Mary Anne Thompson admitted in the Wellington District Court on Wednesday that she falsely claimed to have a PhD from the London School of Economics.
State Services Commissioner Ian Rennie says Thompson's offending jeopardised the trustworthiness of public servants in the eyes of the public.
State employers were ordered to check the qualifications of job applicants more carefully in the wake of the incident.
Thompson will be sentenced in March.
Judge Bruce Davidson told the hearing on Wednesday that she is likely to be sentenced to community work and a fine of $10,000.