About our survey

Cleanest public sector in the world: Keeping fraud at bay.

The survey and data analysis were carried out by PwC, on behalf of the Auditor-General. PwC’s full report on the research, including data analysis, is available on our website (www.oag.govt.nz).

For the survey, we used a complex sample structure because we wanted to be able to get insight from staff at different organisational levels and to be able to provide results by sectors within the public sector to get the best insight about incidents and current practices.

Using a tiered selection method sample, we approached chief executives of certain public entities within sector groups, asking that person to provide contact details for staff at different levels of the organisation as follows:

  • Tier 1: All entities in the following sectors were asked to participate – Government Departments; Crown Entities; Local Authorities; Energy Companies; State Owned Enterprises; Ports; Airports; Rural Education Activities Programmes; Licensing and Community Trusts; Māori Trust Boards; Fish and Game Councils.
  • Tier 2: Statistically representative samples were sought from each of the following sectors – Schools; Council-Controlled Organisations and Council-Controlled Trading Organisations; and Central Government – Other.
  • Tier 3: A general sample was sought from Local Government Other and Subsidiaries.

We then sought participation from the individual contacts provided using an online fraud awareness survey, which was made available by email between 14 February and 3 June 2011. The survey sample comprised 1968 valid email addresses across the three tiers set out above. The number of respondents who completed the survey was 1472.

Schools account for about one-third (32.7%) of responses, followed by Local Authorities (11.7%) and Government Departments or Subsidiaries (10.2%).

The scope of the survey included all of the following categories of dishonest acts and included the following definitions:

  • Fraud – is an intentional and dishonest act involving deception or a misrepresentation, to obtain or potentially obtain an advantage for themselves or any other person (for example, falsifying timesheets, supplying false credentials, false invoicing, making false entries in business records).
  • Theft – to dishonestly and without claim of right, take or deal with any property with intent to deprive any owner permanently of the property or interest in it (for example, theft of IP, theft of company property).
  • Corruption – the abuse of entrusted power for private gain, (for example, soliciting or receiving gifts or other gratuities to perform part of an official function, or omit to perform an official duty).
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