Appendix: About our fraud survey

Fraud awareness, prevention, and detection in the public sector.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) carried out the survey and data analysis on behalf of the Auditor-General. PwC's full report on the research, including data analysis, and individual reports by type of entity31, are available on our website ( The survey was conducted from 14 February to 3 June 2011. There were 1472 respondents, with a response rate of 74%.

Survey terms

In our survey, we used the following definitions:

  • fraud means an intentional and dishonest act involving deception or misrepresentation by a person, to obtain or potentially obtain an advantage for themselves or any other person;
  • theft means to dishonestly, and without claim or right, take or deal with any property with intent to deprive any owner permanently of the property or interest in it; and
  • corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain (such as soliciting or receiving gifts or other gratuities to perform an official duty or omit to perform an official duty).

Survey methodology

For the survey, we used a complex sample structure to get insight from staff at different organisational levels and to be able to provide results by sector.

The three sectors were central government entities (45% of respondents), local government entities (22.3% of respondents), and schools (32.7% of respondents).

The types of public entity in the central government sector included:

  • autonomous Crown entities;
  • central government (other);32
  • Crown agents or companies;
  • Crown research institutes;
  • district health boards;
  • government departments;
  • independent Crown entities;
  • Māori Trust Boards;
  • rural education activities programmes;
  • State-owned enterprises; and
  • tertiary education institutions.

The types of public entity in the local government sector included:

  • airport companies;
  • council-controlled organisations and council-controlled trading organisations;
  • electricity lines businesses;
  • fish and game councils;
  • licensing trusts and community trusts;
  • local authorities;
  • local government (other);33 and
  • port companies.

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

  • Tier 1: We asked all entities in the following sectors to participate – government departments, Crown entities, local authorities, energy companies, State-owned enterprises, port companies, airport companies, rural education activities programmes, licensing and community trusts, Māori trust boards, and fish and game councils.
  • Tier 2: We sought statistically representative samples from each of the following sectors – schools, council-controlled organisations and council-controlled trading organisations, local government - other, and central government – other.

We then sought participation from the individual contacts provided using an online survey.

31: We have issued nine reports about the survey results for the following types of entities: government departments; autonomous Crown entities, central government (other), Crown agents or companies, Crown research institutes, and independent Crown entities; district health boards; tertiary education institutions; State-owned enterprises; local authorities; airport companies, port companies, electricity lines businesses, local government (other), and council-controlled organisations; licensing and community trusts; and schools.

32: Central government (other) includes a variety of entities in central government that do not fit into the other entity types. It includes Air New Zealand, National Provident Fund, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Government Superannuation Fund, and AMI Insurance Limited (and the subsidiaries belonging to these entities). It also includes smaller entities such as producer boards, patriotic and canteen funds, and other miscellaneous entities (mainly trusts). Entities that are listed in Schedule 4 of the Public Finance Act 1989 are also included.

33: Local government (other) includes council-controlled organisations that are exempted under section 7 of the Local Government Act 2002 and "miscellaneous" entities (which are mainly trusts that are public entities under the Public Audit Act 2001).

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