Appendix 2: About the survey

Summary of our fraud survey results for local authorities.

The survey and data analysis were carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), on behalf of the Auditor-General. Using an online survey, PwC sought participation from public sector employees between 14 February and 3 June 2011.

The survey was sent to nearly 2000 individuals in 20 sectors. The survey response rate of 74% places the results among the most reliable information sources about perceptions and practices in detecting and preventing fraud in the public sector.

We sought responses from people in three different "levels" (where applicable) within an entity. We asked for responses from the top level of management (for example, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director or Principal), the next level of management (for example, members of the senior executive/leadership team or their equivalent), and two other employees chosen at random from within the entity (for example, administration or support service employees or operational staff).

Surveying respondents from a range of levels within an entity enabled us to test the extent to which attitudes and knowledge about fraud vary. The same set of questions was sent to all respondents. Respondents answered different numbers of questions, based on their responses as they progressed through the survey.

The questions aimed to measure respondents' awareness of their entity's fraud policies and procedures. We also wanted to gain a better understanding of entities' frameworks for controlling fraud.