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An independent community survey shows that Tasmanians expect responsible business conduct from their public sector organisations, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Integrity Commission, Richard Bingham.

“We’re in a new era of accountability and our community has every right to expect ethical practices and behaviour in the public sector,” he said.

In the latest survey, conducted by an independent research company last month, the majority of those surveyed (59%) indicated that since the establishment of the Integrity Commission in 2010 the Commission had increased the level of accountability across the public sector, which includes the State agencies, local government and government businesses.

There was also an increase in those who responded that there was now more attention on ethical behaviour in the public sector – 72% compared with 61% in a similar survey conducted in 2015.

“Our strong misconduct prevention program, combined with complaint handling and investigations activities, is increasingly having an impact,” Mr Bingham said.

Almost all respondents around the State (93%) agreed that Tasmania needs an Integrity Commission and a greater number were aware of the Commission’s role in relation to the honesty and integrity of the public sector (82% compared with 73% in 2015).

The majority of respondents (89%) had the view that Tasmania’s public sector was as vulnerable to unethical behaviour as the public sector elsewhere in Australia and that there would always be some dishonesty, unethical behaviour and corruption in Tasmania (86%).  Encouragingly, most respondents (84%) were of the view that the majority of people in Tasmania’s public sector were honest.

Not all the survey results were positive. Of concern is that around two thirds of respondents (65%) agreed that people who disclose corruption or unethical behaviour are likely to suffer because of speaking up.

Additionally around one half of respondents (49%) did not have confidence that people in the Tasmanian public sector would be caught doing something dishonest or unethical.

“It is clear that there is work to be done to support the Tasmanian public sector in building confidence in their systems and processes for identifying misconduct risks, receiving complaints and then managing those complaints of misconduct and unethical behaviour appropriately,” Mr Bingham said.

“As a result, we will bring greater focus to these aspects of capacity building within the public sector, including how to support complainants in the process,” Mr Bingham said.

A total of 600 adults were interviewed by phone for the survey which was commissioned by the Integrity Commission. Download the research report (PDF, 1.7 MB).

Media contacts:

Richard Bingham
Chief Executive Officer
1300 720 289

Teresa Banman
Manager Misconduct Prevention, Education and Research
1300 720 289