Rampant corrupt behaviour has been witnessed within the public service in one Australian state.
A disturbing number of public servants are aware of corruption occurring in Queensland’s public service, according to a new report from the watchdog.
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) surveyed 14,000 workers to provide a snapshot of integrity within state government departments.
Half said they were aware of corruption taking place in their units, while more than one in five public servants said they had witnessed colleagues interfering with recruitment processes to ensure their favoured applicants were selected.
A similar number of respondents witnessed workmates recruit someone they had a personal or business association with and not declare a conflict of interest.
About 20 per cent observed colleagues deliberately making false entries on their timesheets and committing fraud by claiming various entitlements, while more than 1000 public servants knew of contracts between the government and a company owned by a relative or associate of a department employee.
The corruption watchdog said it was buoyed by the large number of respondents who said they would report disturbing behaviour. More than 70 per cent said more should be done to protect people who reported corruption.
“Although there is a corresponding high level of awareness about these behaviours, these findings should serve as a reminder to public service departments to consider the adequacy of their existing internal controls and ensure there is sufficient focus on detecting and preventing these corruption risks,” the report found.
Earlier in the year, the CCC dropped an investigation into the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority after reports from The Courier-Mail revealed about one in 10 of the 166 employees at the government organisation were related.
In two cases, three members of the same immediate family were employed by the department.