The culture of an agency is reflected in the attitudes and behaviour of the people working in it. That culture has an impact on the way services are delivered. Setting and promoting standards will be effective only if there is an embedded commitment to "the way we do things around here".
The Survey lists types of misconduct - some are unsocial and others are criminal. Criminal conduct will affect the public's perceptions of corruption. These perceptions, indexed annually by Transparency International 7 , are used in a range of international comparisons 8 .
Findings More than one-quarter (29%) of State servants say they have seen breaches of standards over the last 12 months. However, when they were shown a list of types of possible misconduct, 65% of respondents acknowledge observing at least one instance of misconduct in the last year.
The only statistically significant change in the data between 2007 and 2010 relates to the decrease in observed sexual harassment.
Observation of corrupt behaviour remains low; there is little observed theft, alteration and falsification of records, misuse of information or acceptance of inappropriate payments, perks, and gifts.
Breaches observed most frequently include abusive or intimidating behaviour and lying to colleagues. This reflects another recent research finding that workplace bullying in New Zealand is high by international standards, particularly in the education and health sectors 9 . Misconduct of this kind is reported more frequently by staff in agencies involved in a merger or a restructuring in the last two years (41%) than by State servants who say their agency has not undergone these changes (31%).
There has been a statistically significant reduction in the number of State servants observing sexual harassment, although the extent of other misconduct is largely unchanged from 2007.
There is also a statistically significant change in the number of State servants who report observed misconduct to management (63% compared with 55% in 2007). Where misconduct occurs, a report is more likely to be made by staff who are aware of the integrity training provided by their organisation than by those not familiar with it (68% compared with 57%). Managers are more likely to report misconduct than non-managers.
8 These include: World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Survey, Worldwide Governance Indicators, Index of Economic Freedom, and the Global Peace Index.
9 Understanding Stress and Bullying in New Zealand workplaces, Professor Tim Bentley et al, Massey University, 2009,