7 May 2012

High rates of fraud in councils and tertiary institutions

12:09 pm on 7 May 2012

A survey by the Office of the Auditor-General indicates that councils and tertiary institutions have higher rates of fraud than other parts of the public sector.

Some 38% of respondents in councils and 37% in polytechnics and universities said they were aware of a case of fraud in their institution within the last two years - compared to a public sector average of less than a quarter.

Across the entire public sector, theft of cash was the most common form of fraud (21% of known frauds) and 76% of respondents estimated the most recent fraud in their organistion involved less than $10,000.

Most survey respondents said the most recent fraud occured because the perpetrator did not think they would get caught (40%) or because internal controls were ignored or over-ridden (27%).

The Auditor-General's report says New Zealand has a clean image when it comes to fraud, but cannot be complacent.