U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Public Perceptions of the Queensland Public Service and Local Governement: Findings From the 2002 Public Attitudes Survey

NCJ Number
Kelly Ede
Date Published
November 2003
40 pages
Based on a 2002 telephone survey of 1,551 Queensland (Australia) residents to determine their attitudes toward the Queensland Police Service, public servants, and local government employees, as well as knowledge of and confidence in the complaints process, this report focuses on attitudes toward Queensland public servants and local government employees, comparing the results with the 1999 survey.
A majority of the respondents in both the 2002 and 1999 surveys perceived that most public service employees were honest and generally behave well; however, almost 90 percent of respondents in each survey period "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that there would always be some degree of corruption in the public service. Overall, respondents also had a favorable view of local government, with the majority believing that council employees were honest and generally behaved well. Only 8 percent of those surveyed in 2002 indicated that they or someone they knew had been affected by public-service employees' misconduct in the last year. Most of the behavior believed to be improper concerned customer service issues. There was a significant decline in the proportion of respondents who had experienced this type of conduct. Regarding local government employee misconduct in the last year, only 6 percent of respondents reported that they or someone they knew had been affected by such misconduct. Approximately two-thirds of those respondents who indicated they had experienced improper behavior by public service employees in the last 12 months indicated that they had felt like complaining, and 58 percent of these respondents actually made or attempted to make an official complaint. regarding local government employees, half of the respondents who indicated they had experienced improper behavior in the last 12 months felt like complaining; and of these, approximately two-thirds actually proceeded to make or attempt to make an official complaint. Approximately 30 percent of respondents reported a lack of confidence that complaints would be properly investigated, and many of those who felt like complaining decided not to do so because they did not believe it would make any difference. The fact that respondents did not report any experience or knowledge of misconduct by public-service and local-government employees may reflect the attention that public-sector organizations have given to integrity issues; however, public service departments and local government should examine the operation and promotion of their complaints procedures in order to make the public aware of their readiness to hear and respond to complaints. 10 tables and 20 figures