Australian Public Servants See Uptick in Corruption

 Perceived corruption in the public service may have hampered Australia's GDP by as much as US$ 5.69 billion, or 4%, since 2012, estimates a study released on Wednesday by The Australia Institute, one of the country’s major think tanks.

australiandollarThe Australian economy is hurt by corruption in the public service (Photo: Quince Media, CC0)This assessment came just as the Australian Public Service Commission released the results of their end-of-year survey, showing that 5% of public servants in the country have witnessed their colleagues acting in a corrupt manner. Of those respondents, 64% reported that they had witnessed cronyism and 26% said they had witnessed nepotism in the workplace.

Anthony Whealy, a former New South Wales supreme court judge and the chair of Transparency International Australia, said that the increase in reports of corruption was significant. A Guardian article on Tuesday explained that only 2.6% of public servants reported witnessing corruption in the 2013-14 survey and 3.6% of respondents in the survey from 2014-15.  Australia ranked seventh in Transparency International's index in 2012, but fell to 13th in 2016.

In September of last year, a parliamentary committee voted not to establish a federal anti-corruption commision, according to the Australia Broadcasting Corporation, but a report released last month by the Centre for Policy Development found most Australian voters in favor of such a measure.

Australia Institute research director Rod Campbell said in a statement that corruption hurts Australia’s economy, explaining that it increases business costs and worsens inequality.