National

Bullying, nepotism rife in SA govt sector

By AAP Newswire

Bullying, nepotism, harassment and favouritism are widespread across the South Australian public service, a new survey has found.

The state's Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Bruce Lander, who conducted the public integrity survey, says it produced numerous stories of fear and anxiety around the reporting of inappropriate conduct.

"Survey participants from every agency spoke of perceived incidents of bullying and harassment, and nepotism and favouritism," Mr Lander said on Tuesday.

"Some responses strongly emphasised the toll those behaviours have had on the wellbeing of staff."

The survey took responses from more than 2000 employees across the public sector workforce.

More than 350 of those across every government agency reported issues with bullying or harassment.

"The bullying, nepotism and favouritism within this organisation is at a level I never expected to experience," one person said.

"It really has been a very disappointing journey."

Another said mates of managers "who are useless" are put into senior positions where they cannot do the work.

"This makes the whole place a joke," the worker said.

Mr Lander's report also highlighted a number of other issues including the defrauding of on-call allowances, people being paid for work they never performed, the falsifying of information, the inappropriate destruction of documents and a failure to meet performance standards.

Mr Lander said the stories from the survey were "sobering and in many instances shocking".

"Of course a survey does not prove the truth of the comments made but does provide evidence of the perceptions of those who have participated," he said.

"Nonetheless, the perceptions exist and must be considered carefully."