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Australian local government corruption and misconduct

Aquinas John Purcell (CPA Australia)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 31 December 2015




This paper aims to focus on corruption and misconduct evidenced from local government investigation reports in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.


A corruption and misconduct taxonomy was developed and the audit committee’s role was empirically tested.


The empirical findings exhibited low support for audit committees overseeing corruption and misconduct allegations. The respondents generally considered that the chief executive was the appropriate person to manage investigations.

Practical implications

The findings from the local government investigations and the empirical research emphasises the significance of culture and ethical practices to mitigate against corruption and misconduct. A culture of zero tolerance of corruption and misconduct was one of the best ways of a council demonstrating its integrity.


This paper offers a local government perspective on the behavioural factors which provide the organisational conditions for corruption and misconduct to become the norm.



Purcell, A.J. (2015), "Australian local government corruption and misconduct", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 102-118.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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