Survey of senior civil servants in the UK 2013

Rose, Jonathan and Heywood, Paul (2019). Survey of senior civil servants in the UK 2013. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-851401

Over the past two decades, significant changes have taken place in the UK, China, and Hong Kong in the way government integrity is perceived and managed. In all three jurisdictions, the changing forms and characteristics of corruption have led governments to re-assess the effectiveness of the existing rules and regulations that govern integrity management. In all three countries, the Civil Service Code has been amended to capture new forms of conflict of interest and other integrity issues and to provide public servants with more specific guidance on what is appropriate behaviour and conduct. There has also been great interest in institutional changes and in encouraging more collaboration and co-operation among ‘ethical watchdogs’. This research provides a comparative analysis of how the integrity management framework in the UK, China and Hong Kong has been re-designed. It focuses on why reforms have come about, how they have been implemented, what difficulties they have encountered or given rise to, and to what extent they can provide an effective approach to ensuring integrity in the public sector. The research also looks at mutual dependencies between regulators and the regulated, the relationship among integrity management agencies, and the interplay between global drivers and national-level initiatives.

Data description (abstract)

A quantitative survey of 200 high-ranking UK civil servants conducted between 30 January 2013 and 18 February 2013 via the Internet. The survey is based upon A Comparative Survey of the Public Sector Values of Hong Kong’s Senior Civil Servants, 1994 and 2011 (Brewer, Leung and Scott, 2012) and on the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s Survey of Public Attitudes Towards Conduct in Public Life (2004 – 2011). In regard to respondents, the survey exclusively targeted civil servants at Grade 7 and above. Civil servants at these grades represent the top 38,030 employees, out of a total staff of 463,810, and are considered senior and upper management grade employees (ONS, 2012). The target group thus represents the top 8% of all civil servants in the UK. Permission to conduct the survey was granted by the office of the head of the civil service, which then disseminated the survey to permanent secretaries (very senior civil servants responsible for managing entire divisions), without any formal endorsement. At the insistence of the office of the head of the civil service, individual permanent secretaries were responsible for deciding whether to send the survey to civil servants within their section. As we had no contact with individual permanent secretaries, we are unable to know which permanent secretaries sent out the survey. The sample is therefore closer to an opportunity sample, and thus a response rate cannot be calculated. However, assuming that if any permanent secretaries did not send out the survey their reasoning was not conditional upon the substantive variables of interest here, the nature of the sample is not problematic. Brewer, B., Leung, J. Y., and Scott, I. (2012). A Comparative Survey of the Public Sector Values of Hong Kong's Senior Civil Servants, 1994 and 2011. Department of Public and Social Administration, City University of Hong Kong. ONS (2012) Civil Service Statistics, 2012 [available online]

Data creators:
Creator Name Affiliation ORCID (as URL)
Rose Jonathan University of Nottingham
Heywood Paul University of Nottingham
Sponsors: Economic and Social Research Council, Hong Kong Research Grants Council
Grant reference: ES/I028153/1-Bilateral
Topic classification: Politics
Keywords: civil service, integrity, political corruption, perception
Project title: Re-designing the Integrity Management Framework in the British, Chinese and Hong Kong Public Services
Grant holders: Paul Heywood, Ian Scott, Ting Gong
Project dates:
3 October 201128 February 2014
Date published: 23 Sep 2014 12:15
Last modified: 19 Nov 2019 12:15

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