“60% of public sector finance professionals have come under pressure to act unethically at least once in their career”

“Almost 60% of public sector finance professionals have come under pressure to act unethically at least once in their career, a CIPFA survey has found.

The institute surveyed members and other public sector accountants about ethical matters over the summer.

The results, revealed exclusively in PF, found that 57% of the 487 respondents said they had been put under pressure or felt under pressure to act in a professionally unethical way.

Of those who felt under pressure, 8% said they had fully carried out an unethical action, and 28% had done so partially.

The three most commonly cited unethical actions were supporting excessively optimistic budgets and business cases, dodging policies, standing orders and other regulations, and unreasonably downplaying risks.

Line managers and chief finance officers, chief executives and other directors were the two most commonly cited source of pressure in all sectors.

For respondents in local government, the council’s political leadership provided a third source of pressure, while those in the NHS cited pressure from regulators. …”

Source: CIPFA