Satisfaction and Trust in the State Services ('drivers' survey)

posted Feb 7, 2011, 3:01 PM by Jess Maher

http://www.ssc.govt.nz/display/document.asp?DocID=6223

A report prepared for the State Services Commission by Colmar Brunton, May 2007, on the results of a survey, known as the Drivers Survey. The Executive Summary to the report is published below.


See also: Media statement from Iain Rennie, Deputy State Services Commissioner, and PowerPoint presentation, attached above.


Key findings related to perceptions of trust are as follows:

  • More than half (54%) of New Zealanders express trust in the public service (rating this as six or more on a ten point scale where 1 means they do not trust it at all and 10 means they trust it completely). A further 22% are neutral about their perceived trust in the public service (rating of five out of 10) and 23% are negative (rating of one to four out of 10).
  • Overall, New Zealanders express highest perceived trust in the public service for:
    • providing services that meet their needs (56% agree), and
    • confidence that public servants do a good job (55% agree)
  • New Zealanders hold the most negative perceptions in relation to:
    • the public service admitting responsibility when it makes mistakes (52% disagree)
    • the public service learns from the mistakes it makes (42% disagree)
  • Perceived trust in the public service is influenced by strong negative associations gained from family, friends and media coverage (72% agree there is a lot of negative coverage about public services in the media, and 39% disagree that their friends and families say positive things about the public service).

Actual experience can be more positive than general perceptions of the public service

Key findings that illustrate this conclusion are shown in the table below:

          58% perceive the overall quality of public service positively

          80% view the overall quality of their service experience positively

          54% trust the public service to some extent

          81% agreed they can trust them [public servants] to do what is right

          50% believe public servants treat people fairly

          85% felt they were treated fairly

          55% are confident that public servants do a good job

          84% were confident that staff did a good job

          40% said the public service keeps its promises

          84% reported staff kept their promises

*Respondents were asked to rate these attributes on 10-point scales. The figures provided in the table give the % of respondents that gave a rating of 6 or more out of 10.

The State Service's 'Trusted State services' indicator 'You have confidence that public servants do a good job' is the strongest driver of New Zealanders' perceived trust in the public service

The key drivers of trust in the public service are listed below. Together, these drivers explain 57% of the variance in trust ratings of the public service. The percentage given alongside each driver indicates the relative impact that this factor has on driving perceptions of trust.

  • You have confidence that public servants do a good job (38%)
  • The public service provides services that meet your needs (18%)
  • Public servants treat people fairly (15%)
  • The public service keeps its promises - that is, it does what it says it will do (14%)
  • The public service admits responsibility when it makes mistakes (14%)

Generally, improvements in overall service quality will be driven by how well individual services perform in terms of the service experience meeting users' expectations and the performance of staff. Being treated fairly is of much higher importance to Māori than to others.



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