MOD civil servants won three awards, after having been nominated for seven, at the annual Civil Service Awards ceremony which took place at Buckingham Palace last night.
Now in their fifth year, these awards celebrate and recognise individuals and teams who have shown outstanding achievement in delivering excellence in public service and showcasing innovation.
One of the two awards presented to MOD civil servants was the Procurement Award which was awarded to the Pan-Government Energy Project Team.
The team included procurement professionals from the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment and Support, the Office of Government Commerce and the Department for Work and Pensions.
The team developed a plan to introduce contracting strategies for electricity and gas that adopted best practice in energy purchasing. The project delivered £139m in benefits in 2008/09 and £335m in 2009/10, exceeding forecasts and helping departments to achieve Comprehensive Spending Review targets.
The team also received the Cabinet Secretary’s Award, the ‘winner of winners’ award, which is awarded to the team that has most clearly demonstrated pride, passion, pace and professionalism.
The other MOD winners last night were Defence Equipment and Support’s (DE&S’s) Apache Helicopter Team who were presented with the Public Value Award.
The team consisted of Commander David Bartlett, Major Mike Jeavons and Warrant Officer Class 1 (Aircraft Engineering Technician) Austin Harding who used their personal knowledge and experience to identify a smarter way of servicing Apache helicopters which meant that a revised servicing schedule could be conducted in theatre.
With the in-depth service being conducted in the UK, more flying hours were made available for the Apaches in Afghanistan and millions of pounds were saved.
The other teams from Defence nominated for awards were:
the MOD Education Outreach Programme (Director of Civilian Personnel) - Human Resource Award;
the Ministry of Defence Police - Leadership Award;
the Air Command and Control Programme Management Team - Project and Programme Management Award;
the Low Visibility Landing Research Team (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) - Innovation Award; and
the Property Management Team (Met Office) - Sustainability Award.
Speaking at last night’s event MOD’s Permanent Secretary Ursula Brennan said:
Congratulations to the Apache helicopter team who won the Public Value Award at the Civil Service Awards on 11 November. The MOD was nominated for seven individual and team awards, a remarkable achievement reflecting the quality and diversity of the work of the MOD Civil Service.
I am delighted that all of those at the awards event at Buckingham Palace had a chance to see the MOD at its best and in particular to learn about the achievements of civilians on operations through the film on deployed civil servants which was shown at the ceremony.
Sir Gus O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, who presented the awards, said:
The Civil Service Awards are one of the highlights of the Civil Service calendar. The quality and quantity of nominations has increased year-on-year, and this year we received over 800 entries from a wide range of departments and organisations.
Listening to the success stories of how civil servants have gone beyond the everyday to help change people’s lives makes me proud to lead the Civil Service. I know many of us are facing challenging and uncertain times but the nominees tonight have showcased how civil servants continue to work with pace and passion to deliver an outstanding service.
Sir Gus wrote an article in The Guardian newspaper this week highlighting the value of civil servants and the role they play in the UK - see Related Links.
The awards ceremony was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude, Home Secretary Theresa May, star of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den programme Peter Jones, and Channel 4’s Samira Ahmed.