26 September 2013

The Guardian can probably be considered a civil servants’ newspaper.  It seems to be more supportive of those delivering services than championing the policies of any particular government or party. The Guardian Professional Networks – which encompass 16 interest areas –  are a source of innovative and challenging ideas.

The 10th annual Guardian Public Services Awards are currently being decided.  The New Zealand Institute of Public Administration would love its Public Sector Excellence Awards to receive sponsorship to the extent given by the Guardian to this UK event. This year’s five finalists have been selected and the paper’s readership has been invited to select the best candidate.

Mike Bracken of the UK Cabinet Office created Government Digital Service which helps people use government services and has built the framework for on-line government services. In what must be a peculiarly British evaluation, he is said to be “…a bit Marmite for the public sector” … who has delivered a huge government transformation project.

Sue Bruce, the first female chief executive of Edinburgh city council is recognised for her leadership of a council employing 15,000 staff.

Carl Haggerty, digital communications manager at Devon County Council has encouraged greater involvement in local government. His skill is promoting democratic participation “…in a ubiquitous digital climate…”

Lynne Owens, the chief constable of Surrey Police made exemplary contributions to the Metropolitan Police. “…She signifies a new kind of leader in the Police… focused on her staff, with a different way of exerting authority…”.

Keir Starmer, appointed Director of Public Prosecutions although he had no prosecution experience, made “some really brave decisions” relating to domestic abuse, assisted suicide, and  prosecuting more rape and child abuse cases….”