25 June 2014

The United Nations encourages Member states to recognise Public Service Day on 23 June each year.  This year the day was marked as part of a UN conference in Korea.  Each year, a highlight is the announcement of the UN Public Services Awards. These reflect a programme that promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service.  It encourages exemplary public services and recognises that democracy and successful governance are built on competent public administrations.

The UN awards aim to discover innovations in governance, reward excellence in the public sector, motivate public servants to further promote new approaches, enhance professionalism, raise the image of public services, strengthen trust in government and collect and disseminate successful practices for replication by others.

The UN awards are in four classes with regional winners in each.

  • Improving Delivery of Public Services – South Africa, Austria, Singapore and Turkey
  • Fostering Participation in Policy Making Decisions – Thailand and  Brazil
  • Whole of Government Approaches in the Information Age  – Korea, Uruguay and Bahrain
  • Promoting Gender Responsive Delivery of Public Services  –  Morrocco, Thailand, Brazil and Oman.

Public Service day is not marked in New Zealand , although about the same time each year the  Public Sector Excellence Awards, championed by the New Zealand Institute of Public Administration, are announced.  The rationale for the IPANZ Excellence Awards is similar to that of the UN awards. They will be presented in Wellington on 2 July 2014.