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Public sector innovation: who are the champions?

The ACT Government was the winner of the Innovative Solutions award.

“A successful public service is one that can find new and better ways of doing things, and that can solve problems in new ways. It is one where new ideas are tried and tested, and where old approaches are phased out and replaced with new, more suitable and effective methods. It is one that is innovative.”

And so the Public Sector Innovation Awards were created to better recognise and celebrate the innovative work that occurs within the public service and provide a platform to share and showcase innovative approaches across the Commonwealth and ACT Governments. A goal of the awards is to encourage others to adopt more innovative approaches to public administration.

The annual award is celebrating the innovation taking place in the Commonwealth and ACT public services at the 2017 Public Sector Innovation Awards.

Government must act as an exemplar of innovation and back the public service to innovate and experiment.

The 2017 Champions

The winners of the awards announced in Canberra were selected from 68 nominations, showing a widespread commitment to innovation.

A panel of judges selected the five award winners:

Category 1: Innovative Solutions – Renewable Energy Reverse Auctions ACT Government

The ACT became the first jurisdiction to use a reverse auction process to provide guaranteed revenue and certainty for generators. The process provides financial security to renewable electricity generators to ensure projects are bankable and delivery risks are managed.

Category 2: Culture and Practice – ‘ON’ CSIRO

‘ON’, powered by CSIRO’ is the only national accelerator custom designed for publicly-funded research teams with a laser focus on helping them to develop the entrepreneurial skills and capacity to convert their great science and technology research into real-world outcomes – at pace.

Category 3: Digital and Data – Maritime Arrivals Reporting System, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

MARS is the first fully online system for ensuring in-coming vessels meet biosecurity regulations to minimise the risk of pests and diseases entering Australia. This innovative system has been widely embraced by the international shipping industry.

Judges’ Award – Digital First Capability, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The development of an innovative online briefing system has transformed the way the Department briefs the Prime Minister, breaking down barriers to collaboration by allowing the Prime Minister and his advisors to get information, ask questions and receive answers in real-time.

Judges’ Award – Finance Transformation Program, Department of Finance

Working towards becoming a truly transformative agency, Finance has embarked on an exciting journey. Staff have been challenged to think differently and allowed to build, test and refine new processes and products. By leveraging capability, mobility, new technology and design thinking every day, the department is changing – inside and out.

The winners were chosen from a shortlist of 12 finalists selected from the 68 nominations from across the Commonwealth and ACT public services.

The high calibre of entries reflects the great innovation taking place in the public service and will encourage others to adopt more innovative approaches to public administration.

The Australian Government, through the National Innovation and Science Agenda, is committed to being an exemplar on innovation for the broader community.

This reflects our continuing role to facilitate change in a way which maximises the benefits for our economy and our fellow Australians.

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