A look behind the awards

Public Sector Excellence is an independent non-profit citizen-centred brand-driven initiative to assess, inspire, and celebrate excellence in the public sector. It is a proactive vehicle to give citizens a voice in public service and to give input to government and its agencies, SOEs, and the communication partners responsible for delivering social services and communicating with citizens.

The Public Sector Excellence initiative comprises research, training, and awards to recognise and inspire excellence in the public service through its government departments and its agencies, state owned enterprises (SOEs). There is also a Lifetime Achievement for Distinguished Public Service award to recognise retired public servants who have served South Africa for more than 20 years. To ensure the integrity of the initiative, the public sector is not a part of the research and adjudication process. This process is a combination of independent citizen research conducted by leading public polling research company, TNS Research Surveys, and a robust deliberation of the results by an independent Public Sector Advisory Council.

“We are in the process of building a performance orientated state which should practically turn our promises into action. Our actions should begin to impact directly on what our people are experiencing on a daily basis when they come into contact with government. It is for this reason that we did not hesitate nor doubted our commitment and participation in the Public Sector Excellence awards,” said Collins Ohm Chabane, Minister of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, at the Public Sector Excellence 2010 awards.

This point is reinforced by Professor Gerard Hastings, author of “Social Marketing: Why Should the Devil have all the Best Tunes?” who also spoke at the Public Sector Excellence 2010 awards. “The global financial crisis, driven by failings in the private sector, only serves to emphasis the crucial role of the public sector. The Public Sector Excellence initiative is a superb initiative which helps ensure that this vital dimension of any modern society gets accurate performance feedback and so continues to flourish,” said Hastings.

Public Sector Excellence Advisory Council
The Public Sector Excellence Advisory Council comprises of experienced and respected South African decision-makers, scholars, influencers, and thought leaders in the public and private sector, and civil society. Their role is to provide overall strategic guidance to ensure the relevance, credibility, and sustainability of the initiative. They also give input to the Public Sector Excellence Reputation Index methodology to ensure the credibility of the results, and to filter the quantitative results with qualitative insights. The council recognises the Grand Prix for Public Sector Excellence honourees and recognise leading South Africans who have contributed to public service in South Africa with a Lifetime Achievement for Distinguished Public Service.

Public Sector Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Public Service
The Public Sector Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Public Service honours the lifetime accomplishments and contributions of living and retired leading citizens, dedicated to improving the lives of South Africans and a creating a better republic of South Africa based on the following criteria:

  • Outstanding sustained contributions for the ultimate benefit of the general public or the Republic of South Africa.
  • At least 20 years of formal or informal public service as professionals, volunteers or activists, in the public and/or not-for-profit sector, including service on boards and commissions, governmental service and professional organisations.
  • Recognised as living role models and inspirational leaders for their selfless contributions to public service.
  • Shown outstanding dedication to their work and/or causes while maintaining a high level of commitment to public service leadership, accountability, governance, and ethical standards.
  • Developed, managed and/or facilitated successful partnerships with other government, private-sector, volunteer or non-profit organisations that help to bring policy to life and enhance service delivery, with a view to better serving South Africans.
  • Demonstrated the spirit of Ubuntu and Batho Pele — Putting People First.

A Brand Leadership Academy initiative
Brand Leadership Academy is a centre of excellence in brand-driven, customer-centric leadership development in an information and borderless world. Working collaboratively with distinguished global and local scholars, decision-makers, and thought leaders in business and society, the Academy aims to inspire emerging and established leaders and their organisations by strengthening their marketing, brand and reputation-building capabilities with cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary, world-class insights to help them realise their potential and build great leadership brands in Africa and the world. Brand Leadership Academy is a division of Brand Leadership Group.


This article originally appeared in the Mail & Guardian newspaper as an advertorial supplement

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