Darra Singh: Why I will be celebrating at the Civil Service Awards

Written by Darra Singh on 26 October 2018

With two weeks to go until the winners of the 2018 Civil Service Awards are announced, Darra Singh, who sits on the judging panel and leads EY's Government and Public Sector practice in the UK, shares why the event means so much to him

It’s been 13 years since the first Civil Service awards.

That’s 174 winners from over 10,000 nominations received.

That’s 10,000 nominations for outstanding work.

That’s 10,000 individual and teams who have taken the time to nominate their colleagues.

That’s 10,000 case studies which demonstrate how the civil service as a whole is helping deliver exemplary services to the public. Imagine if you collected all of those stories into a book – what a testament to the brilliance of the civil service it would be.

Celebrating talent

The Civil Service Awards celebrates the very best individuals and teams that the civil service has to offer, in turn fostering the sharing of best practice right across government departments. It is an honour for us at EY to be able to continue celebrating the very best of this talent year-on-year.

From my own background as a chief executive and former civil servant I know that civil servants demonstrate exceptional work every day and that these awards showcase only a small proportion of the brilliant efforts and public service that take place day in, day out

Celebrating innovation

The civil service finds itself in the midst of increasing demand and relentless, shifting pressures. Despite this, the institution continues to flourish in this ever-changing landscape, finding new and innovative ways to tackle the complex challenges it faces.

Needless to say, life in the civil service is never dull and the resilience, commitment and humility of civil servants never ceases to astonish and makes me a proud advocate of this institution and its work.

Celebrating commitment

Chris Martin’s words that “a life of public service is an honourable calling” are often repeated and having seen the talent, commitment and capability across the public sector, at both national and local levels, this a view that I wholeheartedly subscribe to.

I’d like to wish this year’s nominees the best of luck and look forward to seeing which of you will be joining those 174 and if you’re going to the awards, I’ll see you there!

About the author

Darra Singh is head of Government and Public Sector at EY for the UK and Ireland.

Darra was previously Chief Executive at Job Centre Plus, and chaired the government-appointed Communities and Victims Panel, which investigated the London riots.

Before joining DWP, in November 2009, Darra Singh had been the Chief Executive Officer of Ealing Council for four years and prior to that had been the Chief Executive of Luton Council.