Civil Service Awards to pay tribute to late Number 10 chief Chris Martin

Late principal private secretary to prime minister David Cameron honoured in naming of this year's Policy Award

By Civil Service World

19 May 2016

Chris Martin – the late principal private secretary to prime minister David Cameron – will be honoured at this year's Civil Service Awards, it has been announced.

Martin – who served as Cameron's PPS and director general of the prime minister's office from 2011 to 2015 – died last year after a battle with cancer.

He was described by Cameron as "someone between a father and a brother" to the Downing Street team, while Labour figures including Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper, who worked with Martin during their own time in government, also paid tribute to the "brilliant civil servant" following news of his death. Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood meanwhile said Martin had "embodied with selfless humility the enduring values of the civil service he loved".

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It has now been announced that the Policy Award at this year's Civil Service Awards will be named in Martin's honour.

Richard Heaton, the Ministry of Justice permanent secretary who has just taken over as the lead official for the Civil Service Awards after the departure of Health perm sec Una O'Brien, said Martin was "an outstanding civil servant, policy thinker, and head of the Prime Minister’s office in Downing Street".

He added: "Let’s make sure that we honour his memory with an exceptional crop of nominations across all of the 16 categories."

Martin joined the civil service as a Fast Streamer in 1996, and served in key Treasury roles, including leading the 2004 Spending Review and serving as press secretary to then-chancellor Gordon Brown from 2006-7. 

During David Cameron's first term, Martin led the National Security Secretariat in the Cabinet Office before stepping up to become Downing Street DG in 2012.

Earlier this year, Number 10 appointed Simon Case, the former head of the government's Implementation Unit, as Martin's successor.

As well as the Chris Martin Policy Award, this year's Civil Service Awards – run by the Cabinet Office and CSW's parent company Dods – will include a new Customer Service Award, with Heaton saying the move would help to reflect the fact that 70% of civil servants "work in frontline operational delivery roles, looking after victims of crime, customers, offenders, service users, and our other fellow citizens".

The awards will also feature a new "Collaboration" category to, in Heaton's words, "recognise the importance of more joined-up working between departments, administrations, agencies, nations and regions".

He added: "Public services aren’t consumed within neat organisational arrangements. Collaboration and partnership make us infinitely more effective."

Nominations for the awards are now open until July 15. The awards ceremony itself is set to take place in November.

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