Shortlist 2022 | Civil Service Awards 2021 | Prestigious cross-government programme to recognise the wealth of inspirational individuals

Certain features of this site make use of javascript. For maximum benefit it is strongly advised that you switch on javascript before continuing.

Linkedin ads
-A A +A

Shortlist 2022

Congratulations to our shortlist! 

This year we received 1,144 nominations across our award categories. After a rigorous judging process, the fantastic individuals and project teams listed below have been selected as the official shortlist for the Civil Service Awards 2022. 

Excellence in Delivery Award
A Skilled Civil Service 

National Operations Command - Operation PITTING
Home Office: Border Force 

Following regional deterioration in Afghanistan, operation PITTING was announced to facilitate the urgent evacuations of British nationals and eligible persons. Within days, Border Force National Operations Command had to nationally coordinate and deliver operational readiness for the largest and fastest humanitarian evacuation in recent history. This included thousands of identity checks for arrivals (many in an extreme state of fear and distress); safeguarding; forgery detection; granting leave; establishing biometric capture processes on an unprecedented scale; and all alongside continuation of critical business as usual. These efforts saved over 15,000 innocent civilians from persecution and is the greatest example of excellence in delivery that Border Force has ever seen.

NHS COVID Pass Programme
Department of Health and Social Care

The NHS COVID Pass continues to be a critical tool for guiding the UK out of the pandemic and helping citizens return to a more normal way of life, unlocking international travel for work, pleasure and reuniting families and friends. Despite extreme time pressures, the service was delivered on budget and ahead of schedule, including supporting services such as a letter service for those with limited or no digital access. The NHS COVID Pass propelled the NHS app to be the most downloaded app in 2021, encouraging expansion of NHS digital services, leading a c700% increase in those using the app to access other health services.

Ukraine Humanitarian Visa Schemes
Home Office: UK Visas and Immigration

UKVI is at the forefront of the UK's operational response to the crisis in Ukraine by delivering three new visa routes in fast time to enable vulnerable and traumatised victims to leave the war zone of Ukraine for safety in the UK. The Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine sponsorship teams have enabled more than 192,000 visas to be issued with more than 138,000 people arriving in the UK. The Ukraine Extension Scheme has offered ongoing protection for Ukrainians unable to return home. The Ukraine visa process now offers a fully digital application process and an improved customer experience.

Developing and Supporting People Award, supported by Baringa
A Skilled Civil Service 

IT Services Directorate
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

DVLA is on an ambitious digital transformation journey, whilst continuing to grow the skills and talent required to fulfil its strategic ambitions, keeping customers and employees at the centre. As one of the only in-house IT teams in government nurturing digital talent to achieve our ambitions is key to our success.

We’re taking a generational approach to skills development, as we look to Inspire, Attract and Grow potential across the region through a comprehensive schools, college, and apprenticeship programme. We’ve also created a culture of continual professional development and employee engagement with initiatives designed to support mental health and wellbeing, reflecting our adoption of a hybrid working model.


Junior Leaders Networking Events (JLNE) Team

The Junior Leaders Networking Events (JLNE) team has shown remarkable commitment and made tremendous achievements through intentionally developing, strengthening and building the capability of cross-government junior colleagues (AA-EO) over the last three years. In the context of the pandemic, and completely in addition to their day jobs, they have adapted their offer to deliver online and beyond their initial audience within the East, South East and London (ESEL) region. JLNE has impacted colleagues across 14 departments and several agencies, thus ensuring that our Civil Service junior talent is retained, have access to developmental opportunities and feel valued.

Liz Cox for leading and implementing the 'Progress in prison workshops' tracker
HM Prison and Probation Service

Liz has developed and supported the implementation of a Progress in Workshops Tracker in 76/117 prisons so far, having the potential to reach 54,000 prisoners. This was driven by a long-held passion to empower staff to develop the employability skills of prisoners nationally in prison workshops and industries. The tracker enables staff and prisoners to develop vital skills and improve life chances for successful employment on release, a key reducing reoffending priority. The project required careful navigation and negotiation with numerous stakeholders, showcasing excellence in our values of honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity, far exceeding the parameters of her remit.

Diversity and Inclusion Award
A Skilled Civil Service 

Jackie Armstrong
Home Office: Immigration and Enforcement

Jackie Armstrong, the IE LGBT+ lead for the ODP (Operational Delivery Profession) inclusion award. In recognition for her incredible work in raising awareness for the LGBT + community, in building a more open and inclusive culture within Immigration Enforcement. She has really spearheaded work in promoting equality and inclusion in all business areas around LGBT+ issues. Moreover, and really in keeping with being a role model, she has done this selflessly as she is an ally and not part of the LGBT+ community.


National Muslim Network
Department for Work and Pensions

The DWP National Muslim Network (founded in 2019 by Aysha Malik) is endorsed by DWP’s Faith and Belief Champion for supporting an inclusive workplace and embedding the DWP value 'We value everyone'. The network advanced the Diversity & Inclusion agenda by helping to demystify preconceptions and tackle unconscious bias using innovative channels. The DWP Wellbeing, Inclusion, Social Mobility and Health Team (WISH) has worked closely with the network who have helped develop plans to establish a DWP Faith and Belief Network to create a safe space for colleagues of all backgrounds to connect, learn, collaborate and share lived experiences.



Servicewomen’s Health Improvement Focus Team (SHIFT)
Ministry of Defence

The House of Commons Defence Committee’s report into ‘Women in the Armed Forces’ highlighted health and wellbeing (HWB) challenges our Servicewomen face that have an enduring personal effect on them and impact their ability to achieve their full potential in Defence and on Operations. SHIFT brought together Whole Force expertise in HWB, healthcare, human performance research, training, information, and communications to deliver an ambitious project within six months. The team’s tireless dedication saw them delivering improvements for Servicewomen in all aspects of their HWB, especially menopause, breastfeeding, urination and menstruation, supported by a campaign to demystify women’s health and educate the Chain of Command and colleagues.


Best Use of Data and Technology Award, supported by Tata Consultancy Services
An Innovative Civil Service

Alice Rayner, Helen Heard - Kitchen Life 2 project team
Food Standards Agency

Food safety matters: there are around 2.4m cases of food-borne illness annually in the UK, costing approximately £9bn. In 2021 the Food Standards Agency (FSA) developed ‘Kitchen Life 2’; a project that installs motion-sensitive cameras in kitchens to observe real life behaviour (cooking, cleaning and eating). Using a range of supplementary research techniques (including surveys, interviews and food diaries), findings are mapped to the COM-B behavioural framework to understand the rationale for behaviour and explore the “say do gap”. The project, which is still live, is providing fresh insight for the FSA’s risk assessment, policy development and behavioural intervention design.

Welsh Government

DataMapWales is a multi-agency geoportal that serves as a source for public sector data in Wales, providing a shared data platform to members of the public and public authorities using open-source software and innovative ways of sharing new satellite imagery and other multi-agency data. DataMapWales is unique in the UK and highly innovative. It is a true multi-agency geoportal with direct data entry, automated data services to the public and private sector, massive increase in the speed of data transfer to support emergencies, and the team has been working with Mapio Cymru to introduce Welsh Language base mapping.

Team Phoenix
Department for Work and Pensions

DWP Digital has delivered a new Passport Benefit Checking Service that enables NHS Pharmacies across England to perform a real-time DWP benefit check, at the point of dispensing the medication. This provides confirmation that an individual is entitled to free prescriptions based on their benefit. Working in close partnership with NHS colleagues, the service was piloted initially in the North East of England and has now been rolled out nationally, not only saving the NHS c£240 million a year in administration costs but also ensuring citizens don't incorrectly pay for their medication.

Science and Innovation Award
An Innovative Civil Service

Antivirals and Therapeutics Taskforce
Department of Health and Social Care

This nomination recognises the exemplary use of scientific evidence by the Antivirals and Therapeutics Taskforce (ATTF) and its delivery partners, most notably the NIHR, to identify potential COVID-19 therapeutics, trial them as part of an advanced programme of clinical trials and deploy safe and effective treatments to UK patients. The ATTF used robust scientific evidence collected through horizon scanning for evidence of safety and efficacy generated by UK and global clinical trials, to make decisions about compound prioritisation, procurement and deployment to patients. As a result, the ATTF rapidly identified and made available nine COVID-19 treatments to UK patients.


Evidence Team, Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles
Department for Transport

The CCAV Evidence Team has shown exceptional ingenuity, creativity and scientific rigour in designing and delivering an extensive behavioural research and engagement programme to support self-driving vehicle innovation, which will enable road safety improvements for citizens. 

Their ambitious roadshows involve self-driving vehicle demonstrations and a role-play game to immerse the public in policy considerations around the technology. 

The team have championed understanding and responding to public expectations and needs: the comprehensive and representative evidence base generated is already influencing policy development and public communications. 
The team delivered this from inception to operation, with limited resource and alongside other priority responsibilities.

Marine Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment Programme
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 

The mNCEA programme provides a world-class evidence-base, and suite of tools where ecological, societal, and economic information is brought together in a holistic way. This improves our understanding of complex trade-offs faced in the sustainable use of the marine environment and is the first time where science and policy interactions are considered at a system level. 

The programme has innovation at its core such as establishing new ways of working and commissioning approaches in our interactions with ALBs, attracting private sector investments and match funding, establishing partnerships for delivering digital, AI innovation with underwater autonomous vehicles.

Evaluation and Analysis Award 
An Innovative Civil Service

Culture and Heritage Capital Team
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Culture and Heritage Capital Programme (CHC) is a world-leading research programme to help the culture and heritage sectors articulate their impact on society. Our aim is to create a consistent approach, through sector-specific guidance that will enable social cost-benefit analysis (SCBA) and the assessment of value for money (VfM) in appraisals and evaluations. 

The programme is experimenting and innovating with existing and new methodologies by taking a multidisciplinary approach, combining Economics, Heritage Science, and Arts and Humanities. To achieve this ambition, the programme has been designed collaboratively by multiple stakeholders with input from across industry and academia.

Evaluation of Family Hubs
Department for Education

Building and disseminating high-quality evidence on family hubs is key to effective rollout and implementation of integrated, high-quality family support across England. The DfE’s Family Hubs Research and Analysis Unit has developed a comprehensive evaluation and analysis programme, collaborating with national and local partners and delivering with rigour, innovation and impact within and beyond Government. The team’s evidence is:

  • impacting national policy and local practice
  • ensuring effective transformation of local services and building local evaluation capacity saving public money by building effective family help, preventing escalation to expensive late intervention.
  • improving outcomes for families and children.

Russia/Ukraine Economic Analysis Team
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

In 2022, economists in the FCDO responded to the unprecedented demands of the Russia / Ukraine crisis with a huge surge in resource, cross-team working and innovative use of data and analysis techniques. The team delivered outstanding analysis that shaped UK policymaking in real time on the full range of Russia and Ukraine issues and remains ongoing to shape policymaking as the conflict continues. The analysis was shared widely with international partners, helping secure UK objectives and building credibility.


Project Delivery Award 
An Ambitious Civil Service 

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 

Despite having only 4.5 years instead of the usual 7, despite some of the wettest winters and hottest summers on record, despite the global pandemic; and despite global supply chain and workforce challenges, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit have worked tirelessly - across HMG and the Games partner organisations - to deliver a Games that was under budget, on time, and with a record attendance for any Commonwealth Games held in the UK. Birmingham 2022 was a global spectacle, a mega event that will leave lasting benefits for the city, region and UK.

Students Loan Company

In challenging, pandemic circumstances, the Student Loans Company (SLC) has secured the safe payment of billions of pounds to customers and higher education institutions, and in this challenging context also deliver a c£250 million digital transformation programme: Evolve. The Evolve programme recently received a Green IPA rating, has already delivered more than £50 million in benefits to government and has significantly improved the customer journey for those applying for student finance.

School Rebuilding Division
Department for Education

The School Rebuilding Programme is a project speed pathfinder replacing life-expired buildings with modern, energy efficient and carbon net zero buildings. Announced in 2020, we worked quickly to set up the programme, agreeing robust selection criteria, alongside designing and getting spades in the ground for the first schools in September 2021. There are now 161 schools being delivered. The project speed team called it an exemplar programme.

One Civil Service Award
An Ambitious Civil Service 

Cost of Living Payments to low income and disabled benefit claimants

In just 7.5 weeks, a cross-government policy, legal, analytical, communications and project team (from HMT,HMRC,DWP,MoD,OPC,GLD and DAs) designed the Cost-of-Living payment policy and delivered primary legislation enabling payments worth £15bn to be paid to 8million low-income families and 6million disabled people. The team worked collaboratively to problem-solve, meet time-critical deadlines, deliver objective policy advice, and produce legislation and complex delivery mechanisms to pay claimants across multiple benefit types. This project has significant national impact by delivering financial support to the most vulnerable citizens across the UK. By 22 July, 7.2million payments had been made to 99% of eligible low-income, DWP-benefit claimants and 1.2million HMRC payments were made to eligible tax credit claimants in early September.

Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill Team
Home Office and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 

The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill Team led expedited delivery of the Bill through all Parliamentary stages to Royal Assent in just 15 days – a critical component of the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Coordinating measures across Home Office, BEIS, HM Treasury, FCDO, and working closely with the Devolved Administrations and operational partners (Companies House and the National Crime Agency), the Bill was passed at extraordinary pace. The Act had an immediate impact, with significant individuals sanctioned within hours of Royal Assent. Longer-term reforms will aid law enforcement to tackle national security priorities illicit finance and kleptocrats.

The LAWMAKER Project

The LAWMAKER project, led by Matt Lynch, has modernised the way in which legislation is drafted, amended and published. The project is a collaboration between Parliamentary Counsel in the Scottish and UK Governments, the Scottish and UK Parliaments and the National Archives. By using open data standards and cloud-based solutions to work across boundaries, the project has developed new digital tools that enable legislation to be drafted and shared more easily throughout the legislative cycle and improve how the resulting laws are made publicly available on the legislation website:

Productive Partnerships Award, supported by Costain
An Ambitious Civil Service 

National Crime Agency

This nomination is for the excellent collaboration between NCA officers and BAE Systems Ltd working in partnership with our international partners to tackle child sexual exploitation. 

Officers from the NCA, BAE data analysts and BAE data architects worked together in a blended team to develop tooling that assisted and continues to assist, in the identification of child sexual abuse offenders globally. The intelligence gained from this tooling has enabled the safeguarding of hundreds of children across the world. It has also provided novel insight into the use of the internet in CSAE offending, which is being used to influence industry partners and reduce offending worldwide.

Historical Institutional Abuse Implementation Branch
Northern Ireland Executive 

A public inquiry into seven decades of historical institutional childhood abuse recommended the NI Executive should make a public apology. 

This was an emotive issue, with no consensus among victims on how it should be delivered. By engaging community-based partners and working closely with victims to understand their needs in both drafting the apology and logistical preparations, the team sensitively delivered a momentous event while overcoming multiple political, operational and COVID-related challenges.

The State apology, delivered by five Ministers from five different parties was a success. Victims told us they felt the State had finally listened to and acknowledged them.

Windrush Monument Team
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities 

The Windrush Monument team delivered on the manifesto commitment of creating a lasting legacy for the Windrush generation and their descendants in the form of the National Windrush Monument at Waterloo station. The team collaborated seamlessly with a wide range of delivery partners and senior external stakeholders to deliver a tribute that now stands testament to the strength of our communities in their diversity, and to the distinct contribution that the Windrush generation has made to our society. The monument was delivered on time and under budget and has been acclaimed as a significant moment in our nation’s history.

Cabinet Secretary's Outstanding Leader Award 
A Modern Civil Service 

Angus Gray
Department for Work and Pensions

The Cost of Living Payments delivered by DWP provided vital support to over 7m people. Angus Gray stepped forward to lead urgent work to ensure millions of the most vulnerable people in the UK would receive help with the rising cost of living. To date over 7 million people have received payments with millions more to come. He is a hugely respected, inspiring and supportive leader who maintained a focus on making deliverable policy while enabling his team and colleagues across DWP to deliver high quality work in challenging circumstances.

Haroona Franklin
Department of Health and Social Care 

Haroona Franklin, NHS COVID Pass Programme Director, delivers seminal change in the way digital is used to support the NHS, economy and international travel. Her leadership has been integral to the success of the programme; she drives the cross-departmental, cross-nation and cross-specialism working that has ensured a world-leading product that does what it set out to achieve, is easy to use and furthers government goals of transforming patient care with digital technology.

Sara Rathore
Home Office

The Home Office Liaison Officer Team was formed at pace in response to Operation Pitting, the largest UK military evacuation since the Second World War, during which HMG evacuated c15,000 individuals to the UK. These individuals were a combination of British nationals and their families, and Afghans eligible for relocation under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) having worked alongside British forces and other HMG teams. Sara Rathore was identified as an exceptional civil servant, transferring from her DHSC role as incident lead, managing NHS supply incidents and supporting Managed Quarantine Services, to build dynamic Home Office operational capability.

Rising Star Award, supported by Newton
A Modern Civil Service 

Alexander Newton
Office for National Statistics 

Alex is a recognised leader in government on automated and reproducible analytical pipelines (RAPs). He leads a game-changing digital transformation for analysis. He identified the importance and impact of this for government, developed the team, the strategy and the community, and established it at senior levels. Alex led the COVID Press Briefing slides and automated their data. He ensured the best data and evidence was used to inform decisions. Alex works tirelessly with others to ensure government makes best use of data and technology. His expertise and credibility are recognised across government at all levels.

Blake Kennedy
Home Office

Blake began his Civil Service career in 2018 as a mobile apprentice. He keenly identified an area of interest and was successful in applying to become an Immigration Officer on a Northwest enforcement team. Blake quickly settled into the demanding role, becoming a core member of the team, going above and beyond by volunteering to deploy to areas of operational priority. Blake seeks out opportunities to grow, developing his own skills and those of his peers. So, when the call for volunteers to assist with Operation Pitting arose in August 2021, Blake naturally stepped up to the fore.

Kelly Moore
Ministry of Justice

Kelly joined HM Prison and Probation Service as someone with first-hand experience of the criminal justice system, under the Going Forwards into Employment Scheme. She is a shining example of how someone can use their previous experience to transform the way we deliver services. Kelly has been instrumental to integrating community providers into our innovative ‘Grand Avenues’ project. She has brought partners, the local community, offenders and public along with our vision to radically change the way we deliver probation services.

Matthew Smith
HM Prison and Probation Service

Custodial Manager Matt Smith has injected zest through innovative concepts to create real-life rehabilitative opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged in society. In recognising the cathartic influence of environmental enrichments and animal therapy within the custodial milieu, Matt has grasped the opportunity to become the primary stakeholder in the development, application and throughcare of such tenets of innovation. 
Through his gusto and meticulous attention to detail Matt has developed strategies linked to the reduction of violence and self-harm.

Tassie Ghilani
HM Prison and Probation Service

Tassie has battled extreme adversity in her life, with experience of both the care and criminal justice systems. She joined MoJ in June 2021 via the GFIE scheme to improve life chances for those leaving prison and demonstrated exceptional policy aptitude and leadership in her work to improve outcomes for prison leavers. Her tremendous potential has been recognised by her securing a permanent appointment on promotion, and she now leads work to improve experiences and outcomes for prison leavers across MoJ.

Programme of the Year Award
A Modern Civil Service 

Image by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street

COP26 Unit
Cabinet Office

The COP26 Unit delivered the largest multilateral political event the UK has ever hosted, during a pandemic, reaching agreement among all 196 countries on ambitious action on a global existential issue. This entailed a massive logistical operation to safely gather 38,000 delegates in Glasgow including 120 world leaders, a bespoke global vaccination programme, leadership of the most complex multilateral negotiations process, and a series of initiatives to drive urgent practical action. The result - the historic Glasgow Climate Pact agreed by all countries, and more than 150 enhanced national pledges - accelerates action to reduce emissions, improve resilience and mobilise finance worldwide.

Creating Future Opportunities
HM Prison and Probation Service 

59.1% of people sentenced to less than a year, re-offended within a year of release. The cost to the criminal justice system of dealing with the consequences of crime committed by ex-prisoners comes to at least £18 billion per year. The most prolific re-offenders are the hard to help cohort who struggle to access mainstream provision. The HMPPS Creating Future Opportunities (HMPPS-CFO) Team was established to seek out, secure and then use external funding to design, commission and implement innovative and ambitious rehabilitation services to the hardest to help offenders at no cost to HMPPS.

Kickstart Scheme
Department for Work and Pensions

The Kickstart Scheme is multi-disciplinary working at its best! Colleagues across DWP involved in Kickstart collaborated to support as many young people into Kickstart jobs as possible to reduce the chances of long-term unemployment. Teams showed incredible capability and resilience to get this ambitious project running so quickly in response to the pandemic. Colleagues embraced every challenge and change, worked together to come up with better ideas, shared expertise, innovated and created new ways of working to ensure that Kickstart was a success. This passion and dedication improved the service offered to employers and ultimately created valuable jobs for young people.

Prime Minister's Award for Exceptional Public Service

Lili Bidwell 
HM Prison and Probation Service 

Lili worked as an ‘Unlocked’ graduate before becoming the first Prison Employment Lead at HMP Wandsworth. A key priority of the Deputy Prime Minister is increasing employment outcomes for prison leavers and Lili’s work directly contributed to this ambition. Lili’s work as an exemplar Prison Employment Lead informed the development and rollout of PELs across the remaining 91 prisons nationally, including the full rollout of Employment Advisory Boards. She established Wandsworth’s ‘Employment Hub’ and managed numerous events, one of which delivered 20 employment outcomes, and worked tirelessly to support over 280 prisoners, successfully helping many secure employment. In her first year Lili supported over 280 prisoners and ensured that 72 prison leavers were equipped with birth certificates on release (who otherwise would not have had any ID). Of the 194 who have been released, 40 are in work or training.

Darren Lozano 
Department for Work and Pensions

Darren's exceptional leadership of 600 colleagues across 5 sites in Wales, inspiring wider colleagues across 32 sites and 700 jobcentres, helps to deliver critical financial support to 2 million of the most vulnerable in society.  
Darren exemplifies the very best public service ethos through his collaborative and inclusive leadership. He is a true model and lives Civil Service values with integrity and enthusiasm, leading his team to deliver outcomes across a diverse portfolio of support for citizens under public and political scrutiny. 
Under Darren’s leadership, c£13.4 billion has been paid to customers in 2020/21, an increase of £700 million from 2019/20 and has since achieved a 30% reduction in nugatory claims, realising efficiency savings of £1.8m. Darren’s focus and ability to manage stakeholders has improved payment timeliness, as more than 59% now receive first payment within 10 days, an increase of 44% following the introduction of the Claimant Commitment interview. 

Clarice Pettit
Ministry of Defence

Clarice has made an outstanding contribution to the Ministry of Defence’s unit which coordinates the UK’s military support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It is hard to overstate the importance of Clarice’s contribution to the work of the team and the UK’s support for Ukraine. She volunteered for the team in the early days of the conflict and quickly brought order to the team. She has led a variety of essential projects including the policy and planning required for gifting UK equipment to Ukraine, including Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS); working with MOD’s network to coordinate global support for equipment and ammunition; and co-ordinating the delivery of artillery and ammunition to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Through all of this Clarice has brilliantly modelled the best of the Civil Service, demonstrating a total commitment to public service and astonishing capacity and work ethic which inspires those around her. As a young civil servant, her grip of the issues and the quality of her advice leave even senior military officers in awe.