It’s the mission of the Civil Service to make our country the best it can possibly be.
I believe that every department, every team, every civil servant is working towards that collective goal. You’re not just stone masons chipping away at your individual task – together, we are building a cathedral.
And to deliver on that mission, we need a Civil Service that strives for excellence in all things. That is what the Civil Service Awards are all about – recognising exceptional achievement in public service.
Now, on the night, we’ll be celebrating people who in many ways have made Britain a better place to live – through the painstaking study of data and evidence; through rigorous planning and clear-eyed commercial management; by embracing new technology and acquiring new skills; by putting the needs of the public over and above the ingrained habits of the organisation; by inspiring leadership; and through sheer hard work and determination.
I want to congratulate everyone who has made it onto the shortlist and to wish you the very best of luck.
But I also want to say this. I want to say thank you, not only for what you’ve done for our fellow citizens, for the money saved and the services improved, but also for setting a gold standard to which all civil servants can aspire.
So, enjoy the night, and I’ll be raising a glass to your success.