14 November 2010 | Angeline Albert
The Queen has awarded procurement staff at the Home Office and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) the Civil Service Sustainability Award.
The Civil Service Awards, hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 11 November, recognised the two teams for their efforts to meet the government’s sustainability objectives. They were congratulated for driving their suppliers to protect the environment, take care of their workforce and invest in economic development.
With an annual combined spend of about £4 billion, HMRC and the Home Office worked together to encourage their supply base to improve sustainability performance. By using an online engagement tool for existing suppliers - CAESER (Corporate Assessment of Environmental, Social and Economic Responsibility) - the departments were able to tell suppliers what they wanted to achieve with little administrative burden. Vendors were also provided with plans on how they could improve their performance in these areas.
As a result of their efforts, the two departments successfully engaged 90 per cent of their suppliers who are now working on improvement plans. There are now more than 730 young, unemployed and 4,500+ small-medium sized enterprises working for the teams, to help meet the government’s corporate social responsibility objectives.
Both departments were able to meet their sustainability objectives while saving money. Each department saved £150,000-a-year in administration costs.
In a joint statement, former Home Office commercial director John Collington (now head of procurement at the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency Reform Group) and HMRC commercial director David Thomas, said: “We are beginning to see some tangible achievements made through our collaborative approach. This we believe is the responsible thing for government to do and although there is always a lot more to do, we are making significant progress.”