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Ombudsman launches “Award for Good Administration”

The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, is launching an “Award for Good Administration” within the EU institutions, agencies and bodies. The award, which is a pilot project, seeks to recognise those ordinary staff who bring high standards of public service to their work either as individuals or as members of a team. This includes high standards of ethics, transparency and accountability. There may be an overall award in addition to category awards.

Ms O'Reilly said: "My office regularly encounters EU staff who make great efforts to help people encountering problems with the EU public administration. Many EU staff also work hard to find innovative ways of implementing citizen friendly policies. This award is a way of formally recognising their efforts and of sharing best practice with the wider administration.”

“It is my role to deal with complaints about maladministration in the EU institutions and to conduct strategic inquiries with a view to improving the EU administration in the public interest. It is, however, also my role to acknowledge when the principles of good administration, such as a culture of service, transparency and ethical behaviour, are being practised.”

“I am conscious of the current climate of increasing EU scepticism in some parts of Europe and the sometimes unfair characterisations of the EU administration. This does a disservice to all those officials who actively try to make a positive difference especially as, in many areas, the EU administration has higher standards than some Member State administrations,” said Ms O’Reilly.

The award is open to staff in all EU institutions, agencies and bodies (except from the European Ombudsman office). Nominees for the award may be proposed by EU staff or by NGOs, businesses or associations who have had dealings with the EU administration. Individuals, teams or units can be put forward as candidates, or may put themselves forward, along with concrete examples of good administration.

The nomination period opens on 24 October 2016 and closes on 31 January 2017. Submissions should relate to the period January 2016 - December 2016. Entries will be judged on the extent to which they reflect the core principles of good public administration. Categories for the award submissions include excellence in transparency and ethics; excellence in communications; and excellence in citizen focused services delivery.

An advisory committee will draw up a short-list of the best nominees and the winners will be selected by the European Ombudsman. An awards ceremony will take place in early 2017.

The good administration website can be found here and includes links to the submission form and rules of procedure.

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