Why this matters

For the second year in a row, Apolitical will be celebrating innovative, groundbreaking teams that get the job done through our Public Service Team of the Year Awards. Though their work often goes unnoticed, we know that teams are at the heart of every effective government and are working hard every day to make people’s lives better.

This award recognises that the teams tackling the most pressing issues don’t always have the flashiest titles. Cleaning spreadsheets, updating systems, or digitising documents may not be the most glamorous-sounding work, but it’s absolutely essential – we see you, and we salute you!

How to Vote

Voting has now closed. Any votes cast after Sunday the 5th of January will not be counted. The winning team will be announced in late January.

How we selected the finalists

Our team received hundreds of nominations from teams all over the world. We then reviewed each nomination individually, and a panel of judges at Apolitical decided on a shortlist of teams for each category.





Next Generation HR and Pay Team (NextGen), Canada

The Next Generation Human Resources and Pay Team is working to develop a new HR and pay system for the Government of Canada that is mobile, accessible, and available 24/7. The team has engaged users in feedback throughout the development process in order to ensure that the system is as useful as possible. The aim is to make sure that the new system supports users from the day they’re hired to the day they leave public service.

Nigeria Vendor Database Team

The Team at the Bureau of Public Procurement in Nigeria successfully transformed procurement processes by establishing real-time system-to-system verification of contractor claims and information seamlessly, in collaboration with 5 other agencies with respective statutory mandates of compliance. This has drastically reduced corruption cases, such as falsification of documents, and has facilitated pre-qualification process by Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The Nigeria Vendor Database has also made doing business in Nigeria easy, as vendors can initiate and complete the registration process and generate a certificate without any physical intervention.

Co-Lab, Library & Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada has developed Co-Lab, a crowdsourcing tool developed by Library and Archives Canada (LAC), which lets Canadians participate in making LAC’s digital collection more accessible. Canadians can use Co-Lab to transcribe, add keywords and image tags, translate content from an image or document and add descriptions to digitized images, contributing to the archives in the collection. LAC acquires, processes, preserves and provides access to Canada’s documentary heritage and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

Risk Management Division of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, US

In 2018, the Risk Management Division of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency implemented a new policy in order to streamline the assessment and authorization of their information systems. The policy incorporates both waterfall and agile software development while automating parts of the ATO process and calculating risk scores that were tailored to evaluate readiness. The division also reworked the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Risk Management Framework to better group security and risk activities by areas of responsibility between the division and system operators.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

In January of this year, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency introduced the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). The team has been working on these new regulations for several years, and they represent the largest reform initiative in regulations in the country’s history. New innovations in the regulations include outcome-based regulations, which focus on the result of the regulation rather than what food businesses must do to achieve it, and an online library of over 300 guidance documents, which helps businesses interpret the new regulations in everyday scenarios.

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), US

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is taking an innovative approach to reducing water pollution from sewer overflows by issuing a Water Drop Alert™ when large storms and heavy rains threaten the area. The MMSD has been recognised as the “gold standard” in sanitation, as Milwaukee now averages only 2.4 combined sewer overflows a year, due to a massive underground tunnel, green infrastructure, and flood-control measures.