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.

Traditional office culture is on the decline – and on the rise are trailblazing ways to make work more flexible, agile and supportive. This award is to recognise teams that are re-thinking traditional structures and encouraging their members to learn and work in new and exciting ways.

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.





Local Digital Collaboration Unit, UK

The Local Digital Collaboration Unit is a team based within MHCLG, set up in 2018 to support the ‘Local Digital’ movement. The team convened 45 public sector organisations to co-author the Local Digital Declaration. Published in July 2018, 205 local authorities in the UK have now signed the declaration and committed to working towards its principles. The team has taken the innovative approach of incentivising collaboration through the Local Digital Fund, where a minimum of 3 local government councils per project come together to understand and address common problems of service provision. So far, 100 distinct councils have risen to the challenge and are working together to solve complex challenges.

The People, Culture and Talent Team at the NSW Department of Premier & Cabinet, Australia

The People, Culture, and Talent Team at the NSW Department of Premier & Cabinet has worked to change the landscape for flexible working. Committed to the principle that ‘All Roles Flex,’ they have implemented initiatives like resource kits for employees and managers, behavioural nudges to increase the uptake of flexible working, mandatory flexibility training and inclusive leadership programs for all people managers, and team competitions on flexible working. On the back of these interventions, the team reported an increase in their employee flexible working satisfaction score from 69% in 2016 to 86% in 2019, which is 27 percentage points higher than the rest of the New South Wales government.

London Office of Technology and Innovation, UK

The London Office of Innovation (LOTI), launched in June 2019, is a collaborative vehicle that aims to strengthen the city’s boroughs’ ability to innovate, build common capability and to scale-up digital innovation across London’s public services. LOTI works to make Londoners’ lives better by making collaboration on technology and data projects easier for boroughs.

The Policy Community, Canada

The Policy Community Partnership Office is a young team committed to catalysing a community of policy practitioners across the federal public service in Canada. In the past year, PCPO has partnered with the Canada School of Public Service to test the prototype of the “XFN”- a Cross-functional Policy Mobility Program expanding participants’ experience and perspectives through assignments in multiple policy functions; delivered a 2-day conference where policy shapers from across government and beyond explored the “how” of policy practice; and more. The team models the concepts they promote by taking small actions to test assumptions and pivoting as they learn with Community members.

Digitalización y Adopción Digital, División de Gobierno Digital, Segpres, Chile

The Digitalización y Adopción Digital team has the mission of complying with the new legal mandate of SEGPRES, the intersectoral coordination and advice to the State Administration bodies in the strategic use of digital technologies. They provide advice and support to public institutions in the design of services and digital transformation.

GNova Brazil

GNova is the pioneering innovation laboratory of the Brazilian federal government. Started in August 2016, GNova’s mission is to develop innovative project solutions with federal government institutions so that the public service can respond more effectively to citizens’ demands. The practical experimentation projects developed by GNova are complemented by actions aimed at fostering the Brazilian innovation ecosystem.

Startup Nations

Startup Nations is a global community of public sector officials and policy advisors seeking to discover the most effective ways that local and national governments can empower entrepreneurs in their economies. Startup Nations provides an annual summit for its members in November, a policy-tracking platform, tools for hacking innovation policies, and opportunities to collaborate. It is a platform for sharing what works, and what doesn’t work, for government.