Warwickshire County Council department has won a prestigious regional quality award.
The treasurer's department was highly commanded and named as a prize winner in the
public sector category of the annual Midlands Quality Awards organised by Midlands
Excellence at a ceremony attended by 1,600 guests at Birmingham's ICC on November 30.
The award was presented by Richard Noble who spearheaded the drive to create the
fastest car in the world, ThrustSSC.
The county treasurer's department, which handles the council's annual turnover of
£400m and employs 85 of the organisation's 18,000 staff, walked off with a finalists'
award at the 1997 ceremony and is delighted to have improved on its performance this year.
County treasurer Steve Freer explained:
"We have been working with the Business Excellence Model, the self assessment tool
promoted by Midlands Excellence, for the past two years and have found it particularly
The department has put in place a number of innovative initiatives including a Quality
Improvement Scheme which involves all staff finding ways to improve the quality of
service, an Upward Appraisal Scheme which gives everyone a confidential chance to score
the performance of managers every year, and a Business Planning Calendar which publishes
all the organisation's targets in an eye catching way.
The department already has Investors in People, IS09001 and an array of local
government and finance awards under its belt.
Its passion for excellence certainly pays off.
"The department regularly compares its performance in terms of interest rates
payable with all the other county councils in England. Each year we make a saving compared
to the average of around half a million pounds," said Steve Freer.
Fellow finalist, Coventry and Warwickshire's Chamber of Commerce, Training and
Enterprise was pipped to the post by the treasurer's department.
But winning is not the main aim of entering the Midlands Quality Awards.
Midlands Excellence chairman Alan Jones, managing director of founder sponsor TNT UK,
which has just won the European Quality Award, said:
"Although receiving a trophy is a feather in an entrant's cap, the experience of
using the Business Excellence Model and the detailed feedback report given by our
experienced assessors to every entrant, are extremely valuable tools in planning future