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DBS receives Cabinet Office smarter working award

Published: 22 Jan 2016

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced that the Defence Business Services (DBS) Executive Committee – which comprises Serco, Military and Civil Service personnel – received the runners up award in the corporate leadership category at last night’s second annual Cabinet Office ‘The Way We Work (TW3)’ awards, for leading the transformation of DBS. The awards ceremony took place at the BT Tower in London.

The TW3 awards recognise teams working across the public sector for their efforts in moving towards new and smarter ways of working, helping to realise the Civil Service Reform Plan.

Defence Business Services or ‘DBS’ is the MOD Shared Service Centre. It processes around £27bn of bills each year and is responsible for vetting employees, providing HR services for 56,000 civilian staff, as well as Management Information Services. 

In 2012, the MOD let an innovative ‘Management Partner’ contract to Serco, partnered by Accenture, on a 100% payment by results basis to provide DBS senior management team members, while the majority of its staff remained part of the Civil Service.  It provided a unique opportunity to combine the commercial acumen of the private sector with the very best of a joint civilian and military organisation.

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Almost four years on, this contract has been a success.  DBS has exceeded the financial targets placed on it by the Department and has created an organisation which is in the upper quartile for cost of all Government Shared Service providers.  Efficiencies using ‘Operational Excellence’ streamlining techniques, have seen staff numbers reduce by 32% since 2012 but with significant investment in people skills and training, customer service levels have increased. In November 2015, DBS was awarded Cabinet Office ‘Customer Service Excellence’ accreditation for its approach to improving service standards and the TW3 award now builds on this further.

DBS CEO and Serco employee, Rod McCurdy, said: “I am delighted that the DBS Executive Committee has been judged so highly for such a prestigious Cabinet Office award.  This recognition is a firm indication that the OneDBS approach, which combines the best from the Civil Service, Military, Private Sector and Third Sector continues to lead the way across the Public Sector.  This Leadership has happened at every level of the organisation and we can all feel extremely proud of what DBS has achieved.”

Serco’s contract ends on 17 April 2016 when management of DBS’s operations will be brought back within the Department to enable MOD to fully consider the future of its corporate services requirements. 

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