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ACT innovation takes top Public Service Award

The ACT Public Service’s use of a reverse auction process to promote investment in renewable energy has been awarded first place in the Institute of Public Administration Australia’s (IPAA) 2017 Public Sector Innovation Awards.

Presented last night (26 July) by the Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, the ACT took out the award in IPAA’s category for Innovative Solutions.

According to the judges, the ACT’s policy framework to promote renewable energy investment was ‘novel’ as it made the Territory the first jurisdiction in Australia to use a reverse auction process to award a large-scale feed-in energy tariff.

“The process connects renewable electricity support to market forces ensuring that the support is as low as possible,” the judges said.

To win the award, the ACTPS had to beat the challenges of three other finalists including the Australian Taxation Office’s Simpler BAS system; the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Food Challenge program; and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Digital First Capability.

The award was welcomed by the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury who said it was “fantastic” recognition of the ACT’s efforts to find new ways to tackle climate change.

“The ACT Government was the first jurisdiction in Australia to use the reverse auction mechanism to support the construction of new renewable energy projects,” Mr Rattenbury said.

He said the reverse auction process worked by inviting companies to submit proposals to construct new renewable energy projects such as wind or solar farms, with an aim for completing the project at the lowest possible cost.

“This competitive auction process ensured the ACT Government was able to select the renewable energy projects with the lowest cost to consumers and greatest benefit to the ACT economy,” he said.

Other winners in the IPAA Innovation awards were CSIRO for its ‘ON” program in the Culture and Practice category; the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for its Maritime Arrivals Reporting System in the Digital and Data category; and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Digital First Capability and the Department of Finance’s Finance Transformation Program which each won the Judges’ Award.

The four categories of the 2017 Public Sector Innovation Awards received 68 nominations.

Source: PS News

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