An alliance of businesses in the business of water

SARMS wins Gold at Prime Minister’s Awards for Public Sector Excellence

September 25, 2017

The South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program (SARMS) team from PIRSA-Rural Solutions has taken out top honours at the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management.

The $25 million Regional Economic Development (RED) component of the SARMS program earned the Gold Award at last week’s event.

The RED component of SARMS was created to drive the River Murray region’s economic development and includes the Regional Development and Innovation Fund (RDIF), the redevelopment of the Loxton Research Centre, and the Industry-led Research Sub-Program (IRSP).

Judges said the program was “very strong” across all four assessment and award criteria:

• commitment to, and achievement of exceptional stakeholder service and satisfaction;

• high standard of transparent leadership, planning and governance;

• high standard of people management and change management; and,

• innovation in the design and/or delivery of products, services and processes.

The development of the SARMS Program’s original business case was facilitated by the Water Industry Alliance which ensured the design had industry at its heart. The Alliance partnered with PIRSA Rural Solutions throughout implementation to secure the water industry’s involvement in the Program’s components. This was achieved by promoting the Program or running regional workshops to encourage involvement.

“The RED component was an innovative project that delivered real benefits to industry and to the region,” Water Industry Alliance CEO Rachel Barratt said. “It was quite unique in that it provided funding to businesses in the region which had to demonstrate that they can improve their productivity as a result. The RED component also highlighted the value of having industry participation in the original intent and design of the program.

“The Alliance would like to congratulate the SARMS Program team at PIRSA Rural Solutions.  It’s another bit of recognition which demonstrates the value of co-design between government and industry – the importance of bringing industry upfront to ensure a project is reflective of real industry needs which is what has made this Program unique.

“The success of its implementation is in part reflected by the unique way it came together and the work of PIRSA Rural Solutions in being able to roll out this program on time and within budget. The Alliance is proud to have been a partner in that journey.”

The SARMS projects will continue to be delivered until mid-2019.