Head of Export Control accepts Better Regulation Award


Winning out overall despite strong presentations from Internet Watch Foundation, Lancashire County Council, MAPFRE ABRAXAS, National Scores on the Doors, and Trading Standards North West, the Export Control Organisation (ECO) was presented with the Better Regulation Award at the National Business Awards Gala Dinner on 9th November 2010.

One of ten finalists selected by the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange, drawn from both public and private sector organisations, ECO impressed judges who were looking for an organisation that could best demonstrate how it is delivering better outcomes and creating a more effective operating environment through better regulation practices.

“The judges looked for evidence that the finalists had either reduced the regulatory burden for businesses or increased efficiency within public sector organisations,” explained Alex Evans, Editorial Director & Head of Judging of the National Business Awards. “The only export authority with a full end-to-end electronic process, the ECO has not only increased efficiency and the number of licenses processed but its Head of Export Control has embedded a culture of creativity and ambitious improvement.”

Exercising the Secretary of State for Business’s statutory power to licence the exports of military and dual use goods, the ECO has created an export licensing process that is as easy to use, transparent, predictable and minimally burdensome. Described by BAe Systems as “the most industry-friendly export licensing system of any major Western country”, it combines four core elements – single agency handling both military and dual use goods; single end-to-end IT system, open licenses for the least sensitive goods; and outreach to ensure companies understand their obligations.

Accepting the Award at a glittering ceremony attended by 1,200 of the UK’s most influential business people, ECO Head Tom Smith said: “We want to be one of the best customer service organisations in the world, but at the same time we’ve got to do that while still being part of the UK’s national security apparatus, making sure we promote UK security worldwide. The competition was really tough, and what I tried to convey was the spirit of the team and the passion for doing what we do, doing a really difficult job and sticking at it, and making a difference to the UK economy.”

Judges for this year’s Better Regulation Award included Sir Don Curry, Non-Executive Chairman, Better Regulation Executive; Clive Grace, Chair, Local Better Regulation Office; Prof Dominic Swords, Economist/Consultant, Henley Business School; and Neil Warren, Financial Director, Trading Standards Institute.

Summarising judges’ comments for selecting ECO as the overall winner, Evans said: “The judging panel felt that ECO is great example of a public sector organisation applying the best commercial principles and systems to increase the service offering for its customer. It also clearly demonstrated that it has substantially reduced the regulatory burden at every level without compromising on national security.”

Opening the awards ceremony with a video message recorded before jetting off to the G20 Summit, Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated all of the finalists recognised by this year’s Awards saying they were an inspiration not only to the business community but those in government trying to support recovery.

“These awards, they really do show off the best of British, from innovation to growth, from customer focus to corporate responsibility, through health and well-being to better regulation, from entrepreneur of the year to leader of the year. Category after category celebrating outstanding achievements, businesses small, medium and large, local, national and international the true pride of Britain and the true wealth creators in our economy. You are the doers and the grafters who will get this country back on its feet. The people who will get our economy growing again. And it’s absolutely right that we should take this moment to recognise what you do”, the Prime Minister said.

Visit www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk to watch a short film of Export Control accepting the Better Regulation accolade at the National Business Awards 2010.

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