FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government’s performance excellence process is receiving a national award for providing improved public service at a lower cost.

The Canadian Government Executive Leadership Award will be presented today at the organization's Leadership Summit being held in Ottawa.

“Our performance excellence process has changed the culture of government,” said Premier David Alward. “Members of our public service have embraced this change to deliver better services to New Brunswickers while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.”

Since its implementation in June 2011, performance excellence has increased efficiency and accountability; improved services to the public; streamlined administration and seen continuous improvements across the provincial government. It has achieved these goals by using a formal management system built on leading business practices to develop, communicate and review strategy. Another element of performance excellence is Lean Six Sigma process improvement.

To date, more than 1,400 government employees have been involved in more than 400 performance excellence-related initiatives resulting in savings of more than $12 million. These projects have reduced wait times at customer service centres and hospitals as well as increased the quality of road maintenance. They have also reduced costs for printing and employee travel and identified inventory management efficiencies for pharmaceutical drugs.

The award marks the second year in a row the province has been recognized for its performance excellence process. In 2013, it won the Atlantic Canada Innovation in Practice Award from Progress Media. The honour recognized the development, application and results of performance excellence in the public sector.

“This system is now a vital part of day-to-day business across the provincial government,” said Alward. “The results so far have been encouraging, and we will continue to find ways we can provide better services in our communities each day.”