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Minister Smith welcomes Public Service Excellence Award for his Department

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith T.D., today welcomed the award to his Department of a Public Service Excellence Award for its Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) System - Livestock Marts Online Project, which was presented by An Taoiseach at a Showcase and Awards ceremony in Dublin Castle on 8 July.

The AIM Livestock Marts Online Project was one of just 20 selected for an award from 208 entries submitted by organisations from across the Public Service for the 2010 awards.  Broadcaster, Mr. David Harvey chaired the independent selection committee for the awards.

The Public Service Excellence Award follows on from other successes by the Department such as an EU-wide "Good Practice Label" for the AIM Livestock Marts Online Project and the eGovernment award this year for Forestry Online Mapping And Planting Applications.

The Minister said that it was gratifying for all of those involved in the project to have their efforts and achievement recognised in this fashion and he wished to express his thanks to the people concerned.  The Minister added, "it is good to see recognition being given to such a successful project that provides genuine benefits in terms of improved service delivery and reduced administration".

Minister Smith said that the AIM Livestock Marts Online Project "is an essential element in supporting the Department's various animal identification and tracability activities and brings the benefits of modern technology to the administration of the Department's various programmes". It augments other technology initiatives in his Department in recent years that "provide further assurances on food safety which consumers rightly demand".

The project involved the implementation of real time interaction over the internet, between the software systems of 90 livestock marts throughout the country and the Department's AIM system. It replaced an older system (known as CMMS) that notified the information after the event, leading to a significant number of discrepancies and delays for the Department and for farmers.

The Minister expressed his pleasure that his Department has been recognised as one of the leading innovative organisations in the Irish Public Service and indicated that it would continue to exploit technology to facilitate change, to improve services and to reduce costs for the Department and for all of its stakeholders.

Public Service Award - 14.07.2010

Date Released: 14 July 2010