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Honours Secretariat

Honours Secretariat

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Honours Secretariat

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  1. Honours Secretariat Honours Presentation to the Rotary Club of Dunfermline 27 August 2009

  2. What are honours for? • Recognising: • Achievement • Exceptional Service

  3. They are for people who: • Have changed things, with an emphasis on achievement • Have delivered in a way that has brought distinction • Exemplify the best sustained and selfless voluntary service • Have demonstrated innovation and entrepreneurship • Carry the respect of their peers • Have shown sustained achievement against the odds requiring moral courage

  4. AWARDS • The most often used awards are: • Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) • Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) • Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) • Knights Bachelor • Dame/Knight Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (DBE/KBE)

  5. Levels (1) • Companion of Honour (up to 45 in UK) A pre-eminent and sustained contribution in the arts, science, medicine, or government. • Knight/DameA pre-eminent contribution in any field of activity usually, but not exclusively at national level, or in a capacity which will be recognised by peer groups as inspirational and significant nationally. • CBE A prominent national role of a lesser degree, or a conspicuous leading role in regional affairs through achievement or service to the community or making a highly distinguished, innovative contribution in his or her area of activity;

  6. Levels (2) • OBE A distinguished regional or county-wide role in any field, through achievement or service to the community including notable practitioners known nationally; • MBE Achievement or service in and to the community of a responsible kind which is outstanding in its field; or a very local “hands-on” service which stands out as an example to others. In both cases awards illuminate areas of dedicated service which merit public recognition.

  7. Order of the British Empire Emblem

  8. REFORMED SYSTEM • 8 new committees, selected under Nolan procedures. • Chairs and majority of members independent of government • Chairs together form Main honours committee chaired by Sir Gus O’Donnell • Looks at shape of list(s) as a whole

  9. Process in Scotland Directorates Public Nominations Lord-Lieutenants Directorate Sifts “Central” Sift Permanent Secretary Honours and Appointments Secretariat Honours Committees Main Honours Committee PM to The Queen

  10. PM’s Role Has set strategic priorities – main criteria remain achievement and service to community community participation to be taken more into account, particularly at OBE and MBE Not saying fewer awards to doctors, teachers etc. But should give priority to those who have gone beyond excellence to put something back on a voluntary basis Receives recommendations from the Main Honours Committee Submits them to The Queen

  11. Lord-Lieutenants’ Roles • Commenting on recommendations from members of the public (critically important) • Looking for ways to improve/sustain the number of women and BME candidates • In their Lieutenancies working to spread general understanding of the honours system • Mrs Margaret Dean or Tom Sunter delighted to advise or assist with nominations

  12. Who gets them? In New Year List 2009 (966 people): 86% were at OBE and MBE level 24% were at OBE 62% were at MBE 70% were working in the Community in some way 39% were women, on a rising trend

  13. Distribution (BD 2008) % List %Pop East 8.8 9.1 East Midlands 5.3 7.1 West Midlands 7.4 8.9 South East 14.4 13.6 South West 10.0 8.4 North East 2.4 4.3 Wales 5.1 4.9 Northern Ireland 5.6 2.9 North West 9.2 11.4 London 16.0 12.2 Yorks and Humbs 5.1 8.4 Scotland 9.8 8.6

  14. Sectors • 10% went to people in Education • 8% went to people in Health • 18% went to people in Business, Science and Technology • 6% went to people working in the cultural economy • 58% went to people nominated for work in the voluntary sector

  15. Areas of Deficit • Women • North of England • Retail and Service Sectors • Women in industry at senior levels • Good quality MBE candidates working very locally • Candidates from Black and Ethnic Minority Communities at all levels.

  16. Research Autumn 2007 Perceptions generally positive 75% think honours good way of recognising service and excellence 70% agree honours are awarded mainly for service to local communities 70% believe system open to all not just for celebrities and people in government

  17. But 40% thought celebrities were most likely recipients Only 40% believe system is fair in the way it is operated 40% think system is out of date and should be replaced

  18. Publicity Campaign • Main messages • Anyone can nominate • Anyone can receive • System is relevant today • Process is straightforward

  19. New Media • Articles on web sites: • Interviews on You Tube: • Go to • Search on UK Honours

  20. Conclusion • Honours System has become more: • Transparent • Accountable • New energy from the new committees • Need for greater out-reach • In all this, must not lose sight of over-riding criterion of excellence.