The Nottinghamshire district was honoured for its innovation in local tax collection, which proved it had learned valuable lessons from the private sector.
The benefits team of the year award went to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. The council was commended for its use of customer surveys and random samples of benefit claims in improving its service.
The personal achievement award went to Vera Brown of the University College of Wales in Newport for her work in establishing the institute's distance learning scheme.
The awards were sponsored by bailiff Madagans.