Bureaucrats have received sums of up to £187,500 on top of their annual salaries. The bonus by itself is more than prime minister David Cameron earns in a year.
The cost of performance-related rewards has risen since Labour’s final year in power in four departments, according to official figures.
Bonus payments handed out to civil servants total £22.8 million for the Coalition government’s first year, the figures show.
And the true total will be even higher because three departments have not provided their details.
The highest bonus bill came from the Foreign Office, which doled out £6.7 million in bonuses in 2010/11.
Jeremy Beeton, director general of the Government Olympic Executive, received the biggest individual bonus – a whopping £187,500.
He works at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which is charged with overseeing the building, financing, legacy and staging of the Olympic Games.
A spokesman for the DCMS said: “Jeremy Beeton’s annual bonus is linked to achievement of specific targets.”
And a Cabinet Office spokesman insisted: “The government has reduced the number of senior civil servants eligible for bonuses from the top performing two thirds to the top 25 per cent.
“This has helped reduce the spend on bonuses last year by £15 million. This means we can still retain an element of performance-related pay for the very best performers.”