Executive director of government comms Jenny Grey spoke to PRWeek ahead of a key meeting next Monday likely to be attended by more than 400 agency figures, during which details of the set-up will be outlined.
She said: ‘We’re committed to high quality comms and we recognise that comms involves lots of SMEs, which the Government sees more broadly as crucial to growth.
‘With the old system, one could take years to get on the framework. This is much more agile and there will be a more dynamic approach – when people understand the model they will see it as more positive.’
Her words follow the closure of the COI and come as the Government moves to group departments together into hubs that will present their comms requirements to the Communications Delivery Board. The changes are viewed by the Government as a way of sharing expertise and removing duplication, but feelings of confusion have been aired by agency figures about the role of the Government Procurement Service.
However, Grey, who acknowledged there was less money to be spent and stressed that the new plan would not just be focused on SMEs, dismissed fears of a potentially more cost-led approach to procurement as ‘rubbish’.
‘The GPS will run process but decisions will be made by comms specialists,’ she added.
How I see it
Lorna Gozzard, director, Kindred
It was a huge relief to see this meeting in the diary, as although there has been some communication since the closing of the COI was announced, the overall picture of where government comms was going and how this may, or may not, affect agencies was unclear.
We are looking forward to hearing what Jenny Grey has to say. Hopefully, this will set out both the vision and some of the practicalities. However, the success of the meeting, and of the Government’s relationships with agencies going forward, will be based on making this a two-way conversation.
Agencies are keen to act in partnership with public sector comms teams and show how we can rise to the challenge of working in a new environment.