Haslam exits COI after 40 years in Whitehall

Government News Network director Rob Haslam is to retire after nearly 40 years in Whitehall, leaving one of the biggest government PR jobs up for grabs.

The Central Office of Information (COI) will start hunting for Haslam’s rep­lacement at the end of the month. Sources at the COI said his successor would be given a wider remit than is currently the case.

Sitting within the COI, the Government News Network supplies a regional news service to staff within government departments and government agencies.

Haslam said a key challenge for his successor would be ‘to continue the integration of the communications offering, from one which is essentially an information provider, to one which is more proactive that can respond to digital and social media’.

Haslam has overseen the government’s regional news network for ten years. He currently sits on the board of the COI and rep­orts to COI chief executive Alan Bishop. He has also held sen­ior comms roles at the Department for Trade and Ind­ustry, the Board of Trade, the Dep­artment of Health, the Health and Saf­ety Exec­utive, the Scottish office and Number 10 Downing Street.

The Government News Network was created in 1946. It was moved into the Cabinet Office in 2002 but was moved out again in 2005 after a plan for it to be centrally funded failed. It curr­ently boasts 120 people, split between regions, and it is self-financing.

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