The Cabinet Office issued a request for written evidence to industry bodies including the PRCA and the CIPR about the COI's role at the end of last week.
The document, obtained by PRWeek, explains how the Cabinet Office intends to remodel 'the centre of Government comms, including the COI, and its relationship with departments, suppliers and partners to meet the challenges of the new environment'.
There have been suggestions that the Government may even abolish the COI.
PRCA chief executive Francis Ingham told PRWeek: 'The Government has a temptation to abolish the COI, but fundamental reform seems more likely to be its first choice. If it can change the COI into a business-friendly organisation that avoids the bureaucratic chaos of the last roster review, we will applaud its actions.'
Ingham added that much of the Government's advertising spend was 'wasted money', which would be more effectively spent on PR.
The CIPR said in a statement that it was 'keen to ensure that the value of government PR activity is given equal prominence alongside advertising and marketing'.
'We recognise particularly with the Government's "Big Society" initiative that good local comms will be vital to the successful delivery of this programme. We hope to be able to present a response ... on behalf of our members in the coming weeks.'
The Cabinet Office's call for written evidence outlines the impact of the Big Society on how it achieves its objectives.