COI should be replaced with Government Communication Centre, claims Matt Tee review

The permanent secretary for government comms Matt Tee has called for the abolition of the COI in his review of the troubled government body.

Tee: COI should be abolished
Tee: COI should be abolished

The review of the role of the COI has been published today, calling for the COI to be abolished and replaced with a ‘Government Communication Centre’. 

The plan will reduce headcount of staff working in communications by about 1,000 people, saving £50 million per year in staff costs.

The review, carried out by Tee in his final role in government, has focused on direct communications, including advertising and marketing.

Within the review, Tee states: ‘It has become clear that what is required is not just a solution regarding the future of COI, but a different approach to government direct communication.’

Tee goes on to state that some government comms have been ‘unrelated to an overall sense of government priorities’ and have 'not always been based on the best evidence’.

Tee concludes that the government should agree a direct communication strategy, which should be performed by what he has called a Government Communication Centre.

Tee writes: ‘I have carefully considered whether to retain the COI brand, recognising its strengths, especially outside government. I have concluded that, because what I am proposing in this review is a sufficient change in the way that government approaches direct communications, retaining the brand would suggest a greater continuity with the recent past than I think is helpful. 

‘I have therefore concluded that on establishment of the Government Communication Centre, the COI brand should cease to be used.’

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has welcomed the publication: ‘I am grateful to Matt for the work that has gone into this report. I will discuss the recommendations with ministerial colleagues and the government will publish a full response in due course.' 

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