Tee unveils vision for government comms

Recommendations for government comms would centre on six central themes in Whitehall

Abolished: Proposals by Matt Tee would spell end of COI
Abolished: Proposals by Matt Tee would spell end of COI

Matt Tee's recommendations for government comms, published last week, would see comms activities focused around just six themes across Whitehall.

The outgoing permanent secretary for government comms has proposed the abolition of the COI, while government departments could lose marketing and advertising staff to a centralised Government Communication Centre.

The GCC would develop comms strategies under cross-departmental themes that may include campaigns, programmes and contributions from departments.

In his report - Review of Government Direct Communication and the Role of the COI - Tee wrote: 'Government marketing and advertising should be grouped into up to six themes. They would be drawn from the overarching cross-government strategy, reflecting those of the Government's priorities that can be most effectively supported by marketing and advertising.'

These themes will also lead decision-making on procurement of PR agencies.

Tee's report gives a hypothetical example of one theme being 'Britain in the World', which would draw together departments such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for International Development, the MoD and Number Ten.

He goes on to outline his preferred option for the structuring and funding of this thematic approach. Of the existing 1,940 government comms employees, Tee envisages that 150 would go to work directly for the GCC and 480 would work within the six, 80-strong 'theme teams'.

The plan would reduce the headcount of comms staff by about 1,000, with potential saving of £54m per year.

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