Director of comms roles under threat

The existence of director of comms positions at key government departments is looking increasingly shaky as Whitehall attempts to save cash.

Comms move: A DfT anti-speeding campaign from 2009
Comms move: A DfT anti-speeding campaign from 2009

All government departments have been handling their own reviews of senior civil service positions since October.

The Ministry of Justice has appointed the head of comms at the Crown Prosecution Service to the new role of director of comms and information. Pam Teare, a former director of news at the Ministry of Defence, will take up her post on 3 May. The post comprises comms, correspondence, information management and data requests.

However, the review at the Department for Transport has led to it not replacing director of comms Jeremy Mooney,
who left in December.  

A DfT spokesman said: ‘Within the new departmental structure there are three senior civil service comms posts. These share responsibility for providing professional leadership to the comms function within DfT.’

In addition, the Department for Work and Pensions has not replaced director of comms Sue Garrard since she left to head up comms for Unilever in January. Zitah McMillan, formerly head of comms for work and getting back into work, is currently filling in as acting director .

A DWP spokeswoman said the ongoing existence of a director of comms was under consideration by the dep-artment’s permanent secretary Robert Devereaux, who joined in the New Year.

Other departments are dealing with cuts in different ways. At the Department for Communities and Local Government, George Eykyn’s role as director of comms has been maintained, while six of the other 25 director roles in the department have been removed.

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