IPR to discuss regulation with GICS

The IPR is to meet civil service PROs to discuss tough new laws to regulate their profession.

The body wants to meet senior figures at the Government Information and Communication Service, including its head Mike Granatt, before it submits evidence to Parliament on the relationship between ministers, civil servants and special advisers.

A forum is scheduled to take place at the IPR on 22 April.

The Committee on Standards in Public Life is seeking views from both the civil service and the PR industry in response to the discord within the DTLR comms team.

One proposal being considered is a Civil Service Act to regulate links between politicians, advisers and civil servants. But IPR president Jon Aarons said the feeling within the body was in favour of self-regulation: 'There is a danger legislation could be a knee-jerk reaction to current events.'

DTLR head of news Ian Jones was this week suspended by civil servants investigating the source of the leaked e-mail two weeks ago accusing special adviser Jo Moore of attempting to 'bury' bad news for a second time.

It has also been revealed that the DTLR was paying more than £55,000 a month to retain Finsbury for City PR relating to the administration of Railtrack.

Finsbury was retained by DTLR banking advisers Schroder Salomon Smith Barney until January. A City insider said the agency cut its fees from £80,000 a month when it transferred to the DTLR payroll.

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