Investigation set to launch into PRO adviser relations

An independent review into Government comms launches this month, following a spate of scandals involving press officers and special advisers.

This is the first time a review group, the chair of which is confirmed as Guardian Media Group CEO Bob Philis, has been set up specifically to investigate government PR.

The abolition of the Government Information and Communication Service is one option understood to be under review, in addition to a boosting of Downing Street's role in directing media relations.

Full details of the review, including timetable and membership, will be revealed by Douglas Alexander, the Cabinet Office minister responsible for communications.

He is set to make an announcement to the House of Commons public administration committee, which last summer called for the independent review, following its own investigation into the relationship between special advisers and civil servants.

It is understood that the review team will be around ten strong, with the majority from outside Government.

A cabinet insider said: 'This is certainly not an in-house job.'

Meanwhile, standards watchdog the Wicks Committee is set to unveil its report on the relationship between special advisers and civil servants by Easter.

This follows an investigation that included evidence from IPR officials.

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