IPR calls for improved govt comms

IPR members have called on the Government to ‘professionalise its communications’, in a submission to the Phillis Committee, which was launched in February to investigate political ‘spin’.

The IPR’s submission includes a number of suggestions – made following consultation with members – to improve Government communications.

These include the launch of an independent cross-industry panel of experts to conduct an annual review of publicly funded government communications and funds for formal training of special advisers.

IPR director-general Colin Farrington said: ‘The IPR strongly believes the current professional arrangements for civil service communication practitioners are inadequate and under-resourced.

‘Government should do more to ensure that communications are consistently evaluated,’ he added.

The independent Phillis Committtee was launched earlier this year to review government PR following a spate of communications scandals (PRWeek, 14 February).

A team of 13 media experts leads the review, chaired by Guardian Media Group CEO Bob Phillis. Members include Good Relations Political Communications managing director David Hill.

The committee is understood to be considering a number of options, such as the scrapping of the Government Information and Communications Service.

In its submission, the IPR opposes the GICS being cut, suggesting more funding for the service and automatic membership for all civil service communicators.

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