Smart takes Audit Commission role after PROs depart

The Audit Commission is taking on a new head of press as it moves to shore up its comms department, following the loss of three senior PROs in recent months.

Victor Smart, the former editor of PRWeek sister publication Management Today, is to take up the role later this month, filling a vacancy left by the departure of Ruth Davison in July (PRWeek, 25 July).

Smart left his job as editorial director at Partnership Media Group, which publishes Criminal Justice Management and Health Director, on 3 October. He has also edited Public Finance magazine.

Audit Commission director of communications Colin Douglas said the Commission had yet to replace head of marketing Gail Scott-Spicer, who is to leave next month (PRWeek, 19 September), as well as head of comms co-ordination Jennifer Tankard, who left in July.

He added that no decisions had been taken on whether the Commission would keep these positions in its comms department after a review examining the structure of the organisation.

However, he added: ‘We are appointing a head of press office because we are leaving that basic structure alone.’

Smart will manage a team of five PROs and will report to Douglas. Acting head of press office Chandrika Deshpanda will return to her duties as media manager.

A key part of Smart’s role will be to communicate the next findings of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment, the Government’s new inspection regime for local councils, which the Commission will publish in December.

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