Public Sector: DWP revamps comms as cull of civil service looms

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is shaking up its communications function in anticipation of major job cuts.

The restructure is designed to focus resources more effectively and takes into account the recommendations made in the Phillis Review of government comms.

The DWP has beefed up several senior comms management posts and is advertising for a newly created post of head of internal comms as it prepares to shed 30,000 of its 130,000 staff nationwide by 2008.

Simon MacDowall remains director of communications. Head of media Lindsey French has assumed additional duties, including e-comms and marcoms, to become acting head of the comms operations group.

The group includes all comms delivery staff, the 55-strong national and regional press team, as well as marketing, intranet and internet managers.

The number of 'account directors', who liaise between the press office and DWP officials, has been increased from three to four. Ken Young's role as head of corporate comms has been reconfigured. He now holds the newly created role of head of strategy and planning, also responsible for research and archives.

An additional position of head of strategic comms has not yet been filled.

It is not known how many of the 350 jobs in the comms directorate will be axed, but they are certain to be affected, said French.

The Government has made several radical moves to reform the civil service and is cutting jobs to improve efficiency as recommended in the Gershon Report.

Sir Michael Lyons published a report last March recommending that large chunks of the civil service be moved out of London to cut costs and address the congestion and housing crisis in the South-East.

The DWP has already relocated 4,200 staff, mostly to Leeds.

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