Spending watchdog hunts chief for revamped team

Efficiency watchdog the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is on the prowl for a comms chief to help give it more clout.

The newly created director of comms role and the team it leads have been created to lend the office more authority and to raise its profile, particularly among public sector stakeholders.

Briefed to help the public sector meet tough efficiency and value-for-money targets, the body is ramping up its PR arm with the help of former Thames Water director of corporate affairs Chris Bailey, currently interim director of comms.

'The OGC needs a dramatic profile boost,' he said. 'So it makes sense to create a single comms unit rather than have PROs working separately.'

Bailey has assembled a team of 15, covering events, marketing, internal comms, public affairs, speech writing, web and press.

Previously, two internal comms managers reported to HR, while the speechwriter reported to chief executive John Oughton; the two marketing and events officers reported to the customer engagement team.

Now all posts report to the director of comms.

The OGC was set up in 2004 after the Gershon Review into public sector spending. Former head of media relations David Prior retired last year.

The office has been instructed to help the public sector achieve £21.5bn in efficiency savings by the end of the financial year 2008.
Bailey said a permanent comms chief would be in place by August.

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