COI head of creative services takes redundancy as organisation awaits its fate

Fanny Sigler, head of creative services at the Central Office of Information, has taken voluntary redundancy as the organisation anticipates a decision on its future, Design Week understands.

Sigler was in charge of Government design procurement. The COI would not comment on whether or not she will be replaced.

The Government has already frozen advertising and marketing spend through the COI following Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude’s efficiency drive announced earlier this year and the future of the department, its staffing, design rostering and procurement remain uncertain.

A COI spokeswomen says, ’The COI remains under consideration as part of the Cabinet Office public bodies review. Once the review of Government advertising – announced by the Cabinet Office in October – is complete, we will be able to comment further on the COI’s future role, remit and structure.’

There was also confirmation that in the shake-up 173 COI staff had taken voluntary redundancy, 55 people had taken compulsory redundancy and 59 jobs had been axed.

A COI spokeswoman says, ’The COI has come to the end of the redundancy consultation it announced in August, which was designed to reduce headcount by 40 per cent.’

’This was a compulsory redundancy scheme, which we have sought to mitigate with voluntary redundancies where possible,’ she adds.

The Cabinet Office could not confirm when the public bodies review would conclude, but it is expected to pass through the House of Lords on 23 November before being considered for approval by the House of Commons.

Sigler, who joined the COI in 1990 and has been its head of creative services since 2003, says she will ’stay close to the creative industries’ and has plans to work in education.

’I’d like to help students become better prepared for life after graduating, by coaching, mentoring, setting briefs and helping them to find solutions,’ says Sigler, who has contacted education institutions and trade bodies to offer help on a voluntary basis.

Although Sigler ’is not looking for another job’, she will still be looking to offer some consultancy and is hoping to explore creative ambitions outside graphics, branding and communications.

Future COI plans

  • Among departmental business plans submitted for review, the Cabinet Office has suggested scope for a US-style Ad Council
  • The US Ad Council is a not-for-profit organisation which has offered public-service advertising since 1942. Crucially, it relies on ’volunteer talent’ from the advertising and communications industries
  • Suggestions for a payment-by-results model have also been put forward
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