Government Communications Centre to replace COI

A new Government Communications Centre that would replace the Central Office of Information has been proposed.

The proposal for the GCC has been made in the review of Government direct communication and the COI carried out by permanent secretary Matt Tee and published today.

Tee’s report calls for Government to develop ‘an overall direct communication strategy, audience insight and evaluation to happen in one place’. It rejects proposals for a US-style Ad Council as unworkable.

The report proposes the formation of a GCC ‘which incorporates the new functions which are necessary to conduct Government direct communication in a different way, with those of the COI’s functions that will continue’.

The proposed GCC would also feature a ‘pay-as-you-go’ unit providing direct communication services.

The report also suggests that a payment-by-results structure for consultancies working for Government should become a ‘common feature’ during 2011/12.

It also proposes setting up a Common Good Communication Council, which could see consultancies Government and voluntary organisations working for free or near-free on ‘campaigns for the common good’.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude says, ‘I will discuss the recommendations with ministerial colleagues and the Government will publish a full response in due course.’

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