The new department will handle design as well as campaign, marketing and public relations work for Government departments.
All Government communications projects will now be subject to a ‘mandatory evaluation’ to track effectiveness and justify value for money.
The new system will see departmental teams supported by an additional central resource for specific, short-term projects.
Executive director of Government Communication Alex Aiken says, ‘We’re supporting cross-government collaboration but also empowering departments to better deliver their individual communications aims.
‘By ensuring communication strategies are focused on Government priorities we will be able to further reduce spending at the same time as increasing the quality of Government communication.’
The shake-up in Government communications follows, in March, the introduction of The Creative Solutions Framework, which replaced the Central Office of Information rosters and saw the number of rostered consultancies drop from 415 to 30. None of these 30 are specialist branding or pure design consultancies.
The Government Communication Service will still look to engage with consultancies on The Creative Solutions Framework on a case-by-case basis.
Aiken says that in 2010 £1bn was spent on communication and that has now been halved to £500m.
Government communications staffing levels have fallen by 48 per cent since 2010, to 1,900 communicators in central Governement departments and 1,200 in ’arms length bodies’ today. The new Government Communication Service will be largely run by existing staff when it is introduced in January 2014.
The Government Communications Service will carry out training and recruitment and Aiken and his team say they want Government Communication jobs to be seen as a desirable ‘profession’ so that ‘we don’t lose our best people to the private sector.’
In a new review system a Government Communication Board will meet quarterly to discuss the effectiveness of campaigns, spending controls and marketing.
Going forward The Creative Solutions Framework consultancies will meet with the Government Communications Service every quarter.