COI wind-down enters new phase

Jenny Grey: acting executive director of government communications
Jenny Grey: acting executive director of government communications

The COI will stop taking on new work from next week as part of the wind-down of the 65-year-old government marketing body.

A letter, seen by Marketing, from COI head of procurement Bob Ager to suppliers, states that "at some point in December (likely to be the 14 December) COI will cease taking on new work".

Ager adds: "This is to allow us to manage the closure of COI in an orderly fashion in the new year."

COI clients such as government departments wishing to use agencies after this date will be able to procure their services directly, but the agencies will still have to be on one of the existing COI frameworks.

Earlier this year, Francis Maude, the minister for the Cabinet Office, approved a plan to close the organisation as part of a plan to cut government communications costs.

Just 20 COI staff will be moved into the Cabinet Office next year, while other staff members will be redeployed elsewhere or made redundant. The process will be completed by March 31, the last day of the organisation’s existence.

Jenny Grey, the director of policy and communications for the Cabinet Office, is acting as the executive director of government communications until the post is filled.

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