The UK Government's public service and other marketing has been overseen since January 2014 by the Government Communication Service, a non-political civil service department that is an arm of the Cabinet Office. Previously, for more than 65 years, government communications fell under the control of COI, or Central Office of Information as it was once known. This acted as the client on behalf of governmental departments to coordinate largescale marketing initiatives and liaise with advertising agencies. However, advertising expenditure increased dramatically under Labour government in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with the result that the COI had become the country's highest-spending marketer by 2009. David Cameron's Coalition Government was quick to announce drastic cutbacks in spend, followed by a review of its marketing decision-making process. As a result, the COI was shut down in 2012, with much of the client-side decision-making handed back to individual departments' own marketing and communications directors. COI was replaced by a new and much smaller board of oversight, as well as a centralised procurement organisation. Originally the Government Communication Network, it adopted its current name in 2014. Alex Aiken is executive director of GCS. Purchasing is made through a centralised Crown Commercial Service (CCS) department which handles all government expenditure. Total approved expenditure on marketing for the year to March 2019 is £300m. Government departments are required to select agencies from two specific rosters of agencies who are approved for assignments. The latest rosters, published in 2017 and valid until 2021, include around 27 separate agencies for major "campaign solutions" worth £100k or more and a further 66 for smaller campaigns.
Capsule checked 23rd October 2018
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