From the TUC

Cuts Watch #169: 40% staff cut at COI

03 Aug 2010, by in Cuts Watch

The Government’s information agency, the Central Office for Information will shed 40% of its staff in cuts announced today. Staff numbers will be reduced from 737 to 450, cutting deeply into the COI’s £44m core staff costs.

COI’s Chief Executive reports to the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude. Staff have been offered voluntary redundancy initially, but Maude has signalled that he wants radical changes to the scheme that may leave staff with much-reduced redundancy benefits.

A formal 90 day consultation begins today and ends on 1 November 2010. It is possible that by then, Maude will have secured Parliamentary approval for the changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme that he has been calling for. COI staff would then face substantial reductions in service-related entitlements.

The COI said a government freeze on non-essential advertising and marketing spending had significantly reduced its workload, with its turnover falling 52% in June compared to the same month last year. “The new government has made it clear that this reduction in spend should be expected to continue into the future,” the COI said in a statement. Most departments are facing budget cuts of at least 25%.

The COI, which does not have its own budget but works for other government departments and public sector bodies, said it would be cutting 287 jobs, taking its staff numbers to 450.