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400 data office workers face axe

Friday June 24th 2011

Up to 400 jobs are at risk as a result of the Government's decision to close its Central Office of Information (COI), union leaders have warned.

The agency, which provides publicity services to the government departments, was established in 1946.

The decision to scrap the COI comes as part of the introduction of significant changes to Government communications due to a cut in the advertising and marketing spend in 2010, according to ministers.

The Cabinet Office said the changes would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Government communications.

Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: "This Government has slashed unnecessary spending on communications. These important and significant changes to Government communications structures are designed to reflect this and to save more money by cutting bureaucracy and reducing duplication.

"This does not mean the end of vital and cost-effective marketing campaigns, such as those campaigns that save people's lives."

However, trade union Prospect condemned the move to axe the COI.

Expressing its shock over the Government's decision, it said the employees were not consulted or warned about the possible redundancies.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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