Privatisation threat is lifted from government advertising body

- The Government has lifted the threat of privatisation hanging over its advertising body, the Central Office of Information. The move means that media companies will not get the chance to bid for the job of buying all Government advertising. The previous Tory Government edged towards a sell-off and Labour said it would consider a sale when it was in Opposition. However, following a review, Labour has now called a halt to the Tories' programme of privatising semi-independent government bodies like the COI. Bosses at the COI, who recover their costs from Whitehall departments, have been ordered to make a £1 million profit this year and achieve three years of surpluses in order to finance job cuts. But some of the performance targets set by the Tories have now been scrapped after Labour ministers admitted that further improvements in efficiency were unrealistic. Last year, the COI surpassed its targets of delivering 99.64 per cent work in line with its Whitehall clients' orders and submitting 99.06 per cent of it on time. Labour's decision gives Tony Douglas, the COI chief executive, a breathing space to fine tune the organisation without the threat of having to bid against a private sector media buyer. David Clark, the cabinet minister in charge of the COI, said bodies like it would still be encouraged to search out best practice in the private sector so they could improve their efficiency and quality.

- The Government has lifted the threat of privatisation hanging over its advertising body, the Central Office of Information. The move means that media companies will not get the chance to bid for the job of buying all Government advertising. The previous Tory Government edged towards a sell-off and Labour said it would consider a sale when it was in Opposition. However, following a review, Labour has now called a halt to the Tories' programme of privatising semi-independent government bodies like the COI. Bosses at the COI, who recover their costs from Whitehall departments, have been ordered to make a £1 million profit this year and achieve three years of surpluses in order to finance job cuts. But some of the performance targets set by the Tories have now been scrapped after Labour ministers admitted that further improvements in efficiency were unrealistic. Last year, the COI surpassed its targets of delivering 99.64 per cent work in line with its Whitehall clients' orders and submitting 99.06 per cent of it on time. Labour's decision gives Tony Douglas, the COI chief executive, a breathing space to fine tune the organisation without the threat of having to bid against a private sector media buyer. David Clark, the cabinet minister in charge of the COI, said bodies like it would still be encouraged to search out best practice in the private sector so they could improve their efficiency and quality.



Topics