Between the Lines: COI has adapted to survive

It's easy to knock COI but hard to fault Alan Bishop's logic in getting Directgov under its wing (page 5). The former Saatchi & Saatchi international chairman turned COI chief executive knows better than most that the Government's information service, like any agency, must adapt to changing demands or die.

Bishop is pragmatic enough to accept that the trend for major government departments to build relationships with their creative agencies is probably unstoppable and that its organisation must broaden its offering to prove its worth.

Recently, he brought the Government News Network, Whitehall's regional communications arm, under COI's wing. But Directgov is a real coup. The "one-stop shop" for official services will be vital in ensuring the Government does not grow more remote from the public.

During its 60 years of life, COI has performed remarkably in building its communication expertise while justifying its existence. Bishop's move for Directgov looks like a classic chessboard tactic to help ensure COI remains indispensable.


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