COI 'mass exodus' includes seven from live events team

Central Office of Information's (COI) live events division has been slashed from 16 to nine as part of a programme to reduce the size of the government department by 40%.

COI loses seven staff from live events division
COI loses seven staff from live events division

Government announced in August that 40% of staff at COI would be axed, taking total staff numbers from 737 to 450.

A 90-day consultation period on the redundancies ended today (1 November), but many of the staff who took voluntary redundancy left on Friday, according to COI’s director of live event Simon Hughes.

"Grim day"

Hughes is to remain at COI, along with deputy director of live event Dominique Boulton.

"It was a grim day on Friday," said Hughes. "There was a mass exodus, with around 180 people leaving. The atmosphere was quite bizarre."

Remaining in COI’s live events team are:

  • Director of live events
  • Deputy director of live events
  • Senior event manager
  • Event co-ordinator
  • Four event managers
  • Event assistant

Staff handed compulsory redundancies, which included two members of the live events team, will leave tomorrow (2 November).

Disappeared

"It will be a little while before we regroup," added Hughes. "People who have worked here for five or ten years or longer have disappeared."

Hughes added that the division itself had been "extremely quiet" over the past few weeks as other government departments faced their own cuts, announced on 20 October as part of the comprehensive spending review.

He anticipated that live events work would return as departments began to communicate new strategies, but it would be down around 40% over the coming year from previous levels. 

COI agency roster

Hughes added: "We will be communicating to agencies on the framework this week about changes in the team and giving them our view of what kind of work we might be looking at and when that will start to come through."

COI last year appointed 125 agencies to its four-year events roster.

 

 

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