to adapt after digital capability review spots comms ‘frustration’

The website is to be adapted to ensure that the civil service communications profession can more easily use it to run campaigns, the government’s executive director for communications Alex Aiken (pictured below) has told Civil Service World.

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By Joshua.Chambers

28 Nov 2013

This work will be conducted to address weaknesses highlighted in the Digital Communication Capability Review, published earlier this month.

“The digital agenda is developing,” Aiken said, and “one of the things that was a result of this review [is that the GDS] has said to us: ‘How can we build you better platforms where we can run campaigns on’”

The capability review identified “frustration” in some departmental press offices because of “a perception of a mismatch between departments’ expectations regarding campaigning needs, and GDS’ role and resources.”

It also said that much of the comms profession sees the Government Digital Service operating at a remove from departments, “both physically and in terms of close collaboration.” It called for closer ties between the profession and the GDS.

Aiken said there would be a round table event on December 11 to get departmental communications directors to meet with the GDS.

The capability review also said that communications professionals are increasingly struggling with outdated civil service ICT, which in particular limits their access to social media websites. “It is paradoxical and frustrating for communications people to be unable to access the milieu in which they are expected to gather information and engage,” the review said.

Richard Harries, deputy director, Reform think tank 

Richard joined Reform as Deputy Director in September 2013. Prior to that he was a senior civil servant with over twenty years’ experience in Whitehall, working at the Home Office, Cabinet Office and Department for Communities and Local Government.

Robin Ryde, former chief executive of the National School of Government and director of Robin Ryde Consulting

Robin Ryde, former CEO National School of Government, current role: Director, Australia & New Zealand National School of Government, Head of Leadership, the Oxford Group, Visiting Fellow, Ashridge Business School, Fellow of Health Education & Training Institute (Australia), Founder Situation Press Publisher, Owner Robin Ryde Consulting Ltd. 

Mark Kieran, an interim manager operating at the boundaries between public, private and not-for-profit sectors

Mark is an experienced senior manager with leadership, interim management and consultancy experience across the public, private and third sectors. He has worked in Central and Local Government, Parliament, the welfare-to-work industry, for skills/training organisations and for several private providers of public services.

Anthony Grigg, Strategy & Structure, Global Consulting Practice, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Antony has more than 15 years experience obtained in a mixture of Industry and Consulting roles. He works across many industry verticals with hands-on experience of not only defining strategy and solutions, but also understanding the practicality's of turning theory into practice within both a local and global context.

Clair Fisher, tutor, Westminster Explained

Clair joined the Civil Service Faststream in 2000, working initially in Justice Strategy & Policy. Her most recent civil service post was as the deputy director for Place, Performance and Partnerships – responsible for overseeing negotiations between Whitehall and Local Authorities in the South of England.  Now working closely with leaders across the Public Sector, Clair is passionate about helping people make a positive impact with the work they do.

Sam Mitha CBE

Sam Mitha is participating in a personal capacity. He was until 2014 Deputy Director of HMRC’s Tax Policy Group, responsible for coordinating HMRC’s advice to Treasury Ministers on the Budget and Finance Bill. Sam was previously responsible for HMRC policy on the structure of Income Tax and National Insurance, Business Profits, etc and he has held senior roles in the Cabinet Office (such as being Deputy Director of the Senior Civil Service Group).

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