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Government office jobs being axed

The Government's communications agency is to axe 40% of its staff as a result of the clampdown on public spending.

A total of 287 jobs will be cut at the Central Office of Information (COI), which distributes Government publicity, information and communications.

The Government's freeze on non-essential advertising and marketing has resulted in "significantly" reduced work volumes, the COI said.

Turnover on advertising and marketing was down by 52% in June compared with the same month in 2009 and ministers have made it clear that the reduction would continue.

COI chief executive Mark Lund said: "COI has always adapted to meet the requirements of Government and the changing media landscape. A leaner COI is in line with new Government priorities.

"Our future will be grounded in continuing to deliver excellent communications to achieve Government aims, in the most cost-efficient and effective way possible."

The COI said it was restructuring to reflect the reduced volume of work, cutting its staff numbers from 737 to 450.

Workers have been offered the chance to be considered for voluntary redundancy but the COI said that, if this process did not produce the necessary numbers, there would be compulsory lay-offs.

A formal 90-day consultation with staff has started which will run until November.

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