Monday 20 August 2018

'Good communications is a virtue' - Taoiseach Leo Varadkar reveals details of new Strategic Communications Unit

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar smiles during a Bloomberg TV interview in Ontario, Canada.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar smiles during a Bloomberg TV interview in Ontario, Canada. Newsdesk Newsdesk

Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar has revealed the details of the Government's new Strategic Communications Unit.

"It is our duty to ensure that the work of government is clearly understood by everyone who is charged with delivering it, and by everyone who is affected by it," the Taoiseach said on Wednesday at Government buildings.

"Good communications is a virtue and there currently exists a deficit when it comes to awareness of peoples entitlements and how their money is being spent and what Government is actually doing."

There will be three main strands to the work of the unit:  

A. Streamlining communications for citizens

The Strategic Communications Unit intends to complete an extensive audit of all current Government communications, including number of websites and other communications channels used, with the view to streamlining Government communications, "placing the citizens at the centre".

B. Develop and deliver major cross-Government communication campaigns

The unit said it was aware of a number of upcoming initiatives, such as the 10-year Capital Plan and the National Children’s Hospital, "where it will be essential for the public to be fully aware of the plans and how they will impact their lives".  

In partnership with the relevant Departments, the Strategic Communications Unit plans to proactively identify, develop and deliver these major cross-Government, citizen-centred communications campaigns.

C. Improve communications capacity across Government

With hundreds of people in the Irish public service working in Government communications, the unit aims to help improve effectiveness, efficiency and cross-Government collaboration. The unit said it will work to increase the skills capacity of those working in this area. 

"The work of government is increasingly complex. Many policies and initiatives require the combined efforts of multiple departments and agencies to ensure delivery.  Communication goes to the core of successful collaborative endeavour," said Mr Varadkar.

"This is a new public service initiative.  It does not affect the work of the Government Press Office which will continue to deal with day to day media queries.”

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