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The Government Communication Service (GCS) explains government policy and helps citizens access the support they need, from childcare to pensions. We change behaviours for the public good, from road safety to health promotion. We promote the UK on the international stage. We understand our audiences through research, data and insight. We listen to stakeholders and communities. We inform, engage and motivate our fellow civil servants.

This annual plan sets out how the GCS will support the Prime Minister’s priorities. It shows the power of communication as a critical lever for Government to achieve policy goals – from helping people stop smoking and reducing road deaths, to encouraging energy efficiency and driving trade and investment.

This year’s plan also highlights our priorities as a profession and the progress we have made since launching our 2022-25 GCS Strategy, ‘Performance with Purpose’. This set a vision for a more collaborative, innovative and highly-skilled profession. I am proud to say that we have now completed more than 75% of the strategy’s commitments, and are on track to deliver the remaining commitments by 2025. Our focus on innovation means GCS is increasingly recognised as world-leading in our use of new technology. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently found that many of our GCS teams are leading innovation and excellence within the field of government communications. 

I am committed to continuing this progress and supporting all teams within GCS to operate at their very best. To do this, we need to continue to foster a culture of innovation – one where people feel supported to try new things, while understanding that new technology comes with new challenges. As government communicators, we need to rise to those challenges by doubling down on our ethical values. People should be able to trust what they see and hear from government channels. They should know how we are using technology on their behalf and this must be done in a way that maintains public consent. Technology may change, but our ethical principles endure.

We also need to continue to get the basics right. This means further breaking down silos across government and working together to make our communications more impactful and effective. Through early and ongoing collaboration with other professions, as well as within our own, we can maximise the power of communication in supporting the effective design and implementation of government policy.

Simon Baugh, Chief Executive, Government Communication Service