Skip to main content

Public First

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN 73802, tabled on 14 July 2020

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason the titles (a) GOV COMMS EU EXIT PROG and (b) EU EXIT COMMS were used as cost codes for two contracts awarded to Public First Limited since the beginning of March 2020.

Answered on

31 July 2020

Further to the answer given by the Paymaster General on 16 July 2020, Public First was engaged by the Cabinet Office to test public opinion and reaction to government messaging including focus groups for COVID-19 research. This work has helped to understand public attitudes and behaviours to inform our vitally important public health messages and policies, and has enabled us to deliver a strong, national, cross-government communications campaign to support the UK’s response and recovery from the pandemic.

In the discharge of this activity it was necessary for Public First to meet with civil servants to report on the findings of the focus groups. Public First also provided on-site resource to support Number 10 communications. In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed. Any Government announcements will be made in the usual way.

Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on research, on a rolling monthly basis, and details of its contracts on GOV.UK as part of routine government transparency arrangements. GOV COMMS EU EXIT PROG and EU EXIT COMMS were existing cost codes used to pay invoices relating to COVID-19 research within a reasonable period of time. These payments were subsequently journaled over to the COVID-19 cost centre once that was created.

Answered by

Cabinet Office
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.