The Design Business Association (DBA) is advising design consultancies to “give serious consideration” before subscribing to the Central Office of Information’s (COI) creative roster for design agencies.
The COI invited design agencies to apply to be part of the first government roster, but is charging agencies &£50 for a company and &£25 for a freelance operator as an administration fee.
As the deadline for applications approaches, the DBA says it will be e-mailing members asking them to give serious consideration to not paying the administration charge.
DBA chief executive Ian Rowland-Hill says the charge is unacceptable and has compared it to a double taxation for the service.
“The COI is anachronistic. It supplies design services it then sells on to the Government, it supports the Government and it runs a roster. It’s a case of three horses all going in different directions,” he says.
Rowland-Hill says the association will be canvassing agencies next week and will meet the Government to try and resolve the problem.
A COI spokesman says the office has a number of rosters, most of which carry an administration fee.
He adds: “The idea of the roster is to centralise work done by the COI in relation to design and editorial.
“It will be a one-off fee which is also designed to put off those who are not serious about working with the COI and the Government as a whole.”