Hugely experienced civil servant will help SMEs engage better with government in new role as strategic advisor
Tony Singleton: “The Digital Marketplace gives 2,500 suppliers the chance to work with the public sector for the first time.” Credit: Advice Cloud
Several months after calling time on his 35-year civil service career, Tony Singleton, the godfather of the G-Cloud framework and the government’s Digital Marketplace, has joined public sector procurement consultancy Advice Cloud.
Singleton (pictured) will serve the firm as a strategic advisor. His role will involve helping to advise suppliers – particularly smaller firms – on how best to engage with government customers.
“I strongly believe that the UK public sector has a lot to gain from using new and innovative suppliers that it has not had the opportunity of working with before,” he said. “SMEs bring fresh, new ways of solving problems and delivering products that help ensure services meet the needs of users.”
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The former civil servant, who was involved in the founding of the Government Digital Service in 2011 and, subsequently, was the driving force behind the creation of G-Cloud and the Digital Marketplace, claimed that his new post was a natural extension of the work he undertook in Whitehall.
He said: “One of my achievements in setting up the Digital Marketplace was to reduce barriers for entry and open up the UK public sector market, giving over 2,500 suppliers the opportunity to work with the public sector for the first time; 88% of these were SMEs.”
The former GDS man added: “Working with Advice Cloud gives me the opportunity to work with those suppliers, helping them to make the most of the opportunities open to them.”
After five years as part of the GDS leadership team, in 2016 Singleton moved into a post as chief operating officer of the Digital, Data, and Technology Group of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He spent the final few months of his civil service career involved in the set-up of the newly established Institute For Apprenticeships.
Earlier in his career, Singleton served as COO of Directgov from 2006 to 2011, prior to which he spent eight years in various roles at the Cabinet Office, including head of e-government policy and strategy and, latterly, deputy programme director.
Chris Farthing, managing director of Advice Cloud, said: “I am incredibly excited and humbled to have a person of Tony’s calibre join the team. He will bring an unrivalled wealth of experience and knowledge to us here as well as assisting us and our ambitious SME clients deliver better public services.”