Tony Singleton joins public sector procurement consultancy Advice Cloud

25 September 2017 4 min. read
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After 35 years in the Civil Service, Tony Singleton has joined public sector procurement consultancy Advice Cloud as a Strategic Advisor, where he hopes to share his experience with suppliers looking to sell to the government.

Advice Cloud, a public sector professional services firm specialising in procurement and G-Cloud consulting, has hired Civil Service heavyweight Tony Singleton as a new Strategic Advisor. Advice cloud focuses chiefly on assisting both public & private sector organisations in the buying and selling of IT, Cloud, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Digital & Professional services, as companies and state organisations attempt to leverage innovative new technologies to provide better value. The firm’s team boasts over 30 years of combined experience in public sector procurement. However, even this lengthy history stands to benefit from the legacy of Tony Singleton’s additional 35 years of service at Whitehall.

Over the course of his three and a half decades with the Civil Service, Tony Singleton, was seen by many as the driving force behind the government’s Digital Marketplace, even receiving an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the Queen's 2014 birthday honours list, for services to the Provision and Improvement of Digital Public Services. Departing from public services after a lengthy career following his graduation from the Cabinet Office’s Major Project Leadership Academy, he became Chief Operating Officer for the government’s web-platform Directgov between 2006 and 2011, before he became Chief Operating Officer of the Government Digital Service.

Tony Singleton OBE, Strategic Advisor at Advice CloudIn March 2014, shortly before his OBE was announced, he became the G-Cloud and digital commercial programme director, a post he maintained until March 2016. The UK Government G-Cloud is an initiative targeted at easing procurement by public-sector bodies in departments of the United Kingdom Government of commodity information technology services that use cloud computing. It includes a series of framework agreements with suppliers, from which public sector organisations can buy services without needing to run a full tender or competition procurement process, and an online store – a "Digital Marketplace" which allows public sector bodies to search for services that are covered by the G-Cloud frameworks. Currently in its 9th iteration, G-Cloud alone has generated over £2 billion in sales since its launch, with 47% being awarded to SMEs.

After leading work on Digital Marketplace, Singleton moved to become Chief Operating Officer at the BEIS Department and, until recently, the IFA Set-up Programme Director at the Department for Education. In May of 2017, Singleton founded Silverhawk Consultancy Services, a digital transformation advisory of which he is also Director, before joining public sector procurement consultancy Advice Cloud as a Strategic Advisor. The firm will be keen to leverage his extensive experience, with suppliers looking to sell to the government.

Commenting on transition to life in the private sector, Singleton said, “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. SMEs bring fresh, new ways of solving problems and delivering products that help ensure services meet the needs of users… 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,” says Tony Singleton OBE.

Chris Farthing, Managing Director at Advice Cloud, meanwhile stated, “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 & our ambitious SME clients deliver better public services.”

A number of high-profile former public sector employees have recently opted for new careers in the consulting industry. Phil Morley, who set up a consultancy following his apparent retirement earlier this year, drew ire from Members of Parliament amid allegations that he planned to go into business to "offer his services to the NHS.” As he was privy to confidential information on the subject, this was suggested as being a conflict of interest. A number of former Cabinet Ministers were similarly criticised, including ex-Energy Secretary Ed Davey, and former Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude.