In the news: Tony Singleton OBE interviewed by Public Technology
Our intrepid Strategic Advisor Tony Singleton OBE has been interviewed by Sam Trendall from Public Technology.
In the interview he discussed how digital government has evolved during the two decades he spent as one of its leading advocates. He covered all the steps he took in his 35-year career in the civil service since his very beginning in 1999.
The former Directgov and GDS leader spent 20 years at the forefront of digital government and witnessed as well as contributed to the switch from an “analogical” government to a digital one.
Starting the interview comparing how things were back in the days Tony is then asked how much headway Whitehall has made in becoming a digital government, to which he replies “I think it is getting there… Something like registering your own company is now very, very easy to do. When I did it recently it only cost me £12 and took half an hour. And there are some other really good examples out there.”
Let’s try to imagine how many things changed in the last 35 years and what we can do today by clicking a single button in our keyboard.
Charged with the mission to turn e-government into a reality, In 2004, Tony launched the Directgov platform . A few years later in 2012, GOV.UK replaced Directgov. GOV.UK really was a world first, in so far as it was delivering digital citizen-based services all in one place.
Around the same time as GOV.UK went live, the government also launched the first iteration of the G-Cloud framework which allowed suppliers to sell commodity cloud applications to the government through first the CloudStore, then its successor the Digital Marketplace.
After leaving GDS in 2016, Singleton spent nine months at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy serving as chief operating officer for its digital, data, technology function. He then spent seven months leading the project to establish the Department for Education’s Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA).
When asked to pick one highlight of his three and a half decades in Whitehall, Tony did not hesitate to name the OBE he received in 2014, “for services to the provision and improvement of digital public services”.
He decided earlier this year that, after 35 years of service, the time had come to call an end to his career as a civil servant. Tony has now set up his own business – Silverhawk Consultancy – and is working as Strategic Consultant with us at Advice Cloud to help SMEs win Public Sector business through government frameworks – G-Cloud mostly. Tony is working with us to help both public sector buyers and commercial providers try and ensure that government is getting the most out of cloud technology.
A lot of people may wonder how did Tony and Chris met? There is a nice story behind the scenes we can’t help to tell. Our managing director, Chris Farthing, says that he first met Singleton when “I insulted him on Twitter”. But, despite this unorthodox beginning, the two have long had a mutual respect. ?
We couldn’t be prouder to have Tony on our team and this is only the beginning of a long-term collaboration.
Read Tony’s full Public Technology interview here.