Government digital pioneer Tony Singleton to leave the civil service

Former G-cloud director to leave current job at the Institute for Apprenticeships at the end of July


By Suzannah.Brecknell

24 May 2017

Tony Singleton, the man was the driving force behind government’s G-Cloud framework and Digital Marketplace, has announced he is leaving the civil service.

Writing in a LinkedIn post, Singleton indicated that he planned to continue working in the public sector.


Singleton has spent the last five months as set-up programme director at the new Institute for Apprenticeships. He will leave this role at the end of July, and CSW understands that he is not expected to be replaced, as the Institute is now up and running.

Singleton wrote that he would be leaving the civil service after more than 35 years, but does not plan to put his feet up: “Although I do not have any firm plans, the time is right for me to venture forth and look for a new challenge. A challenge that will allow me to continue helping the public sector turn ideas into reality.”

Singleton was chief operating officer for Directgov from 2006 to 2011, before becoming chief operating officer of the Government Digital Service, a post he maintained until March 2014.

Until March 2016, Singleton was responsible for driving the development of the Digital Marketplace and its G-Cloud framework as director for G-Cloud and the digital commercial programme at GDS. He then moved to the business department as chief operating officer for their digital, data and technology group before joining the Institute for Apprenticeships in January 2017 where he has overseen the set up of the new organisation, including securing premises and IT solutions.

Writing on LinkedIn, Singleon reflected on his experience in the civil service, saying: “The public sector in general and central government, in particular, come in for a lot of criticism. Some of it is justified, some of it is not. Yes, it can be slow to deliver change. But it's not easy to transform overnight any organisation the size of central government, particularly with its complex governance structures.

“ Looking back over the past 35 years, there has, without a doubt, been incredible change which has gathered, and still is gathering pace. Today, that pace of change is being driven and supported by technology. I have witnessed first-hand, and been a part of, a very real revolution in the way government works and the way public services are delivered. And yet the rate of change lacks the pace and dynamics that are needed today. There is so much more that needs to be done. And I hope to continue to be part of that in some way.”

Former GDS head Mike Bracken responded to the announcement with a Tweet saying Singleton was “the man who, more than anyone, defined the digital transformation for public servants”.

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