Public Services > Central Government

Tony Singleton says goodbye to the Civil Service

David Bicknell Published 23 May 2017

G-Cloud pioneer says he is leaving Whitehall after 35 years’ service; warns that the “rate of change” in public services “lacks the pace and dynamics that are needed today


Tony Singleton, one of the most well-known and successful digital government executives in recent times, is moving on.

Best known for his work in creating and developing G-Cloud, has spent the last five months as Set up Programme Director for the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) at the Department for Education.

As well as leading the institute’s setup programme, Singleton was preparing it expand its wider remit to take on the Technical Education Function.

His work has involved managing the set up programme, putting in programme delivery and Project Management Office (PMO) structures and strengthening control of individual project workstreams. He has also secured new premises and managed the move of the institute into new accommodation with an interim IT solution.

Now, as a blog on LinkedIn explains, he is moving on.

He said, “After a successful career of over 35 years, I am saying goodbye to the civil service. But I am not ready to put my feet up just yet. 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. I am not closing any doors and will be considering all options open to me.” 

Discussing working in the public sector, he added, “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, what has been 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 be to be done. And I hope to continue to be part of that in some way. “

He concluded, “I consider myself incredibly lucky. It has been very exciting for most of the time and being honest, dreadfully dull at others. I can think of no other employer from whom I would have been able to gain the experience that I have and achieve everything that I have been able to achieve; from the operational world of finance, procurement and business strategy, to running a major government project that transformed the way the public-sector buys what it needs to deliver world class public services, to leading the programme that, as the Guardian put it, delivered the "best start-up in Europe you can't buy shares in".  So, here’s looking forward to the next chapter of my career.”

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