Interview with Tony Singleton OBE
Public Sector Tony Singleton answers some important questions on technology in the public sector and the role of the Digital Marketplace.
How does the Digital Marketplace support the investment in better technology in the public sector so it can deliver better services?
Working with innovative suppliers has helped the Government to deliver great digital public services. We’ve worked with lots of brilliant suppliers in the UK and internationally to transform the way we work and provide world-class, user-focused services for citizens.
The Digital Marketplace provides a way for the whole of the public sector to find the right technology or team to work with. It’s about offering a wide range of services to central and local government, with suppliers that encourage innovation and continuous improvement, as well as competitive prices, through an open market.
How has the UK government G-cloud developed since its introduction in 2012?
G-Cloud, which is part of the Digital Marketplace, has opened up new markets and been a revolution in government procurement. It offers
off-the-shelf cloud services which are quicker to implement and deliver the right business outcomes. The public sector can now buy cloud services built on openness and transparency which has helped to drive down prices.
G-Cloud also makes it easier for companies of all sizes to do business with the public sector by making the process clearer, simpler and faster. There are currently 1,852 suppliers on the Digital Marketplace and total sales have reached over half a billion (£37m a month), with half of this going to small businesses.
Have we seen the Digital Marketplace allow for more competition between companies offering the same services to the public sector?
In the past, the majority of tech suppliers were located around London and the south of England. There are now thousands of suppliers throughout the UK on the Digital Marketplace. This means that the public sector has access to a large and diverse supplier base and competitive prices.
Of course it also benefits local economies as suppliers in their regions do more and more business with government. It’s great to see how many small businesses have seen increases in their workforce as new jobs have been created as a direct result of the sales they've made through the Digital Marketplace.
What can we expect to see in the future for the way our local government implement new solutions?
Anyone in the public sector can use the Digital Marketplace. We’re really keen to see local government take advantage of the benefits and savings it offers. As with central government, there is huge potential to increase spend through the Digital Marketplace.
The Government Digital Service and Crown Commercial Service are running a series of joint regional events and webinars to raise awareness and support public sector buyers across the UK. We also regularly post updates and guidance on the Digital Marketplace blog to ensure everybody able to use the Digital Marketplace has access to the right information.