This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 5 August 2019
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council Website

18 Incomplete applications

17 SME, 1 large

25 Completed applications

22 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Monday 22 July 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 29 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 5 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Redevelopment of Solihull Council website including:
• Implementation of new CMS (detailed spec available at assessment stage)
• Migration of content to new CMS
• Design, build and implementation of new website templates using a customer led R&D process
• Training and support for in house staff
Latest start date
Monday 7 October 2019
Expected contract length
2 years
West Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Budget range
Maximum budget set £200,000. However, we expect bidders to submit competitive bids, broken down by resource or skill, duration and day rates applicable to each.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Solihull Council is held in regard as a stable and progressive organisation, we need a modern website that affirms our reputation by providing a customer first website powered by the latest technology and transactional content.
Problem to be solved
The current website was redeveloped in 2013. The CMS utilises a number of number of third party modules and out of date of templates, which have prevented further development of the CMS. The CMS does not lend itself to the rapid development of microsites and the search function currently in use lack administrative functionality.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The website manager needs functionality to automate/schedule content updates to meet the needs of a 24/7 access channel, the flexibility to easily modify layout/styling of templates to meet the future needs of the authority.
The web content author will need to be able to make updates without needing any technical skills and an automated publishing process that incorporates both horizontal and vertical approval workflow.
Our customers require the website to be accessible, easy to navigate, engaging and provide a strong search function.
SMBC need to increase customer use of transactional services on the website by providing a joined-up digital platform.
Early market engagement
We have had some initial contact with providers of other Council websites.
Any work that’s already been done
Analytics analysis has been carried out to better understand customer engagement with our website. Analysis of transactional data across all access channels has also been undertaken. This data will be shared with the appointed supplier.
A full requirements document has been drafted through consultation with internal stakeholders from across the organisation.
We have reviewed the content on our current website, decreasing the number of pages and documents.
Existing team
The supplier will be working most closely with Solihull Council’s project manager, who will be heading up an organisational project team for this project, as well as feeding back to the organisation’s other key stakeholders.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Council House
Manor Square
Solihull B91 3QB
Working arrangements
Mainly off-site, with visits to our offices as required by the project.
Security clearance
No specific security clearance is required for this project.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Other industry standards will be specified after the shortlisting exercise

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Experience of redesigning/redeveloping large, information-rich websites
  • An understanding of and experience working with a Local Government Authority
  • Experience and knowledge of the 2018 accessibility regulations for Public Service websites and apps, including as a minimum the WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering fully responsive websites, which are platform agnostic
  • At least two projects which involved the successful migration of content and configuration across CMS platforms in the public sector
  • Excellent knowledge of the content management system proposed
  • Experience designing visually engaging, standards compliant templates based on user research and evidence
  • Demonstrable knowledge of cyber security and evidence of regular PEN testing
  • Provision of customer support service, including service desk, and an account manager function
  • Have built a website which is subject to PCI DSS required quarterly ASV scans.
  • Experience of conducting user testing at all levels of the design process
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of designing and implementing websites for Local Government
  • Agile development methodology
  • Provide customer support service outside normal working hours and at weekends.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How technical solution meets our requirements
  • Previous experience with large websites
  • Previous experience of working with local government organisations
  • How design examples meet our needs
  • Migration solution and experience
  • Value for money
  • Proposed timescales and indicative project plan based upon a start date of 7th October
  • Detailed and clear costs
  • User Research / Customer Engagement
  • Risks and dependency identification and management
  • Approach and methodology
  • Team structure & size requirements / working arrangements / roles & responsibilities (for project and suggested post-implementation)
  • Support agreements / approach
Cultural fit criteria
  • Understands Digital engagement and how to promote Digital as a channel through a website
  • Use innovative, cost effective techniques to engage website customers
  • Be innovative and forward thinking
  • Ability to work with users at all levels
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Maintains an open dialogue when problem solving or assessing project management hurdles
  • Share knowledge and experience with staff at Solihull Council
  • Provide honest and expert feedback
  • Champions equality and diversity
  • Transparent and clear decision making process
  • Collaborative
  • Accessibility
  • Architectural alignments with key systems
  • Meets Councils digital vision, is innovative and fit for future
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Will this role fall outside of IR35?
We would expect it to fall outside of IR35, however self employed/sole traders should check the status using the CEST tool found here:
2. Will the Daily rate be excluding VAT?
3. Are you open to developing the new website in SharePoint Online?
It is our understanding that Microsoft have removed support for public websites using Sharepoint Online so we're unsure how this would work, or how long it would be supported for
4. It is unclear is the budget of max £200k is just for the design, migration / build and training or is to include support as well?
It is anticpated that the budget is for project costs and year one support
5. You state – Mainly off-site, with visits to our offices as required by the project. – Do you have an idea of frequency for these visits?
This will be determined by the project plan
6. Can you please advise if you are considering a new CMS as part of this bid?
We expect the supplier to recommend/supply the CMS which meets our requirements as part of the bid.
7. Can you confirm if you have selected a CMS?
We have not chosen a CMS.
8. We have worked on central Government projects but not local Government. We just want to make sure that this will count as valid experience?
Local Government experience would be preferable; if that is not possible, applications with all essential criteria being met along with UK public sector experience will also be considered.
9. Would you consider a payment gateway, such as Stripe to manage payments, rather than storing the credit card information according to PCI DSS?
We do not store or process any card data ourselves, however we do link to our existing payment service provider via the website. Quarterly ASV scans have been recommended by our bank.
10. Can you please let us know how many concurrent users you expect to have logged into the CMS at one time?
We would expect to have no more than 25 concurrent users.
11. Can you advise the number of users who require training, are you interested in a train the trainer approach?
A maximum of 7 administrators will require training. Administrators can then train authors as required. Developer/support training may also be required depending on the CMS solution proposed.
12. The CMS utilises a number of number of third party modules and out of date of templates” Please advise the 3rd party modules currently used by Solihull Council and if integration/implementation is required for this project
This refers to third party modules specifically required for our current CMS therefore no integration is required.
13. how many pages are on your existing website? Which site(s) need migration? Please provide a list of URLs/domains/sub-domains
We require content from website migrating to the new CMS. This consists of approximately 1000 html pages and 2,500 documents.
14. Please advise the number of microsites and if they are part of the scope for this project
The migration of microsites is outside the scope of this project but the functionality for microsites is required.
15. Do you have a preference for an open-source or a commercial solution?
We do not have a preference as long as the proposed solution meets requirements for support and development
16. Please advised the number of documents to be indexed by the proposed search solution (for the published site)
Approximately 6,000
17. Is a website that is hosted in an AWS Cloud environment acceptable for security?
Yes, Hosting in the AWS Cloud environment would be fine as long as the solution meets requirements stated in the terms and conditions/order form.
18. Can you confirm you require hosting of the application included in the proposal?
Yes, this would form part of the approach and methodology and we would anticipate seeing options for hosting as part of this
19. The Q&A link in DOS refers to a specification and pricing document at However, this documentation doesn't appear to be available on this link.
Could you please provide a link to this documentation?
Once signed up to CSW-JETS please send an email to with the following:
Subject : SOL- 7948
Body : your organisation name
for access to the relevant project and documents
20. Have you worked with an external supplier(s) for the previous phases of this work?
If so, could you please confirm who they are?
SMBC can neither confirm or deny involvement from external suppliers during the discovery stage as this may be considered commercially sensitive information