Awarded to Softwire Technology Limited

Start date: Monday 16 September 2019
Value: £1,400,000
Company size: SME
Government Equalities Office

Gender pay gap reporting service

10 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 2 large

4 Completed applications

4 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Thursday 1 August 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 8 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 15 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Gender pay gap reporting service - continuous live service support and iterative development for one year with an optional one year extension. Ensure service passes live assessment at start of 2020 and support GEO in upskilling organisation.
Latest start date
Monday 23 September 2019
Expected contract length
One year with the option to extend for another year with the agreement of both parties.
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Government Equalities Office
Budget range
£1,400,000 (excluding VAT) is our budget for the supplier over the total possible contract length. We would expect to pay more at the start of the contract in the run up to the 2020 reporting period, and for this to significantly reduce as the delivery team structure changed and permanent civil servants replaced team members.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Gender Pay Gap (GPG) service allows companies to fulfill their legal obligations to report data on their gender pay gap. This was established in 2017 after new legal regulations. Since then the service has had two successful reporting cycles, with 95% of in-scope organisations reporting by deadline in 2019. We need to continue to support the live service and to ensure the service successfully passes a GDS live assessment at the beginning of 2020. In addition we want to continue to iterate the live service and upskill GEO in running a live digital service within the organisation.
Problem to be solved
Our service will provide a way for organisation's to report their GPG data, understand what good looks like and the causes of their pay gap. To do this we must deliver a service that is accessible, usable and engaging. This will make users feel informed and compelled to act, making them more likely to implement effective plans to increase gender equality and publicly commit to doing so. This should result in an overall reduction in the gender pay gap.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As an employer I want to be able to report easily to comply with the law.
As an employer I want guidance on how to reduce my pay gap so that I know what action to take.
As a potential employee I want to easily compare different companies so I can see where to apply.
As an employee I want to understand actions my employer could take to close the gap to hold them to account if they are not.
As GEO I want to be able respond efficiently to queries using tools that can help fix users problems.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Since the service's inception in 2017 GEO has worked with the same supplier. In that time we have gone from discovery through to public beta and have delivered two successful reporting periods with over 90% compliance at deadline in both years, as well as nearly ten million page views.
Existing team
The service is owned by the gender pay gap policy team within GEO.
In total the current team consists of:

Product Owner
Service Desk Owner
Service Desk Officer
Delivery Manager/Scrum Master*
Business Analyst*
Senior User Research*
User Research/Business Analyst*
UX Designer*
Senior Developer*
Test Development Engineer*
Content Designer*
Cloud Hosting Infrastructure Team

(Roles marked with an asterisk indicate roles supplied externally under the current contract. We expect these to be initially replaced in the current procurement. We expect these roles to reduce and be replaced with permanent GEO roles in the course of next contract).
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Government Equalities Office
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street

We prefer to be collocated with the development team at the above address, although we can discuss this. GEO's location may move during the contract.
Working arrangements
We work in fortnightly sprints including the relevant agile ceremonies. Sprints have defined outcomes, contributing towards higher level outcomes agreed for each three month period within the contract. These are flexible and can be changed with the agreement of the buyer and the supplier.
Regular user research and performance analysis should take place throughout the life of the contact.
Ways of working can change to best suit the context. However, the best interests of GEO and the needs of our users are paramount.
We expect all roles to attend stand ups and come together after each two week sprint cycle.
Security clearance
Evidence of BPSS clearance and annual certification on information handling and data protection are required for all contractors. Workers are not permitted to copy/remove or share any data owned by GEO, additionally suppliers will need to ensure that any system holding GEO data comply with the government security policy framework.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
There will be additional TUPE clauses included within the final contract.

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
  • Provide clear evidence of planning and delivering user-centred digital services that follow the Government Service Manual, corresponding service assessment process, and Technology Code of Practice.
  • Have experience in using Agile/Scrum methodology to iteratively architect/develop high quality government digital services to GDS standards.
  • Have experience of running a mature digital service, in particular complying with the relevant criteria in the service manual.
  • Demonstrate experience of working as a joint team with commissioning organisation and operating within its governance.
  • Have experience of upskilling a commission organisation in order for them to take a greater role in the development and management of a service, demonstrating how that would work practically.
  • Understanding of a range of tech stacks (eg Azure, AWS, PaaS) and select appropriately within these, with the ability to clearly explain these decisions to the commissioning organisation.
  • Have experience of using C#Net Framework, ASP.NET and .NET core, SQL Server, Continuous Delivery (ARM), Redis cache and GIT.
  • Have the ability to provide continuous delivery and deployment (for example continuous deployment, continuous integration, devops support model in beta and live).
  • Have experience of running a secure service, including providing security architect support, understanding and complying with government digital security standards, up to date understanding the latest NCSC practices and principles.
  • Have experience of identity and access management.
  • Have experience of developing services that adhere to WCAG 2.1 standards and work with commonly used assistive technologies as a minimum level of accessibility.
  • Have the ability to quickly mobilise a skilled and experienced team, scaling resources up or down based on project needs and substitute similar resources without any implication to the project.
  • Have experience of working with clients who are not digitally mature, and have an aptitude for explaining the ramifications of different technical approaches, including their benefit over the status quo.
  • Potential Bidders must confirm they are already or will sign upto the CCS e-Sourcing Suite for the Evaluation Stage before the Shortlisting Stage submission deadline.
  • Potential Bidders must agree to abide by Crown Commercial Service’s Process for the Evaluation Stage.
  • Be able to provide the following roles as required: Scrum master, Full-stack Development, Front-end Development, Business Analysis, User Experience Designer and User Researcher.
  • Be able to demonstrate how these roles are filled with candidates possessing appropriate skills and experience with regards to the DDaT capability framework.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience passing a GDS live assessment.
  • Expertise and experience of migrating/running a service on Platform as a Service or GDS Support Platform (GSP).
  • Relationships with the wider government digital community.
  • Have experience of working in a rapidly evolving policy environment with ability to respond quickly to urgent requirements.
  • Understanding of non-functional requirements and experience of building these into a live digital service i.e. usability, security, accessibility, interoperability, reliability, maintainability, availability, scalability, portability and compatibility.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical Competence (Proposal Criteria) will receive 55% weighting. The following will be the high level evaluation questions:
  • Approach to providing the Technical Solution. This will have a 35% weighting of the Technical Competence.
  • Provision of Accessibility functionality. This will have a 10% weighting of the Technical Competence.
  • Risk and Account Management. This will have a 10% weighting of the Technical Competence.
  • Demonstrate their understanding of the GEO's work and policy objectives, and the importance of gender pay reporting in the UK.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Cultural Fit will receive a 20% weighting. The following will be the high level evaluation questions:
  • Team working and Knowledge Sharing. This will have a 100% weighting.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. For clarity about TUPE – you've highlighted roles which you expect to be replaced under this current contract.

Is it these highlighted (*) roles that will be TUPE across to the new supplier and does this apply to all those roles?

If I'm wrong about this, are you able to provide more details about the TUPE clauses you will put in the final contract?
The highlighted (*) roles are those currently provided by the supplier. The current supplier has confirmed that their analysis shows no current staff are within scope of TUPE. GEO does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of this information.

The future contract has been amended to include light touch TUPE clauses. In broad terms the clauses deal with (i) TUPE if it applies at the start of the contract and (ii) TUPE if it applies on exit from the contract, including related TUPE data provision obligations.