Department for Transport (Buses and Taxis Division)

BSOG Bus Service Operators Grant (Alpha) T/IT/0056

Incomplete applications

5
Incomplete applications
2 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

12
Completed applications
7 SME, 5 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Wednesday 3 July 2019
Deadline for asking questions Wednesday 10 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Wednesday 17 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Our vision is for an efficient and transparent claims system that supports the purpose of the grant.
The winning supplier will be required to develop a digital system that works for all users, is flexible to possible changes to the grant and supports positive interactions between DfT and its customers/stakeholders.
Latest start date Monday 9 September 2019
Expected contract length 12 weeks for Alpha
Location East of England
Organisation the work is for Department for Transport (Buses and Taxis Division)
Budget range £430,000.00 for Alpha

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done BSOG is a grant regime under which DfT pays approximately £250m a year to operators of local bus services, community transport schemes and local authorities. The grant helps to maintain a wide network of bus services and keep fares down across England. The current regime uses a paper-based system and a database using Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Server.
A Discovery Project has shown there is a case for creating a digital system to deliver the grant.

The Alpha project will develop / test prototypes and determine the final solution for beta including technical feasibility, build, maintenance costs and risks.
Problem to be solved The current IT system is predominantly used for processing and paying paper-based claims from bus and community transport operators. This process is time-consuming. The system is inflexible and unreliable with manual work around being used. There is very limited reporting functionality and data analysis must be completed manually. The system is currently a block to any future policy changes the Department may wish to make.
We expect the new solution will be a digital system that works for all types of user, flexible to the changing context of transport and supports positive interactions between the Department and our customers.
Who the users are and what they need to do • Bus operators, community transport operators and local authorities will need to complete applications and provide information
• External auditors will need to be able to access and verify data submitted
• The BSOG administration team will need to be able to access and verify data provided, submit claims for payment and make payments
• Local authorities and passenger transport executives will wish to have access to open data
• Other DfT colleagues may wish to access data collated
• Other government departments who might have an interest in claimants of the grant i.e. Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
Early market engagement Not applicable
Any work that’s already been done A Discovery Project has already been completed. The final Discovery report includes the "As Is" and "To Be" process maps, user stories and options. These will be made available in a redacted form to all successful shortlisted suppliers.
Existing team The project is being delivered by two BSOG reform managers (service managers for the project) and overseen by the Subsidy and Green Bus Policy manager.
Current phase Discovery

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The supplier will split their time between both Department for Transport offices;
Ashdown House, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, TN37 7GA (operational team's base).
and
Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR (policy team.s base)
and
their own premises. Co-location for at least 2-3 days per week is preferable due to the agile nature of the project.
Working arrangements The supplier is expected to work full-time, 37 hours per week (7.4 hours per day), Monday to Friday for up to 12 weeks.
The supplier must be available/contactable during core hours, 10am to 4pm.
Expenses must align with DfT Travel and Subsistence policy, with no expenses incurred within the M25 corridor with all other proposed travel approved by the buyer prior to mobilisation.
Security clearance All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions The supplier will be expected to:
• Adhere to the GDS tech code of practice and digital service standard
• Organise, prepare for and pass GDS service assessments and spend assurance
• Adhere to the DfT architectural principles and have design documents approved by the DfT Digital Design authority.

Required experience: passing Alpha and Beta GDS service assessments.

Skills and experience

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

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Specialist capability and experience in transforming business critical, legacy technology and processes into efficient modern solutions.
  • Supplier must have recent experience of agile working practices and project managing agile projects from discovery through to live in the transport sector.
  • Proven service design and development and technical expertise in delivering a digital service particularly in the public sector.
  • Demonstrable experience of carrying out user research with a diverse mix of users and stakeholders.
  • 5. Demonstrable experience of successfully delivering a minimal viable product/proof of concept through Alpha for successful delivery of a robust product into 'live' environment on behalf of a Government department
  • Supplier must have recent experience delivering digital projects in line with the GDS Service Design Manual and Service Standards.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate knowledge/experience of the bus industry including bus scheduling/ fares across England (outside of London) and provision of real time information.
  • Demonstrable experience of working with users and stakeholders at all levels of organisations across the public and private sector, ideally within the Transport Sector
  • Provide examples of working across multiple government departments, including data-sharing protocol.
  • Demonstrable evidence where innovative solutions have been applied to assist in project delivery.
  • Demonstrable evidence of adhering with Customer’s relevant policies and standards.
  • Demonstrable experience of utilising Open source technologies to affect change.
  • Demonstrable evidence of successfully managing and assisting in delivering IT projects within public sector organisations.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 6
Proposal criteria
  • Identify the approach and methodology to the Alpha project planning and delivery, identifying the main stages and activities proposed at each stage. (10%)
  • Detailed resource plan – demonstrating how in-house, supplier and external resource will be used and at what stage (5%)
  • Clear demonstration of how the approach or solution meets user needs (5%)
  • Clear demonstration of how the approach or solution meets the policy goals and objectives (5%)
  • Clear demonstration of how they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (5%)
  • Estimated timeframes for the work (5%)
  • Demonstration of value for money (5%)
  • Demonstration of how the requirements of other areas, such as bus operators and local authorities will be integrated into the project. (5%)
  • Demonstrate their experience in designing and developing end to end solutions (including front and back end) through a range of previous work for customers on a similar scale. (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience of working as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (2.5%)
  • Experience of transparent and collaborative decision making (2.5%)
  • Experience of taking responsibility for their work and resolving problems effectively (2.5%)
  • Evidence where status quo has been challenged resulting in an improved outcome (2.5%)
  • Demonstrable evidence of working with clients with low technical expertise (2.5%)
  • Experience of working with Government departments (2.5%)
  • Evidence demonstrating an ability to transfer knowledge & skills to Civil Servant team members (2.5%)
  • Evidence of strategic thinking striving to deliver best possible solution/concept possible. (2.5%)
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Who undertook the Discovery phase? The Discovery was completed by Deloitte LLP.
2. Who has completed the Discovery phase? And have they worked with Bucks CC on other alpha projects? The Discovery was completed by Deloitte LLP. We are not aware if they have previously worked with Bucks CC.
3. Who ran the Discovery? The Discovery was completed by Deloitte LLP.
4. Can you please confirm whether there is an incumbent supplier who has performed the Discovery, and if so, which supplier is this? There was no incumbent supplier for the discovery. The discovery was completed by Deloitte LLP.
5. Will there be an opportunity to challenge the discovery findings? The Department was happy with the findings of the Discovery. However, the successful bidder may wish to validate the findings from the Discovery as part of the Alpha.’
6. Has any incumbent supplier been involved in any capacity (e.g., helping to draft the specification for this opportunity) or will they be involved in the selection process? The drafting of this specification has not been completed with an incumbent supplier. No incumbent supplier will be part of the selection process either
7. Have any technology decisions been made yet? Is there a preferred platform? DfT currently have a GPC Platform and the beta would be built in that. However, we are flexible with prototyping during the alpha phase
8. Nice to have experience in the "bus industry" is hugely limiting and will drastically reduce the chances of securing best fit technology for the project. Will the supplier be marked down if experience is given, but not in the specific "bus industry". Not meeting a nice-to-have skill/experience, does not preclude you from progressing within the process, however it could affect your overall score.
The scoring process for Essential and Nice To Have skills is shown below.
Score Description
0 Not met or no evidence
1 Partially met
2 Met
3 Exceeded
Only scoring below a 2 for an Essential skill will exclude you from being shortlisted to Stage 2. Not meeting a nice to have skill may result in a slightly lower overall score.
9. Will you be able to organise access to stakeholders throughout the project? Yes we would. We have a comprehensive list of users/stakeholders
10. Will you be able to organise access to stakeholders throughout the project? Yes we would. We have a comprehensive list of users/stakeholders
11. Do you either require or prefer that public sector examples are cited rather than private sector examples? Or, if we have a relevant private sector example, will it be given equal consideration to a public sector example? We would consider comparable evidence from across local and national government as well as the private sector
12. You state that Deloitte LLP completed the Discovery phase. Are they allowed to bid on the Alpha stage and, if so, do they have an unfair advantage over other bidders in winning the Alpha work? If a supplier is registered on the DOS Framework, although they may have an interest in related procurements this does not exclude them from applying for a published opportunity. The Department takes measures to ensure all bidders are assessed fairly
13. Can you provide further information about the scope of the service? Is it a Digital frontend to an existing service or a full end to end system? This project will be to deliver front and back end solutions
14. Can you clarify the scope of this procurement? Is it only for Alpha? In the "Summary of Work" you have asked for "The winning supplier will be required to develop a digital system that works for all users, is flexible to possible changes to the grant and supports positive interactions between DfT and its customers/stakeholders.". Development of a service normally (based on GDS principles) happens in Beta phase of the project. The supplier will be required to complete the Alpha stage only. Depending on the findings of the Alpha, the Beta phase will be procured separately
15. Can you provide some information about the types of stakeholders and users that were engaged in the Discovery research? There were many different users and stakeholders engaged in the Discovery project. These were the Departments in-house administrative team and line management; community transport operator, small commercial bus operator, medium/large commercial operators, auditors and claim compilers, passenger transport executive and local government.’
16. Can you provide some additional detail about the Discovery? We are interested to understand: when the Discovery was conducted, and did the Discovery have a GDS Assessment (and pass)? The Discovery was completed last year. No service assessment is required at the end of Discovery. However, the project has passed spend approval for Alpha. A service assessment will be required after alpha and in the interim before any public beta
17. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would you expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed 'exceeding' and score 3 marks? We are using standard DOS scoring guidance. Suppliers are scored against the criteria published with our requirements.
The scoring description is;

0 Not met or no evidence
1 Partially met
2 Met
3 Exceeded

Suppliers who get less than 2 for any essential skills criteria are excluded from progressing to the next stage
18. Is there a preferred technology stack within the your estate? The Department currently has a GPC platform and the Beta would be built in that. However, we are flexible with prototyping in the Alpha phase
19. Are you able to continue straight into the next phase of this project with the same supplier with no air gap between phases? A service assessment will be required after Alpha has been completed. We will then need to procure for Beta accordingly
20. Are you able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research? We currently have a detailed list of users and stakeholders for the purposes of user research and testing when required
21. Will your Product Owner be allocated full time to this project? There will be two product owners for this project to ensure the role is completed on a full time basis
22. Has any other supplier been engaged with this project so far? The Discovery phase was carried out by Deloitte LLP. No other suppliers have been involved in this project to date
23. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers? The scoring from the 1st stage will be used for the purpose of only shortlisting stage 2 suppliers and will not be carried over to the final evaluation
24. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated? We expect suppliers to provide their price for the appropriate resource team they would assign to deliver this requirement within budget and timescales specified.

We score price based on how close each supplier’s quote is to the cheapest supplier’s quote and apply a 30% weighting.

The winning supplier is the one with the highest total overall score for Technical fit, Cultural Fit and Price.
25. Correction to 18
Is there a preferred technology stack within the your estate?
Correction to response for 18
The Department currently has a GCP (Google Cloud platform) and the Beta would be built in that. However, we are flexible with prototyping in the Alpha phase
26. What roles are you expecting suppliers to provide? In addition, are you expecting all roles to have the ability to be full time? The roles we would expect to be provided are business analyst, content designer, data architect, delivery manager, designer, developers, security consultant, technical architect, user researcher, performance analyst and web operations. Not all these roles would be required for the whole of the 12 weeks but where/when suitable within the project
27. Are you using standard scoring and, if so, how does a supplier achieve a 3 versus a 2 on this opportunity for the essential and nice-to-haves? If you are not using standard scoring, can you please explain your scoring methodology? "We are using standard DOS scoring guidance. Suppliers are scored against the criteria published with our requirements.
The scoring descriptors are;

0 Not met or no evidence
1 Partially met
2 Met
3 Exceeded

Suppliers who get less than 2 for any essential skills criteria are excluded from progressing to the next stage "
28. In Q2, you ask for "Supplier must have recent experience of agile working practices and project managing agile projects from discovery through to live in the transport sector". Are you only looking for transport related experience? If we had deep experience of building other comparable services for government departments. Can you provide clarification on the specific characteristics of transport sector projects, this seems to be a very broad requirement. We would consider comparable experience from across local and national government
29. In the cultural fit evaluation criteria you have asked, "Experience of working as a team with our organisation and other suppliers". Are DfT only interested in response for supplier that are already working for the Department? No we are not, we would be keen to hear if you have experience working with other Departments
30. Is there any planned or expected change to BSOG policy/legislation during the Alpha phase There are no planned or expected change to BSOG policy/legislation during the Alpha phase
31. What sort of specialist capabilities are you looking for organisation to demonstrate in response to the following question, "Specialist capability and experience in transforming business critical, legacy technology and processes into efficient modern solutions.". Are there specific technologies, methodologies, subject matter expertise? There are no specifics but we are looking at change management and technical ability in line with the technical code of practice and digital in line with GDS
32. In your question, "Supplier must have recent experience delivering digital projects in line with the GDS Service Design Manual and Service Standards.". Can you provide a definition of recent? Also are you looking for suppliers that have passed GDS Alpha assessments? Recent experience would be in the last 12-24 months. Experience in passing Alpha and Beta GDS service assessments are required as stated in Additional Information
33. As per DOS guidelines 'You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement', are you only requesting one example per skills and experience question? You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement, however, you can reuse examples across different essential or nice-to have requirements if you need to. Use up to a maximum of 100 words for each bit of evidence
34. Can you provide some guidance on how recent the experience you are looking for in the question, "Supplier must have recent experience of agile working practices and project managing agile projects from discovery through to live in the transport sector.". Recent experience would be in the last 12 – 24 months
35. Are you looking for an organisation with GDS assessment experience or just certain individuals proposed in the supplier team? Service assessment experience can be at the organisation, team or individual level. However, if only individuals have experience, those individuals should occupy managerial roles in the delivery team
36. Can you clarify what DfT deem to be 'modern solutions' as requested in the following question, "Specialist capability and experience in transforming business critical, legacy technology and processes into efficient modern solutions." Modern solution would include cloud based, scalable & resilient. Please refer to the additional information section which references GDS standards and our architectural principles, which should provide the detail required
37. You've mentioned two different locations (London and Hastings) as well as an expectation of 2-3 dpw onsite. Where travel time is a concern, what is the minimum time allocation in Hastings assuming a strong project delivery otherwise? The product owner of this project is located in Hastings along with the administration team and some members of the policy team so it is important for there to be flexibility in working from Hastings for a minimum of 1-2 days a week
38. Would you accept SC clearance granted by other Government departments outside of DfT? SC clearance would be acceptable from other Government departments
39. Can you explain the rationale for your requirement for the team to be SC-cleared? The winning supplier will be privy to commercially sensitive data, financial data and other information. All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award. The Department will not sponsor SC clearance for any member of your team who does not have it
40. Are you happy to sponsor security clearance where required? All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award. The Department will not sponsor SC clearance for any member of your team who does not have it
41. Are team members able to start work in parallel to security clearance being progressed, or must it be in place before work commences? All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award. The Department will not sponsor SC clearance for any member of your team who does not have it
42. "You state: ""All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award.""
Please could we confirm if SC is required for day 1? Would DfT be able to support resources who are suitable, but currently do not hold SC?
"
All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award. The Department will not sponsor SC clearance for any member of your team who does not have it
43. Why is SC required for this work? Is it required for every member of the team we would send and, if so, why? Is the SC requirement an attempt to reduce competition for this bid so that a preferred supplier with SC clearance has an unfair advantage in winning? The winning supplier will be privy to commercially sensitive data, financial data and other information. All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award. The Department will not sponsor SC clearance for any member of your team who does not have it.
44. Most of our key personnel only have basic security clearance. Is the authority willing to sponsor personnel for the SC Level required for the project? All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award. The Department will not sponsor SC clearance for any member of your team who does not have it
45. Would you be willing to sponsor SC clearance for anyone that does not currently have it? All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award. The Department will not sponsor SC clearance for any member of your team who does not have it
46. Can you confirm that SC clearance is required for all members of the team or if a lower level of clearance would be acceptable? Is the Department willing to sponsor SC clearance for any members of the team who don't have it? All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award. The Department will not sponsor SC clearance for any member of your team who does not have it
47. The current IT system is predominantly used for processing and paying paper-based claims from bus and community transport operators.
Question : Can we have scanned copy of the form?
We are not asking suppliers at stage 1 to provide a solution, only to demonstrate that they meet the Essential and Nice to have skills published in our opportunity.  We will provide examples of the claim forms to suppliers shortlisted through to stage 2.
48. The current regime uses a paper-based system and a database using Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Server.
Question – How large is the database size on both? Do we need historical data to be migrated into the proposed Alpha system?
The current database is 1725.81 MB. We are looking to validate during Alpha whether to migrate existing data on to any proposed system.’
49. "Can you please provide following rough volumetric?
User Type Question
Bus operators Roughly How many applications in total received per year?
External auditors Roughly how many external user?
The BSOG administration team Roughly how many users?
Local authorities and passenger transport executives Roughly how many users?
Do they need to see their own application related data or can see other or Reports?
Other DfT colleagues Roughly how many users?
Other government departments- Ex DVSA Roughly How many users? And how frequently they will be using application. Example – 20 user each user might access application 10 days a month
"
This information will be provided to the suppliers shortlisted as stated in the specification
50. 1. Is there an incumbent supplier?
2. You state ""Required experience: passing Alpha and Beta GDS service assessments. "" but this is not in the ""Essential skills and experience"". Please confirm.
"There is no incumbent supplier.
To set passing Alpha and Beta GDS service assessments as an Essential Skill would preclude suppliers.
Suppliers can demonstrate this experience in their response to Essential skills (ES) 5 and 6 alluding to Alpha and Beta GDS service assessment experiences.
Essential skills
ES5. Have demonstrable experience of successfully delivering a minimal viable product/proof of concept through Alpha for successful delivery of a robust product into a 'live' environment on behalf of a Government department.
ES6. Supplier must have recent experience delivering digital projects in line with the GDS Service Design Manual and Service Standards.

"
51. Is this process fair and open, or do you have a supplier in mind for this opportunity? There is no ‘supplier in mind’ for the completion of this project and the process will be completed on a fair and open basis
52. As there is a duration and budget specified, can we assume work has been limited and prioritised? The alpha size and length will be defined by the supplier, although the cost is expected to be in the boundaries defined in the procurement documents and adhere to Government Digital Service guidelines
53. What sort of specialist capabilities are you looking for organisation to demonstrate in response to the following question, "Specialist capability and experience in transforming business critical, legacy technology and processes into efficient modern solutions.". Are there specific technologies, methodologies, subject matter expertise? We would expect the supplier to describe experience, and where possible to detail any methodology, of application transformation and change management. No specific methodology is being requested
54. SC clearance is mentioned as a requirement. Please could you confirm is BPSS clearance would be sufficient? NO BPSS is not sufficient, all contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum.