Buckinghamshire Council (contract with Buckinghamshire County Council)

Design and build a website for a new local authority

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
30 SME, 4 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
35 SME, 4 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


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work By April 2020 the five councils in Buckinghamshire will become a new unitary authority, called Buckinghamshire Council. We want to work with a service design and digital development partner to iteratively develop a new website, content management system, design system and content strategy.
Latest start date Monday 2 September 2019
Expected contract length 2 years
Location South East England
Organisation the work is for Buckinghamshire Council (contract with Buckinghamshire County Council)
Budget range The maximum spend under the contract will be £700,000 - managed through statements of work.

There is a minimum spend of £150,000 - to deliver a minimum viable product by April 2020 (vesting day for the new council).

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done By April 2020 the five councils in Buckinghamshire will become a new unitary authority, called Buckinghamshire Council. There are four district council websites and one county council website (as well as a large number of microsites and sub domains).

We need to design and build a platform (CMS and front end) for the new council, in a user-centred and iterative way. An MVP must be in place by April 2020.

This project will support the transformation of end-to-end services as we redesign local government in Buckinghamshire.
Problem to be solved By vesting day (April 2020) we need a new website for the Buckinghamshire Council. This will be a minimum viable product (MVP), which we will continue to iterate. The MVP needs to be developed to meet the needs of users, reflect the new council’s vision and represent Buckinghamshire as a place. It should make it easier for people to find information, complete tasks and understand what they need to do next.

We want to use technology that is modern, open, flexible and extensible. It must be accessible and consistent with the GDS Technology Code of Practice.
Who the users are and what they need to do The new council’s website will need to meet a wide range of user needs for residents, businesses and visitors. Some indicative high level user needs are:

As a resident/business/visitor, I need to quickly access the right information and services online, so that I can meet my needs.

As a content publisher, I need a simple and intuitive interface, so that I can create and manage useful content.

As a developer of a digital service, I need to access content and data via an API, so that I can reuse canonical data.
Early market engagement A draft of the digital marketplace requirements was shared via twitter. The comments received help us be clearer about the outcomes we're seeking. We also reduced the number of evaluation criteria in response to feedback from a number of potential suppliers.
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team Unitary Customer and Digital Board.
Head of Digital (Product Owner).
Web and digital teams in Aylesbury Vale District Council, Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire Councils, Wycombe District Council and Buckinghamshire County Council.
Suppliers of existing websites.
Current phase Not started

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Amersham, Denham). The home base for the team is likely to be Aylesbury.
Working arrangements We will require a team onsite for approximately 2-3 days a week, most weeks. This is so that you can work closely with council staff and have easy access to the service users. Agile ceremonies should be held onsite wherever possible.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions

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
  • Provide an agile multi disciplinary team including user research, service design and product development
  • Have experience designing high volume digital services that meet a wide range of user needs
  • Have knowledge of the user needs of local government service users
  • Deliver in line with the Government service standard and technology code of practice
  • Design services that meet accessibility legislation and best practice
  • Design services for users with low digital literacy
  • Have experience of developing content strategy
  • Have managed the phased roll out of a new website architecture
  • Have the ability to work with internal IT teams to arrange hosting and integration with existing services
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide evidence of having passed a government, local government or NHS digital service assessment
  • Develop digital and design skills with in-house teams
  • Demonstrate experience of delivering end-to-end service transformation

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the solution meets user needs
  • How the solution meets the organisations’ policy or goal
  • Estimated timeframes for the work - the proposal will be evaluated to determine if the approach can realistically produce a minimum viable product by April 2020
  • Identification of risks and dependencies with a plan to manage them
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with colleagues from across Buckinghamshire and with existing suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Take responsibility for the work
  • Support the learning and development of Buckinghamshire colleagues
  • Be comfortable standing up for their discipline
  • Work with stakeholders with low technical expertise
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Please can you confirm which incumbent CMS system you intend to use to deliver this project. There are five existing websites, with a range of CMS technologies - so there isn't a single incumbent platform. We are agnostic about the CMS that is used for this project.
2. Are the Councils willing to accept bids that propose the use of a new CMS platform? Yes
3. Do the Councils wish to host the solution on premise or utilise a cloud based hosting solution? We want to use cloud hosting
4. What was the twitter handle where the pre market engagement took place? https://twitter.com/benunsworth/status/1139525509052866560
5. Assuming that we can schedule all work packages to be delivered promptly, in an agile manner, using tools and collaboration, is there an absolute requirement for being at the Council 2/3 days per week, or is it suffice to arrange face-to-face meetings as/when required? Face to face meetings as/when required will not suffice. We believe the best way to deliver this project is with co-located multidisciplinary teams, conducting research with real users. We want our in house teams to work and learn alongside the supplier team. We can be flexible to the rhythms of the project and don't expect unnecessary 'presenteeism' from the delivery team, but want to maximise the positive benefits of co-location.
6. May the new web site structure use existing transactional systems (online tax, other online access tools) and link them to the new site structure or is the chosen vendor required to develop these as well? Many transactional services are delivered through specific line of business systems. We will need to link users to these processes as intuitively as possible.

There may be services that are not fit for purpose and need redesign / development. The product team will work together to prioritise development and define through statements of work.
7. What type of existing systems need to be integrated / linked? There are too many to list in this answer. There is a wide range of transactional services that are linked to or integrated with the existing council websites.

The product team will work with service areas to develop a roadmap for development. In the short term we will be keeping the existing infrastructure in place to provide these services.
8. We can see from the brief that the project will be run by a committee of representatives from the various authority web teams. Will there be a specific lead for the project? The project will report into the unitary programme governance, but will not be run by a committee. The project will be run by an empowered delivery team. The Head of Digital will be the product owner and a senior service owner will be identified to support rapid decision making.
9. You have earmarked 150K to reach an MVP for the website. What services do you envisage the remaining budget covering? By the end of the project we expect to have a website that covers all of the services our users need to access online from the new council.

Some of these services will be provided by existing or new line of business systems and/or microsites. We anticipate some will be redesigned and built as a part of this project.

The development and prioritisation of the roadmap is an important part of this project.
10. Are additional assessment methods, other than a written proposal, required? The project scope and budget would suggest otherwise. Yes. In addition to the written proposal we will require shortlisted suppliers to give a presentation to the evaluation team.
11. Do you have a preference for open source vs proprietary CMS or are you open to all options based on the benefits that a specific CMS solution provides. We have a preference for open source and open standards based technology.
12. Question from Q&A session: Are you able to share any scoring criteria. The criteria that will be scored against are listed under the 'How suppliers will be evaluated' section of this marketplace listing. There is detailed guidance at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-evaluate-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-suppliers that explains how the evaluation stage works.
13. Are you to open to partnership or consortium bids. Yes