Awarded to The Dextrous Web (trading as dxw)

Start date: Wednesday 23 October 2019
Value: £595,000
Company size: SME
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Beta for Official Development Aid Financial and Programme Reporting Transformation Digital Service

11 Incomplete applications

10 SME, 1 large

15 Completed applications

15 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 9 July 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 16 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 23 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Design and build a fully working reporting service for a) collection of financial and programme data from multiple organisations with varying systems/databases, and b) management and evaluation of data via analytics and reports, to help organise and evaluate data, and mitigate information management risks.
Latest start date
Monday 9 September 2019
Expected contract length
12 months (with a possibility for an extension if necessary)
Organisation the work is for
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Budget range
The guide budget range is £1-1.3m (excl. VAT) for Private and Public Beta. This budget is including the cost for accessibility audit and penetration testing. Please note, £595k is available for Beta Private only. The second half of the funds will be released after successfully meeting the Government Digital Service Standard for Beta.

All travel, subsistence and other expenses must be included in the overall cost.

Applicants should supply day rates for each role, with details of management processes and mitigation for poor service delivery, staff handover, turnover, quality maintenance and corrective actions.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The current tool for collecting ODA financial and programme spend information is not fit for purpose. ODA is open to scrutiny by the media, DFID, Cabinet Office, HMT, Publish What You Fund, Ministers etc., and poor quality of reporting can be detrimental.

Data and reporting requirements are increasing - new ODA Transparency commitment, as well as more information required to fulfil portfolio and fund management functions.

There is a huge operating burden, the current system (excel) is lacking stability, and accuracy of data is compromised due to poor version control and confusing nature of the tool.
Problem to be solved
Programme managers in various organisations need to easily and efficiently report on their programme and financial information into one place, that can be one version of the truth, addressing version control issues. Data should be easily extracted and manipulated in various ways, as soon as it is reported (by country/organisation/theme etc). Users should be able to access a dashboard style view of spend respective to their organisations or country spend, for comparison and strategic awareness. Data extraction/report outputs should be possible for various reporting organisations with varying and specific information requirements.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a reporting officer:
1. I need to know what data to provide, when to provide it, and see guidance, so I can provide correct and timely information.
2. I need to access the latest version of previous data so that I update the right data.
3. I need to see which programmes have been added/removed.

As a knowledge and information manager:
I need to share reports with peers, for knowledge transfer and informing senior management.

As a programme manager, I need to analyse and report on spend data, so I can mitigate risks, and produce reports.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have completed a Discovery and Alpha phase. This involved:
- Running user experience workshops to understand the user journey.
- Liaising with other ODA spending government departments and teams, and assessing whether there are any existing reporting systems we could use.
- Worked with a contractor to develop an Alpha prototype for a reporting service, adhering to the Digital Service Standard.
- Tested prototype solutions with a small group of users.
- Passed the Alpha Service Assessment.
Existing team
We work across two teams:
ODA team in BEIS, London - ODA Policy and operations
Research Management Team in Swindon - programme managers working on day to day management of funds/reporting. This will require regular travel to our Swindon office to meet key users/stakeholders and work with the product owner.
There will be a dedicated person working on ODART from one of the teams, but regular engagement will be necessary with multiple individuals within each team for user engagement, checking the development of the prototype, tracking progress etc.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The supplier can work from their own premises or remotely. Interactions with the client team and partner organisations will between Central London and Swindon offices, and may require some travel to one of our delivery partners based in Exeter.
Working arrangements
Travelling between London and Swindon offices for user engagement, due to a wide range of users located in different organisations.
The supplier team should be available to participate in weekly catch-ups in central London or Swindon. We expect face to face interactions between client and users (approx. 16 teams) across central London, Swindon and Exeter, plus regular show and tells, and development updates to ODA stakeholders.
Security clearance
No security clearance required as supplier will not be based in BEIS offices.

Additional information

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.

Essential skills and experience
  • Have experience in delivering a financial and programme management and information dashboard service to be used by multiple organisations or businesses.
  • Have experience of meeting multiple organisations' requirements for secure online access to a cloud delivered service.
  • Have experience in delivering an agile project, adhering to and prioritising user needs, and presenting effective data visualisations.
  • Have experience of transitioning services/data from physical infrastructure to cloud
  • Have experience of successfully transitioning of projects into a live service environment within a government department within the last 12 months
  • Have experience of meeting the Government's Digital Service Standard, with every service team member having knowledge of or having completed the Digital Service Standard Assessment in the last 24 months.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Have evidence of experience of working with user groups that store information in different operating environments, for example MS Office 365, Google G-Suite, and various databases.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Proposed approach and methodology
  • Demonstrating an understanding of our requirements
  • Estimated and credible time-frames for the work
  • Identifying risks and dependencies, and offering approaches to manage them
  • Demonstrating value for money
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative in decision making, user acceptance, and transferring knowledge
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Can work with clients with low technical expertise
  • Demonstrate very high quality interpersonal communications, especially showing sensitivity to established relationships and competing pressures.
  • Be adept at applying agile methods in the context of more traditional working practices
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. What is the name of the contractor company who supported the build of the alpha?
Digi2al Limited
2. What target date do you have for the release of the beta?
We are expecting Private Beta to take 6 months and have estimated a 6-month period for Public Beta. We hope to move to Public Beta by April 2020. Timescale for Public Beta could vary depending on product development and priorities, hence the possibility for contract extension. We would expect the supplier to advise on timescales throughout Beta.
3. Did the Discovery and Alpha teams involve any external suppliers? If so, please can confirm who these were?
Discovery was conducted in house, with the help of BEIS delivery managers and UX/digital advisers. Alpha was completed by a multi-disciplinary team through Digi2al Limited.
4. Please confirm who the people on your selection panel are and their individual roles and responsibilities.
This information will be disclosed at Evaluation stage.
5. Would using Microsoft PowerBI as a cloud service align to Government Digital Service standards?
ODA Reporting needs to be accessed by multiple delivery partners/users from various partner organisations, so we are expecting the reporting service to have a set of integrated analytical capabilities (pre-defined) instead of using external software such as Microsoft PowerBI.
6. Can you provide some more information around the current data sources eg. platforms/structures?
The data is manually written into Excel spreadsheets and sent via e-mail to BEIS. Information for some of the spreadsheets is then uploaded to an Access database to collate / report information.
7. How, please, can we convey a compelling vision for what the answer might be? It is impossible to do that against the 6 or 7 generic questions asked – against which I would assume you'll get indistinguishable answers from many vendors – all of whom can tick these boxes quite easily? May we provide a 2-page vision document to inspire you?
You are welcome to provide supporting evidence if you wish, as long as the application includes the key materials we requested. Please note – we cannot guarantee that the extra documentation will be reviewed.
8. Is there an incumbent please?
There was a supplier delivering Alpha, which ended in June. Handover documents have been created, which a Beta supplier will have to review. There is currently no supplier in place and there will be no face to face handover.
9. The task is "Design and build...".
a. have you excluded a solution procurement to date, or even if Design work identifies "buy" is a better option than "make"?
a) The option of developing our own solution was a recommended approach by BEIS Digital and Procurement teams, following the correct approach to Digital Procurement. ‘Make’ is the option that delivers best value for money.
10. b. Assuming "make" is your strategy for now – what technology platform is currently assumed to be delivered on? What are your preferences / constraints?
b) There is no assumption on technology platform for delivery. The solution must be open-source, most likely cloud-based. We are open to recommendations from the supplier based on the best fit for our requirements. API’s should be available for others for interoperability.
11. c. What is the "alpha" solution, and is it expected this is to be extended?
c) The Alpha prototype is a web interface style reporting service, exploring ability for users to input information manually and via downloadable simple excel sheets. Downloadable specific reports and a filter feature has also been integrated.
The Alpha development team have provided recommendations for Beta. The recommendations should be reviewed by the Beta development team and continue with the work as they see fit, adhering to the requirements of the business.
12. If you have a preferred technology stack, what are the main technologies?
We are open to recommendations from the supplier based on the best fit for our requirements.
13. With regards to PowerBI is this due to license requirements – as there could be options via Power BI Premium. Is SQL Reporting Services acceptable?
We are ruling out the option of any additional analytical software because of license requirements, but also to ensure ease of use of system for all our users. We would expect a reporting system to provide a set of reports, and store data in a way which would allow organisations to connect their own analytical software if they wanted to perform more advanced breakdown of data. We expect a system to have integrated reporting capability, and do not want to rely solely on having to connect with external software.
We are not familiar with SQL Reporting Services.
14. Can you share the discovery report, a link to the alpha and it’s codebase and a copy of the alpha assessment?
Discovery report will be shared with shortlisted suppliers at the next stage of procurement.

Link to the Alpha codebase -

Alpha Assessment Report can be accessed via this link -