This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 17 October 2016
Valuation Tribunal Service

Appeals Management Solution for the VTS

0 Incomplete applications

22 Completed applications

13 SME, 9 large

Important dates

Monday 3 October 2016
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 10 October 2016 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 17 October 2016 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The VTS require a COTS CRM solution that will enable it to manage the end to end appeals process from registration through to issuing a Tribunal Decision from April 1st 2017.
The VTS will if necessary review its working practices to meet the solution, in order to minimize customization
Latest start date
Expected contract length
Organisation the work is for
Valuation Tribunal Service
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Proposed legislation mandates the VTS have in place a solution that will enable it to manage appeals from 1st April 2017. The solution will have the ability to manage the appeal lifecycle from registration through to issuing a Tribunal decision. The solution should be flexible enough to allow different processes and procedures to be followed depending on the type of appeal being considered. The solution will need to process up to 100,000 appeals per annum with at least 50 concurrent users.
The solution will meet all the necessary security standards and capable of following the governments ‘digital by default’ initiative.
Problem to be solved
The VTS does not currently have a system to manage appeals against the 2017 Non Domestic Rating list and requires a solution that will deliver end to end processing of non-domestic rating appeals. The system should be expandable to include other appeal types at a later date.
The solution must be flexible and scale-able to meet future demands, including external interfaces / portals that will enable external stakeholders to input, view and mange appeals through their lifecycle.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a member of VTS staff, I need to:- Input appeals, Review and update appeal records, manage enquiries, update appeal status, send notifications, manage hearing arrangements, manage workflows,write review and publish appeal decisions, peer review decisions, review decisions, publish anonymized decisions.
As a senior user, I need to reinstate appeals, run and publish MIS and statistical reports.
As an Administrator, I need to create new workflows, amend workflows, change user security groups, manage system parameters, enable appeal archiving, troubleshoot issues and undertake other administrative functions as required.
Early market engagement
We have discussed the procurement options with CCS. They have advised the procurement route as through Digital marketplace and we have verified that a pool of suppliers exist that could meet our requirements.
Any work that’s already been done
Outline Business Case has been approved by VTS Board, We have met with other Government departments that have had similar challenges to ours and have obtained indicative costs and timelines of their solutions.
Existing team
We have a small highly skilled IT team and Operations Director that will be working collaboratively with any supplier(s).
VTS user groups are already in place to support the development process as required.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The Tribunal Service Head Office is in London with an additional office in Doncaster. It is anticipated that work will be undertaken off site, with any on site work being undertaken in our London office.
Working arrangements
Work will be undertaken using an Agile approach and methodology including testing of the solution from Minimum Valuable Product (MVP) through Alpha to Public Beta and release into live service.
This will allow users to assess, test and recommend improvements in each iteration and move towards a system that delivers a high level of user satisfaction, whilst offering a continuous improvement process.
The VTS IT team must be actively involved throughout the design and configuration of the solution, to ensure full knowledge transfer.
The solution and configuration must be fully documented and approved by the VTS.
Security clearance
Suppliers must meet BPSS as a minimum.

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 recent experience of delivering an end to end case management solution
  • The supplier will be a current prime supplier and integrator of their chosen solution
  • Provide a solution which is configureable for changing VTS needs
  • have the ability to meet the challenging timescales
  • provide details of 3 reference sites, at least 1 private and 1 public sector
  • demonstrate previous successful similar undertakings
  • Demonstrate experience in both Public and private sector delivering the recommended solution
  • The supplier must detail any 3rd party products that comprise the solution
  • The supplier will detail both Capital costs as well as ongoing costs
  • Supplier must show transparent costs and charging structure
  • Supplier to offer a clear value for money solution, including ROI, and TCO
  • Demonstrate the solution meets current 'Official sensitive' standards
  • must offer a presentation of the solution and how it meets the VTS requirements
  • Supplier demonstates that the solution offers both ability to send emails with attachments as well as printing hard copies
  • include up times of the solution that they are offering, along with costs
  • The proposal encompasses all elements of the solution
  • The suppier must be responsible for and manage all 3rd parties and be a single point of contact for the VTS
  • The supplier must demonstrate that the project will be fully staffed from day one
  • The supplier must accept that the VTS may look to other 3rd parties for ongoing support
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Understand the particular issues facing a Tribunal service.
  • demonstrate how they intend to empower VTS Administrative users
  • demonstrate where they have previously streamlined business processes to remove the need to customise
  • the supplier can demonstrate it can supply and support software as a service
  • Undertake a complete 'check' pen test before going live, and resolve all high or medium issues found.
  • can offer a live demonstration of their proposed solution.
  • must be UK based and use UK based staff
  • The suppliers experience with the Agile methodology
  • The supplier offers a competitively priced solution that meets VTS budgets, both now and long term
  • The supplier if recommending a solution must be a prime partner of that solution
  • The solution should not rely on any additional LMS
  • offer training courses on configuration that are readily available in the UK
  • Must be a registered supplier on the digital marketplace
  • Must be a registered supplier CRM supplier
  • Provide user product training material

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Solution will be in Public Beta by 01/04/2017
  • The solution is not bespoke and is an off the shelf solution
  • provide the solution with minimal customisation
  • Solution offers scalability
  • Solution will demonstrate flexibility
  • Solution should interface using recognised open standards XML JSON
  • Solution should have long term product roadmap
  • Support Resource pool should not be exclusive or above market price
  • Meets accessibility standards
  • Solution must easily accept feeds from external 3rd party products
  • Demonstrate that the solution can effectively deal with exceptions to routines
  • The VTS are not willing to host any solution (on Prem)
  • The solution must be intuitive to use for novice users
  • The solution should offer value for money
  • The solution must have the ability to utilise email with attachments or printing to communicate with appellants
  • Interface with MS office suite, Exchange and MS SharePoint
Cultural fit criteria
  • Completely buy in to complete knowledge transfer to VTS staff
  • Take responsibly for on time and fit for purpose delivery
  • Take responsibility for their own and 3rd parties work
  • Make decisions collaboratively with the VTS
  • Have a can do attitude and will do attitude
  • having a extensive knowledge of all 3rd party applications and plugs in to defined solution
  • Challenge the staus quo
  • Offer simple solutions for simple tasks.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. With regard to creating and amending workflows, would it be acceptable for the solution to be configurable with our assistance, or must this be user configurable?
We have found that it is best to assist clients with this as amending a workflow can have unintended consequences.
The expectation is that there is a test and development system / sandbox area that would allow VTS Administrators to make changes and test these changes to ensure that there are no unintended consequences.

VTS administrators must be trained to a sufficient level to undertake configuration work themselves after handover, and sufficient knowledge transfer from the supplier to undertake this work.
2. Please confirm the reasons for utilising the DOS framework over the G-Cloud framework, including any perceived benefits or limitations of the G-Cloud framework. In addition, could the VTS please confirm how they plan to procure the SAAS platform which is typically only available utilising the G-Cloud framework, including any potential supplier assets that may be put forward as part of the end to end solution”
In essence our approach is provided in the section above entitled "Early Market Engagement". The Digital Outcomes route enables us to comply with the VTS Board's desire to open up the opportunity to the widest possible selection of solution providers and we sought advice from CCS prior to publication to acheive this aim.
Our chosen route to market enables us to assess solutions from the whole range of providers on the marketplace which can deliver the functionality required but also provides the best value for the Tribumal Service.
3. Are you able to assist potential suppliers to focus their responses by providing some guidance on the available budget?
The market for the desired outcome is mature, well understood, as a result pricing is highly dymamic and we feel best left to potential suppliers own specialist teams.
However, we are keen to hear from both Open Source and COTS (Commercial off the shelf) providers who feel their solutions with appropriate configuration may address our need. The range of potential solutions that can be employed to deliver our desired outcome(s) and also provide best possible value for a public body like the VTS makes any budget guidance impractical.
4. Are you able to provide any documentation on the way in which you use and control access to 'official sensitive' material?
This may need further clarification from the potential supplier but in summary all documents are handled using current HMG and CESG guidance on document control where appropriate.
5. Are you able to provide any documentation on the way in which you use and control access to 'official sensitive' material?
This may need further clarification from the potential supplier but in summary all documents are handled using current HMG and CESG guidance on document control where appropriate.
6. We note that you wish to implement an off-the-shelf product. Can you please confirm a) whether you have already identified a product to be implemented; b) if so, whether this product has been procured; and c) if you have not yet procured a product then how do you intend to procure it? Thank you.
Our chosen route to market leaves all options open including a COTS solution but we have not, and would not, excluded any other solution that fits with our time-scale for Agile deployment.

The solution has not yet been identified or procured. The solution will be procured through our selected supplier using this transparent route to market.

The supplier will be identified through this Digital Outcomes exercise and the time constrained free and fair competition that this procurement approach makes availble. This will enable us to deliver the best value for the Service.
7. Can you indicate the complexity (simple, medium, complex) of workflows your requirement analysis have established
We understand clearly the user and business requirements. However the workflows and complexity, may differ depending on the selected product, but will be defined in detail through the Agile development phase.
8. Do you want to record on the system the stages that Appeal workflows progress through.
We see this as a core requirement of any solution.
9. Do you anticipate that you will have workflows that will progress backwards as well as forwards when certain situations occur / dictate.
Yes, we see this as a core requirement of the solution.
10. Will you require interaction with appeals / cases from users that do not have access to the appeals / case system eg: senior management approvals / sign-offs?
All VTS staff will have access to the solution, either by actually logging on to the solution, or indirectly potentially via email links.
We expect system access to be via role based privileges.