Awarded to PA Consulting Services Limited (UK)

Start date: Monday 6 January 2020
Value: £749,790
Company size: large
Government Digital Service, part of Cabinet Office

WP1824: Global Digital Marketplace ICT commissioning guidelines and associated KPIs

12 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 1 large

17 Completed applications

14 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Wednesday 6 November 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 13 November 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 20 November 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Building on the OECD ICT Commissioning Playbook alpha, GDS requires research, analysis and agile product development and delivery capabilities, to produce:

- practical step-by-step guidance for implementing the commissioning principles
- associated key performance indicators (KPIs)
- additional case studies
- new infrastructure to present content and associated materials
Latest start date
Monday 6 January 2020
Expected contract length
7 months + possible extension of up to 7 weeks
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Government Digital Service, part of Cabinet Office
Budget range
£640,000 + VAT (expenses budget is excluded from this figure).

About the work

Why the work is being done
Addressing corruption in public procurement is vital to successfully achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

To support this, the Global Digital Marketplace Programme is working with national/ subnational governments/ multilateral non-government organisations (NGOs), to take advantage of opportunities provided by digital, new/ emerging technologies, and open data, throughout the end-to-end procurement lifecycle.

Building on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ICT Commissioning Playbook alpha (, GDS requires:

-practical step-by-step guidance/ associated KPIs, which progressively helps to implement commissioning principles, and enhances the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)/ United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) KPIs
-additional contributions/ case studies from a broader range of government/ non-government stakeholders
-content/ associated materials segmented by audience type
-new infrastructure to present this content/ associated materials

Stakeholders from national/ subnational governments/ NGOs include:

-Global Digital Marketplace Programme partners
-ITU / U4SSC entities
-OECD 'E-Leaders' countries and thematic groups/ 'E-Leaders Without Borders' initiative
- other OECD Directorate for Public Governance teams
- UK public sector entities (eg Local Digital Declaration signatories)

Deliverables by:

-27 March 2020: draft, audience-segmented guidelines/ associated KPIs, presented in prototype infrastructure.
-03 April 2020: artefacts to support presentations to stakeholders/ at engagement events the following week.
- end July 2020: final versions.
Problem to be solved
Traditional public procurement approaches to information communication technologies (ICTs) is typically:

- neither understanding nor meeting users’ needs
- task oriented, risk averse, and inflexible
- isolated from what happens before (strategic planning, investment appraisals, early market engagement)
- isolated from what happens after (service delivery, monitoring and evaluation, supplier relationship management)
- hidden from public scrutiny due to the poor quality, inconsistency, incompleteness, and availability of data

The OECD ICT Commissioning Playbook alpha was developed by GDS in collaboration with other governments contributing to their Working Party of Senior Digital Government Officials (commonly known as 'E-Leaders').

This was in response to the absence of consistent international guidelines/ associated KPIs on digital government approaches to ICT commissioning.

Content was based on what’s working and what hasn't worked, across different governance arrangements to support digital government initiatives in different country contexts.

Civil servants in emerging and developed economies, struggle to know where to start/ practical steps to take in their daily roles, which would help embrace/ implement ICT commissioning principles.

Civil servants' needs/ levels of readiness and capability, vary across country contexts.

ICT commissioning guidelines/ KPIs/ case studies/ associated materials, should be easy to update/ continuously improved based on practical application.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As public procurement officials with integrity, we need to know how to:

- commission ICTs fairly, openly and transparently
- support our internal customer teams before (to develop forward ICT commissioning plans) and after (to incrementally monitor and evaluate contractual delivery and supplier relationships) procurements, helping them/ their supply partners to work together effectively/ collaboratively
- easily/ progressively publish structured open data throughout the stages of the end-to-end ICT commissioning lifecycle

So that we're:

- achieving value for money for our organisations.
- maintaining effective/ ongoing/ open dialogue with our ICT markets.
- being held to account for our plans/ decisions to spend money through contracts awarded.
- monitoring/ evaluating: contract implementations/ supplier relationships/ benefits.

As a growing global network of contributors to the ongoing development of the ICT commissioning guidelines and KPIs, we need to be able to easily:

- update content based on their practical use
- share experiences with our peers and stakeholders in national/ subnational governments/ NGOs

So that we're:

- meeting the needs of the primary users (public procurement officials with integrity) in our network.
- continuing to improve, benefit from and contribute to, the experiences of other national/ subnational governments/ NGOs globally.
Early market engagement
Before services were commissioned to deliver the OECD ICT Commissioning Playbook alpha, GDS and other governments (Canada and New Zealand) who contribute to OECD 'E-Leaders', engaged with the market to share and challenge this work:

- Make procurement open: it makes government better, GDS, September 2017 (
- Innovation in action: Taking procurement into the digital world, New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs, September 2018 (
- Engaging UK suppliers in the Global Digital Marketplace, GDS, April 2018 (
- Let's Rethink Procurement and Get Accessible ICT, Canada, May 2018 (blog post by Mike Gifford, Founder and President of OpenConcept Consulting, an Ottawa-based private company, who attended the event -

GDS again engaged with the market in August 2019, details of which (including what was discussed) have been published as a GDS blog post titled ‘Engaging UK suppliers in the Global Digital Marketplace Programme alpha phase’ (
Any work that’s already been done
In addition to the OECD ICT Commissioning Playbook alpha, the GDS Global Digital Marketplace Programme has completed its discovery phase with national and regional governments in Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and South Africa. Findings from this phase will be shared at a later stage.

This document provides general background information regarding the GDS Global Digital Marketplace Programme:

The work of other OECD 'E-Leaders' thematic groups - specifically on Business Cases (led by Denmark) and Digital Service Delivery (led by UK/ GDS) - should be consulted and considered contributory to the required outcomes.
Existing team
The Global Digital Marketplace Programme team consists of:

- Director
- Head of Global Delivery
- Head of Product
- Head of Business Partnerships
- Interim Head of Subnational Government and Tech Sector Engagement
- Regional Product/ Senior Delivery Managers
- Standards Assurance Lead
- Skills and Capability Lead

The successful supplier should plan for collaborating with other:

- Global Digital Marketplace Programme partner organisations.
- teams from OECD/ ITU/ U4SSC.
- GDS teams who support related national/ international initiatives.
- successful suppliers' teams supporting related opportunities, eg 'WP1823: Global Digital Marketplace discovery of national and subnational governments' (
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
GDS is based in the White Chapel Building, 10 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 8QS.

The successful supplier will be able to work remotely and does not have to be based in this office, however GDS encourages colocation where possible (whether: at GDS, at the supplier's premises, during overseas missions, or otherwise), taking account of the stage of delivery, and what's best to achieve the required outcomes.

Any contact with the Global Digital Marketplace Programme, wider GDS teams, other suppliers' teams, etc, should reflect this.
Working arrangements
In addition to what's stated in the 'Address where the work will take place' section, some short, in-country visits will be required with national/ subnational government/ NGO stakeholders (for more information, see 'The challenges and opportunities of working together' section of this GDS blog post -

GDS will share with the successful supplier, details of in-country stakeholders from national/ subnational governments/ NGOs, as well as findings from our own discovery and alpha work running parallel to this contract.

Expenses will be capped at the worldwide subsistence rates provided in the Cabinet Office guidance.
Security clearance
Security Check (SC) minimum

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All expenses must be pre-agreed between the parties and must comply with the Cabinet Office (CO) Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy.

All vendors are obliged to provide sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of GDPR and ensures the protection of the rights of data subjects.

For further information please see the Information Commissioner's Office website:

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
  • Evidenced experience of designing content to meet user needs and making complex information easy to understand for different types of audience.
  • Evidenced experience of presenting content in creative, compelling and easy to understand ways.
  • Evidenced experience of applying user-centred and agile delivery methods to content design.
  • Ability to communicate with stakeholders clearly and regularly, and advocate for user needs and content design principles.
  • Ability to conduct interviews with stakeholders to understand their needs and motivations.
  • Ability and passion to work according to the One Team Government principles (
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of developing services that align to the UK Government Design Principles, Service Standard and Service Manual.
  • Experience of creating content for a diverse international audience.
  • Self-directed and comfortable taking ownership of research and content creation.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How the solution will deliver step-by-step guidelines (clear, concise, practical) for implementing the commissioning principles and associated KPIs
  • How the solution will present content, case studies and associated materials, segmented by audience type
  • How the solution will support the principles of One Team Government
  • Team structure and organisational make up
  • Please provide work histories of all proposed team members - these will be scored as a set
  • Those shortlisted must be able to present - date to be confirmed
Cultural fit criteria
  • Collaborates transparently and closely with colleagues when making decisions in pursuit of meeting user needs
  • Can work with stakeholders with low technical expertise
  • Works with GDS in a self-starting fashion
  • Has policies, procedures or working practices and ethos that supports gender equality and social inclusion
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

2. What is the successful supplier’s role in producing “new infrastructure to present content and associated materials?
The first deliverable (by 27 March 2020) is draft, audience-segmented guidelines/ associated KPIs, presented in prototype infrastructure, with final versions of these delivered by end July 2020.
3. Would the members of our Digital design team need to have SC clearance?
Only team members expected to travel overseas require SC clearance, as this is a prerequisite for gaining access to British Embassies and High Commissions posts in other countries. The supplier's team members who only work in the UK would require BPSS clearance.
4. Are you expecting the new supplier to continue working with the incumbent?
DXW Digital / Oxford Insights were the incumbent supplier (partnership) whose services were commissioned in 2018 to deliver the outcomes required for WP1638. This contract was completed last year so they (or any other supplier) are no longer the incumbent.
5. We note from the alpha version of the playbook that current content is text based, is there scope to incorporate more innovative delivery channels?
To progressively help public procurement officials to implement the commissioning principles, which builds on the OECD ICT Commissioning Playbook alpha, GDS requires:

- practical step-by-step guidance/ associated KPIs
- additional contributions/ case studies from a broader range of government/ non-government stakeholders
- content/ associated materials segmented by audience type
- new infrastructure to present this content/ associated materials