Awarded to Spend Network

Start date: Wednesday 11 March 2020
Value: £375,875
Company size: SME
Government Digital Service (GDS, part of the Cabinet Office)/ Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)

WP1845: Global Digital Marketplace procurement/ beneficial ownership transparency - discovery/ alpha

13 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 2 large

4 Completed applications

3 SME, 1 large

Important dates

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


Summary of the work
Building on work planned or underway in 3 out of 5 prioritised countries (Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa), GDS/ FCO require research, analysis, prototyping and agile delivery capabilities, to explore and test the linkages between procurement system elements (eg supplier registration), open data, and registers of company beneficial ownership (CBO).
Latest start date
Monday 10 February 2020
Expected contract length
16 weeks (to 29 May 2020) + possible extension of up to 4 weeks
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Government Digital Service (GDS, part of the Cabinet Office)/ Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
Budget range
"£312,000 + VAT
(the international travel expenses budget is excluded from this figure).

As this contract spans two financial reporting years, the successful supplier is requested to invoice up to £250,000 (excluding VAT) for work completed and including all travel expenses incurred, before the end of the 2019/20 financial year.

This forecasted figure may be updated when the call-off contract is finalised."

About the work

Why the work is being done
"Increasing public procurement and corporate ownership transparency is vital to address corruption.

The Stolen Asset Recovery ('StAR') Initiative from the World Bank/ United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), estimates that anonymous companies were involved in 70% of the largest corruption cases between 1980 and 2010.

The UK is assisting countries that are:

-developing new national public registers of CBO.
-subscribing to the global Open Ownership Register (

WP1845 aligns two activities funded by the FCO Global Anti-Corruption Programme (GACP), focussing on the intersection of public procurement and CBO: the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) and Beneficial Ownership Data Standard (BODS); policies; processes; systems; government functions, etc.

GDS Global Digital Marketplace Programme work on public procurement/ non-government organisation (NGO) Open Ownership work on CBO, are referenced in the:

-UK Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017 to 2022.
-HM Treasury and Home Office Economic Crime Plan, 2019 to 2022.

‘Stage 1’ deliverables - by 03 April 2020:

-Scoped, researched and analysed contexts (relating to Global Digital Marketplace Programme work/ CBO) in 3 countries.
-Initial prototypes based on scoping, research and analysis.
-Plans for ‘Stage 2’.

‘Stage 2’ deliverables - by 29 May 2020:

-Developed prototypes/ proof of concepts.
-Plans for further research/ development."
Problem to be solved
"According to the World Bank/ UNODC 'StAR' report titled 'The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What to Do About It' ( published in October 2011, most large-scale corruption cases involve using legal entities to conceal ownership and control of corrupt proceeds.

Anonymous shell companies facilitate corruption and fraud, organised crime and the movement of illicit funds, eg money laundering to support human trafficking and the drug trade, funding terror groups and criminal gangs, etc.

Through unlawful relationships with corrupt public procurement officials, corporate entities who sell products, services and works while maintaining intentionally opaque/ hidden/ complex ownership and beneficiary structures, have unfair access to a lucrative global market worth almost US$10 trillion annually.

Civil society can hold public institutions and companies to account for their actions and interactions, by making it easier to publish and access high-quality, linked data about:

-how procurements are planned and delivered, and contracts implemented.
-who owns the companies that governments are contracting with.

To start addressing this in 2019/20, GDS/ FCO requires partner teams to concurrently scope, research, analyse and prototype for Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa contexts, relating to Global Digital Marketplace Programme work/ CBO."
Who the users are and what they need to do
"As citizens, we need to know our governments are being fair, open, transparent, and acting with honesty and integrity, when deciding how our taxpayers’ money should be spent, so that we trust they’re delivering better public services.

As public procurement officials with integrity, we need to know that the corporate entities who are registering and competing for opportunities to supply their products, services or works to governments, are being open and transparent about their ownership structures and beneficiaries, so that we can be confident that they’re conducting their businesses lawfully and with honesty and integrity.

As corporate entities with integrity wishing to supply our products, services or works to governments, we need to know that public procurement officials are acting with honesty and integrity, and evaluating us fairly and without discrimination during procurements, so that we trust they’re awarding contracts appropriately and stimulating competitive markets.

As researchers or journalists, we need to easily analyse bulk datasets on government procurement and beneficial ownership of the companies they’re contracting with, so that we can hold institutions to account for decisions that affect public spending."
Early market engagement
"GDS has engaged with the market on numerous occasions since the Global Digital Marketplace Programme was first publicly announced in September 2017 - see the GDS blog post titled ‘Make procurement open: it makes government better’ (

Most recently was 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
"This document provides general background information regarding the GDS Global Digital Marketplace Programme:

Relevant work planned, underway or completed by GDS in Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa, will be shared with the successful supplier."
Existing team
"The Global Digital Marketplace Programme team consists of:

-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 FCO team consists of:

-Deputy Head, GACP
-Project Manager, GACP

The successful supplier should plan for potentially collaborating with:

-Global Digital Marketplace Programme partner organisations
-teams from NGO Open Ownership
-other successful suppliers' teams supporting related opportunities, eg 'WP1828: Global Digital Marketplace alpha - implementing open contracting data in procurement systems' ("
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, throughout the contract period short in-country visits will be required with 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 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) clearance for supplier’s staff travelling overseas, Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) for other staff. It is preferred that the supplier's team members already have security clearance, however GDS can sponsor the security clearance process. The cost of the process will be charged to the supplier.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
"All expenses must be pre-agreed with 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
  • Technical knowledge of relevant data standards (OCDS and BODS).
  • In-depth understanding of collaboratively delivering rapid/ iterative prototyping (low to high fidelity) using design (systems and approaches), data, data standards, and other prototypes.
  • In-depth understanding of open data standards in government contexts (eg supporting more open and transparent government, the benefits case, civil society use cases, etc).
  • In-depth understanding of open data principles and research, user-centred research, and associated methods, tools and techniques that support these.
  • In-depth understanding of working with and deriving value from, multiple structured open datasets, linked through APIs.
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 working with open data with diverse international audiences.
  • Self-directed and comfortable taking delivery ownership for research, analysis and prototype development.
  • Knowledge or experience of working within the Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How (by end 2019/20) the proposed solution will concurrently: -scope/ research/ analyse: user and business needs, and the policy, regulatory and digital, data and technology contexts. -develop low fidelity prototypes.
  • How (by 29 May 2020) the proposed solution, relating to Global Digital Marketplace Programme work/ CBO in Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa contexts, will concurrently develop high fidelity prototypes.
  • 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

1. Some of the links provided in the opportunity are broken?
Under 'Why the work is being done' - correct link to the OpenOwnership Register is Under 'Problem to be solved' - correct link to the World Bank/ UNODC 'StAR' report titled 'The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What to Do About It' is Under 'Existing team' - correct link to the Digital Marketplace opportunity 'WP1828: Global Digital Marketplace alpha - implementing open contracting data in procurement systems' is
2. Under 'Why the work is being done' you state that ‘Stage 1’ deliverables are required by 03 April 2020, however under 'Proposal criteria' you state 'by end 2019/20'. Please clarify?
Please disregard the 03 April 2020 date and assume 31 March 2020. Actual 2019/20 year end date will be confirmed to the successful supplier.
3. 3. What specific answers should the research address – is it about measuring and mapping the problem of complex ownership structures, or about means that countries can employ to address them?
In line with Service Manual guidance, the discovery research should focus on better understanding the problems that have been summarised in the 'Problem to be solved' section. This means learning about:
- users and what they’re trying to achieve
- any constraints (eg technical or legislative) we'd face when making changes to systems, processes, etc
- underlying policy intent on transparency, open data, etc regarding public procurement and company beneficial ownership
- opportunities to improve things (eg by sharing, publishing or linking open data, building capability and capacity, simplifying processes, etc)
4. What is the expected purpose and functionality the prototyped tools? Or should that be determined in preceding research?
In line with Service Manual guidance, the alphas provide a chance for us to try out different solutions to the problems we’ll learn about during the discovery. We would like prototypes to progressively move from low to high fidelity, focussing on testing different ideas, exploring new approaches and challenging the ways things are currently done.
5. Why are many sections in quotations?
Please ignore these quotation marks; they're typos.
6. Please state the marks for each of the Proposal subcriteria.
Proposal subcriteria will be evaluated with equal weighting.