Awarded to Methods Business and Digital Technology Limited

Start date: Wednesday 1 April 2020
Value: £2,400,000
Company size: SME
Home Office Border Force

Ops Data Analysis and Support Service

8 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 5 large

7 Completed applications

2 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Tuesday 28 January 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 4 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 11 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Border Force require a services of a specialist Data partner in support of their Data Strategy to assist the senior leadership with strategic decision making, alongside product development. It will require a wide range of skills from Data Analysis, Economic Modelling to Strategic Thinking. Additionally, provide analysis governance/mentoring to staff.
Latest start date
Monday 9 March 2020
Expected contract length
24 months - working against Statements of Work for quarterly deliveries
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Home Office Border Force
Budget range
circa £2 million

About the work

Why the work is being done
Borders Force through the Central Operations Platform require a Data Service with skills of Data Analysis, Design, Modelling, Economics, to help deliver a Data Governance Programme in support of a Border Force Data Strategy to produce a mature and operational Data Governance Function.

A wide set of skills from Economic Modelling, understanding of the latest Data Analysis Techniques and Strategic thinking are required. Additionally, provide analysis governance to Border Force Intelligence Directorate within Border Force and act as a mentor to the Border Force Senior Management Team.
Problem to be solved
The Border Force Central Operations Platform requires a Delivery Partner to increase its development capabilities in the following areas:

• Support & establishment of governance regime to senior stakeholders

• Provision of a Border Force vulnerability Pilot through to a National Roll Out

• Planning, design and delivery of all data collection and analysis surrounding:
o Events at the Border
o Ingest of Targeting material
o Provision of meaningful feedback loops to originators

• General data design improvements to extant system.

The service delivery team will be responsible for:
• Design, planning and continuous integration of the data service through development, test and production

• Working with all internal and externa stakeholders to produce endorsed outcomes

The Delivery Partner will be required to work to standards and practices set by GDS and the Home Office Centres of Excellence. Resources are expected to work as part of a delivery team focused on a specific outcome, defined on a quarterly basis . They will be required to adopt common agile practices, tracking using jira.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users include Border Force, Police and wider government agencies to secure UK borders, and detect criminal behaviour.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
There are currently resources in place on the Central Operations Platform and there are several products live which have automated business processes. These include reporting, referral and assurance products
Existing team
The Service Provider will be working with the Authority’s incumbent development teams (both in house and outsourced delivery partners), with other areas of the portfolio and programme and with other Delivery Partners.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The Supplier will be predominantly based at Home Office premises at Apollo House, Croydon, CR9 2BY, but may be required to attend Marsham Street, London, SW1; and MetroPoint , Croydon; Surrey; or other locations as necessary.
Working arrangements
The service will be required to work to standards and practices set by (Government Digital Service) GDS and Home Office Teams. Resources are expected to work as part of existing delivery teams focussed on specific outcomes. On-site delivery partner resources will conform to prevailing Home Office rules & procedures.
The supplier requires being physically on site Monday – Friday, although we will endeavour to support flexible working. Approximate hours are 09:00 – 18:00.

Expenses will conform to Home Office internal policies and will not be payable within the M25.
Security clearance
The delivery partner’s personnel should have Security Clearance or willing to undergo Security Clearance and ideally Direct Vetting (DV). Evidence will be requested at the written proposal stage and the selected supplier is expected to hold Security Check (SC) level clearance by the commencement start date of this work.

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
  • • At least 10 years experience of Data Design/Governance and Architecture and able to show deep experience of Erwin (chosen data modelling tool)
  • • At least 10 years experience of Economic/Econometric Modelling and Analysis
  • • At least 10 years experience in Data Analysis design in the area of National Intelligence in at least 2 organisations.
  • • 10 years experience of the design, provision and support to Management Information/Business Intelligence products. Examples to be provided of dashboards created in PowerBI and how presented to stakeholders.
  • • Confident in R and/or Python – we will expect to test as part of evaluation.
  • • Honours Degree in Mathematics/Computer Science/Statistics/Economics
  • • Light-touch leadership that employs a highly collaborative approach to guide people without controlling them but employing authority when the situation requires. Examples to be provided of board level presentations.
  • • Facilitating inclusive decision-making and conflict resolution.
  • • Guiding and mentoring skills to be applied at all levels of leadership.
  • • Ability to remove impediments that are preventing the team from delivery
  • • Growing and facilitating an emerging workforce to deliver data governance/economic modelling across Border Force.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • • Experience of working with and applying Data Design/Economic Models with Technical Delivery Teams to support senior operations team making best use of data.
  • • A highly developed understanding of government organisations, and how to operate and communicate at the varying levels of management
  • • Will have a background in Data & Technology with proven success in a complex programmes.
  • • Experience of Jupyter and Spark
  • • A Post Graduate in related disciplines

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How approach and solution will meet user needs
  • Team structure
  • Approach and Methodology
  • Ability to mobilise required resources for the estimated contract start date
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • • Ability to work under pressure and prioritise a very varied work schedule
  • • Understanding of working across a broad geographical area and different functional departments with competing priorities
  • • Work closely with colleagues and be transparent and collaborative in all communications
  • • Be respectful and work with integrity and flexibility.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. We are not a list x company and therefore cannot hold any security clearance (SC or DV). Can we still be considered for this project?
Follow up question – will you sponsor and/or hold the clearance if we provide candidates that already hold the clearance?
Security Clearance can be sponsored by the Home Office provided the individual candidates proposed meet the criteria set out in the set out in the latest guidance of the Civil Service Security Vetting published November 2019.
2. Is there an incumbent in place?
Members of the permanent civil servant team are currently covering some aspects of this work but there is no incumbent Supplier for this particular outcome.
3. In the documents you mention “The Service Provider will be working with the Authority’s incumbent development teams (both in house and outsourced delivery partners), with
other areas of the portfolio and programme and with other Delivery Partners and that there are existing products that have been developed”.
Is there an incumbent delivery partner who has previously developed some of the existing products? If so, which organisation is this?
For our Conflict of Interest checking procedures please can you confirm who the third party providers you are already working with in this area?
The Authority has previously awarded contracts for DOS Outcomes which have been published in the public domain on Contracts Finder and can be looked up if necessary.

We have internal staff who are civil servants on the team delivering certain aspects/elements of this requirement of which the successful service provider will work/partner with in the delivery for this particular outcome.
4. Please can you confirm who in the Border Force we will be accountable for delivering our services to? Which team and which Senior Civil Servant will be overseeing our work.
There is a senior civil servant who will ultimately be evaluating and selecting the new delivery partner whom shortlisted bidders, as part of the selection process, will be meeting during the presentation of their proposals.
5. What cloud platform are you using? (AWS, Azure etc)
We make use of both AWS and Azure.
6. There are a number of the ‘essential skills and experience’ that appear to relate to the specific experience and qualifications of individual members of our team, as opposed our capability as a whole (bullets 1,2,3,4,6). Should we answer the questions on behalf of our organisation and our collective experience? Should we refer to how many people we have that hold those qualifications?
The contract size suggests a team size, but we’d expect core team of 2 or 3 to meet our requirements, but have the capacity to flex as a service based on our delivery outcomes.
7. Is the required skill and experience of: “Ability to remove impediments that are preventing the team from delivery” referring to technical impediments or other organisational impediments that might arise?
Both – we expect the partner to help work through business and technical impediments to ensure the outcomes are delivered
8. Please could you provide information on the likely deadlines for the second stage of this opportunity including potential dates if a presentation stage is intended.
Timeline are as set out on this advert, and Home Office will endeavour to meet these dates to complete.
9. Please could you provide guidance on desired size of team and whether a blend of full time and part time specialist resources (that meet all essential and nice to have requirements) would be acceptable.
As above, we’d expect a team of 2 or 3 could meet the needs, but delivery is on an outcome basis and welcome proposals to deliver the outcomes needed, along with being able to provide some short-term burst capability within the size of the contract award.
10. Please could you provide guidance on whether the equipment needed to perform their roles (for example laptops) will be provided for resources.
HO equipment will be provided to access corporate systems, but typically a supplier will sign up to the Acceptable Use Policy to access development tools.
11. Where possible please provide guidance on your intended support model for the solution(s) the resources will help to update / create.
For this outcome, we’d expect products to be used in normal office hours and expect any support to follow this.
12. Where possible please provide guidance on the security classification of the data the resources will be expected to work with and analyse.
The security classification of data which individual resources from the selected supplier will usually be analysing and working with during their delivery of the services, is designated as “OFFICIAL” data.
13. Where possible please provide guidance on expected timeframes of Border Force vulnerability Pilot through to a National Roll Out.
We have already begun the pilot and are delivering incrementally – so the Pilot is ongoing. Nevertheless, our aim is to continue to iterate and improve the work until it is rolled out nationally.
14. Where possible please provide guidance on the likely external stakeholders that will need to be engaged.
Likely to be other government departments.