HM Revenue and Customs

Multi Tax Delivery Platform (MDTP) Continuous Delivery Capability

15 Incomplete applications

10 SME, 5 large

30 Completed applications

20 SME, 10 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 28 February 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 6 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 13 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Building and operating a Continuous Integration-Continuous Delivery (CI-CD) capability in public cloud, currently AWS, using open source technologies.
Latest start date
Friday 1 May 2020
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
South West England
Organisation the work is for
HM Revenue and Customs
Budget range
The anticipated budget is £4.6m per annum over 2 years (£9.2M total contract value), split between 1 – 2 suppliers, depending on the result of this DOS exercise.

About the work

Why the work is being done
We are looking for up to two partners with expertise in building and operating a Continuous Integration-Continuous Delivery (CI-CD) capability in public cloud. MDTP is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) currently hosted in AWS (London Region) and all of HMRC's modern, customer-facing digital services accessed via Gov.uk reside on this platform. MDTP also provides services and dashboards to many thousands of internal staff.
MDTP went live in February 2014 and is always evolving to meet changing user needs. The platform vision and roadmap set out the future direction, centred on continually improving MDTP's usability, operability, security and simplifying the path to Production.
Problem to be solved
This is not a greenfield implementation but the continued evolution of a cutting edge, 'best of breed' PaaS. We must continue to maintain and enhance MDTP's ability to serve up online content to HMRC's customers, as well as services to internal staff, while ensuring an optimal user experience. Without a performant, secure and highly available platform, HMRC's customers will not be able to access MDTP's tenant services or may suffer a degraded user experience. The successful supplier may be asked to conduct work on various areas of the project simultaneously.
Who the users are and what they need to do
MDTP provides a platform for hosting the department's digital services, themselves owned and operated by the service teams based in numerous delivery centres around the UK. MDTP's direct users are therefore the tenant service teams, with HMRC's external customers as the ultimate beneficiaries or end users.
-Service teams - users
As a user of MDTP,
I need a performant, secure and highly available platform,
So that I can deploy and operate digital services for HMRC's customers.
-External customers - end users
As a user of services on tax.service.gov.uk,
I need to interact with HMRC,
So that I can, e.g. file my tax return.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
MDTP went live in February 2014 and is now entering its fourth major iteration:
2014 - 1 x SME cloud provider
2016 - 2 x SME cloud providers (active-active)
2017 - 1 x hyperscale cloud provider (AWS)
2020 - (AWS) ECS implementation, replacing a suite of bespoke deployment orchestration tools
The platform roadmap envisages MDTP's continued evolution as a cutting edge PaaS, so there is plenty of transformative feature work in addition to the live running aspects.
Existing team
HMRC expect the Service Providers to work alongside other suppliers and internal staff, including apprentices, as part of blended teams.
There are six platform teams, typically comprising the following roles:
- Infrastructure engineer
- Software developer
- QA/tester
- Delivery Lead
- Product Owner
- Business Analyst
Current phase
Live

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Primary location: Bristol, 3 Glass Wharf, BS2 0PS
It would be desirable for the suppliers to be based within reasonable travel distance of the Primary location
Face-to-face collaboration is key and remote working will only be considered on an ad hoc basis.
Secondary location (occasional travel only and only up until the site's planned closure in November 2020): London, Canary Wharf, E14 4PU
Working arrangements
The supplier will be required to co-locate with the existing platform teams, mixed teams comprising both internal staff and other contractors, 5 days per week.
Occasional travel may be required to other HMRC Delivery Centres. Expenses will be in line with HMRC policy.
We expect the successful supplier to provide upskilling to permanent staff to increase internal capability.
Security clearance
The supplier(s) must ensure each individual supplied to us has BPSS Security clearance. Clearance costs to be met by supplier.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All personnel engaged in the provision of this service must have a minimum of three years experience in their designated role/skill specialism, with an expectation of five years minimum experience for lead roles.
Additional HMRC Mandatory Terms will be added to the Call-Off contract

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
  • Demonstrable experience in translating business problems and user needs into technical designs
  • Proficient at writing code (Scala, Python, Ruby) to solve problems, automating wherever it adds value and incorporating security best practices at all times
  • Demonstrable hands on experience of, as a minimum, the following AWS services - Cloudformation, S3, ECS, EC2, RDS, Lambda, SQS, SNS, Stacks and IAM
  • Proponents of test-driven development (TDD) practices, writing top quality unit tests and code
  • Demonstrable experience in automated unit/integration/functional/performance testing with meaningful and maintainable quality gates, ensuring features are only promoted through CI-CD pipelines when they exhibit the right functional and non-functional characteristics
  • Deep understanding of distributed Source Control, preferably git/GitHub
  • Deep understanding of application deployment strategies and Continuous Integration
  • Deep understanding of HTTP and its supporting network level protocols
  • Deep understanding of navigating and troubleshooting cloud-based Linux compute
  • Demonstrable experience of developing, using Terraform, Kubernetes, ELK, Sensu, Clickhouse, MongoDB
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable experience of having had a significant multi-team contract with a Public Sector body
  • Demonstrable evidence of successfully providing additional and/or value added activities - i.e. over and above contracted work when acting in the role of a partner supplier to an organisation

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
4
Proposal criteria
  • Shortlisted suppliers will be asked to provide a Written Proposal and Presentation scored against a selection of the Criteria outlined above which will be provided with the Proposal Scenario.
  • The following outline the expected ways of working to be evidenced.
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrable experience of having had a significant multi-team contract with a Public Sector body
  • Demonstrable evidence of successfully providing additional and/or value added activities - i.e. over and above contracted work - when acting in the role of a partner supplier to an organisation
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

40%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there a current incumbent providing this service?
HMRC currently have other suppliers engaged in this activity but incumbents receive no preferential treatment or consideration. The successful supplier will be required to work within and alongside teams made up of HMRC and/or other suppliers, dependent upon the proposed solution to the problem.
2. Could you please explain how this opportunity relates to the DOS competition in Oct-19 for a similar scope?
The work is exactly the same and we currently have separate DOS contracts for some of our suppliers. We will be looking to get them in sync if & when we go back to the Digital Marketplace in two years' time (when the current/new contracts are due to expire).
3. Is there an incumbent provider for this service and if so, will any staff be in-scope for TUPE?
Not applicable
4. Would HMRC consider other primary locations in London for the work post November 2020 or is Bristol the only option?
Bristol is the only option.
5. This opportunity seems similar to the one published in October, is this a re-procurement of the same? Or are they related? Please can you clarify.
The work is exactly the same and we currently have separate DOS contracts for some of our suppliers. We will be looking to get them in sync if & when we go back to the Digital Marketplace in two years' time (when the current/new contracts are due to expire).
6. You mention you ''are looking for up to two partners with expertise in building and operating a Continuous Integration-Continuous Delivery (CI-CD) capability in public cloud.'' Would you be open to one supplier in the end as long as they have the experience requested and can service the requirements?
Yes.
7. Nice to have skills and experience: ''Demonstrable experience of having had a significant multi-team contract with a Public Sector body.'' What does HMRC mean by "multi-team contract"? Do you mean instances where a supplier has had multiple teams across different sites as part of one engagement?
Any contract that required the supplier to provide a number of teams, regardless of location, to a client department. This also includes experience of providing services as part of blended teams.
8. Nice to have skills and experience: ''Demonstrable experience of having had a significant multi-team contract with a Public Sector body.'' What does HMRC mean by "multi-team contract"? How will the response to this question be evaluated – are you looking for scale & capacity? How big a team are you looking for as part of the evidence?
Any contract that required the supplier to provide a number of teams, regardless of location, to a client department. This also includes experience of providing services as part of blended teams.
9. You mention ''2014 – 1 x SME cloud provider and 2016 – 2 x SME cloud providers (active-active)'', can you let us know who they are please?
Who our previous cloud providers were is not relevant to this opportunity.
10. Could you clarify if this is a re-procurement of the opportunity published in October? Please could you also update page with the results of the procurement exercise as required under DOS guidelines?
Please refer to the answers already provided re the previously published opportunity. The previous procurement exercise was awarded to Equal Experts UK Ltd and Made Tech Ltd, as published on Contracts Finder.
11. Could you please confirm the functional roles of the individuals who will score this response?
Both the assessment and evlauation will be scored by a panel of HMRC subject matter experts. To include the Head of Digital Operations and the MDTP Product Owner.
12. Does the supplier need to provide experience in all 6 area's Terraform, Kubernetes, ELK, Sensu, Clickhouse, MongoDB, would you consider aligned technologies?
Not necessarily all 6 areas, but the more of these (or equivalent) technologies the supplier has experience of, the better.
13. We note the unlimited indemnity (clause 34.2) in respect of losses incurred if the Supplier breaches Clause 14 and any Data Protection Legislation. However as market trends show that customers are not asking for unlimited liability and indeed the guidance from Cabinet Office to all public bodies is to cap data protection breaches to be commensurate with the value of the contract, Is this something you are willing to consider in principle?
Yes, this is something we would be willing to consider, in principle.
14. On the questions where multiple technologies are mentioned, are we able to use multiple examples?
Yes, we are happy for you to cover more than one example in your 100 word response. However, please consider that we will be looking for depth of evidence within the example(s) given.
15. We are aware that Equal Experts is a large incumbent supplier in this area and given you have awarded the previous tender to them as well in October, is this not a forgone conclusion?
We have numerous suppliers engaged in this activity. Any supplier who is registered on the DOS4 framework and has the capability to fulfil the requirement can apply for this opportunity. Shortlisted suppliers will be assessed fairly to find the supplier that best meets our needs.
16. For questions such as this ''Demonstrable hands on experience of, as a minimum, the following AWS services – Cloudformation, S3, ECS, EC2, RDS, Lambda, SQS, SNS, Stacks and IAM.'', are you happy for us to quote more than one client example in our response (100 words) to demonstrate all skills requested or would we get marked down for using more than one example?
Yes, we are happy for you to cover more than one example in your 100 word response. However, please consider that we will be looking for depth of evidence within the example(s) given.
17. ''Proponents of test-driven development (TDD) practices, writing top quality unit tests and code.'' – Are you looking for us to talk about how we advocated the use of TDD principles within an engagement or focus our answer on what we did while following a TDD approach?
Both would be beneficial.
18. Under the purview of this contract, what is the feature/user story/functionality implementation roadmap that the vendor is required to follow?
There is an MDTP Roadmap, but its structure or content is not relevant.
19. Please share the current CI-CD pipeline toolset being used? Any specific preference for the toolset.
GitHub, Jenkins and Artefactory are key components of our pipeline. If suppliers have no direct experience of this specific toolset then we would expect them to have sufficient experience with something similar and they must be able to adapt rapidly.
20. What is the approximate team size you are looking from the vendor?
All MDTP teams comprise two or more suppliers. With an ecosystem of 3-4 suppliers and an overall contractor headcout of around 45, it is reasonable to expect each supplier to eventually ramp up to 10-15 contractors.
21. Are you willing to optimize the cost using onsite-offshore model? Is it ok if we provide cost for total onsite versus offshore-onsite engagement model?
No. All development must take place in the UK, specifically Bristol.
22. We are assuming that you will be providing sitting space for the vendor’s deployed personnel?
Yes. Seats for all, plus a great view of Temple Meads station.
23. Can we have role-based segregation and job description (JDs) of the vendor’s team members?
No. All are typical multi-disciplinary, agile development roles.
24. With reference to the stated budget, is the advertised annual budget of ‘£4.6m per annum over 2 years’ supplier costs only, or does that include the platform costs?
Supplier costs only.
25. Could HMRC provide details of how it intends to procure two suppliers through a single DOS advert?
We have sought clarity and will only be awarding to one supplier through this opportunity. A further opportunity will be released over the coming weeks which will require similar capability but with different outcomes. The anticipated Contract value for this requirement is now therefore £4.6M over 2 years.
26. The DOS ad states that the Stage 2 proposal will be ‘Scored against a selection of the Criteria outlined above which will be provided with the Proposal Scenario'; does this mean shortlisted suppliers will be asked to expand upon the technical experience of which we provided details at Stage 1?
Shortlisted suppliers will be asked to detail how they would deliver a solution to a possible piece of work the successful supplier may be asked to complete as a statement of work under the contract. This proposal scenario may not require all Essential Criteria to be evidenced so the specific criteria to be used will be outlined to shortlisted suppliers.
The cultural fit of suppliers will be scored seperately and all of the criteria outlined for Cultural Fit will be considered at stage 2.
27. Will you work with a UK Nearshore services provider?
No. All development must take place in the UK, specifically in Bristol.
28. Can some of the work be carried out remotely (within the EU)?
No. All development must take place in the UK, specifically in Bristol.