Department for Transport

RTFO Operating System (ROS) - Discovery

16 Incomplete applications

12 SME, 4 large

16 Completed applications

14 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Thursday 27 February 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 5 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 12 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
• Deliver a discovery phase in line with GDS criteria and DfT’s
digital standards;

• Deliver a discovery report and presentation with analysis and
supporting evidence; and

• Deliver clear explanations of the options available, and
recommendations on how to proceed, including solution
Latest start date
Monday 13 April 2020
Expected contract length
4-6 week discovery
Organisation the work is for
Department for Transport
Budget range
up to £30k excluding VAT.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The RTFO is one of the Government's main policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport fuel.

The ‘RTFO Operating System’ (ROS) was commissioned in 2008 and therefore is reaching the point where it no longer meets modern security / architecture standards. New legislation is likely in 2021 and there is a risk that the system will not withstand further development needed to meet the new requirements.

DfT need to assess these risks and investigate the capacity of the system for further changes, or whether a new development would be required, providing a more modern, streamlined and efficient solution.
Problem to be solved
The current system is over 10 years old, therefore DfT need to assess:

• The needs of the users
• It’s capacity for further development in its current form,
• Whether it could cope with modernisation,
• Compliance with Digital service standard, tech code of
practice, Architectural principles and security guidelines.
• Integration with other DfT systems,
• How we can improve the user journey and user experience.
• Whether a complete rebuild or redesign is required.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The current ROS system is used by UK fuel suppliers to report volumes of fossil fuels and the sustainability details of fuel types which count towards meeting an obligation to supply a certain percentage of transport fuel from sustainable sources.

Fuel trading companies and verification entities also need to provide details in the system as part of the process.

The RTFO Unit have access in order to administer the system, reconcile and approve the details provided.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
A discovery project was carried out in 2016 to consider whether the existing RTFO system (ROS) could either be updated, or would need to be redeveloped, in order to meet the requirements of RTFO amendments in 2017, and new GHG emissions reporting regulations in 2018. This resulted in updates being made to ROS for the RTFO changes, and a new system being developed for the GHG emissions reporting (GOS). The longer-term plan was to consider migrating ROS to newer technology, more in line with GOS, at some stage. Which is what this new discovery project is to consider
Existing team
The project will be managed by a member of the RTFO Unit, with the rest of the team providing input, and will be overseen by the team leader.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The supplier may work from their own premises but with regular meetings required at:

Ashdown House,
Sedlescombe Road North,
St Leonards on Sea,
East Sussex,
TN37 7GA,


Great Minster House,
33 Horseferry Road,

The team may also be required to travel to other locations to meet users/stakeholders.
Working arrangements
DfT require the supplier to work 5 days a week, with regular meetings at the RTFO Unit’s office in Hastings.

The supplier will need to work closely with the Unit in the early stages and should expect to be present in Hastings initially. However, there can be flexibility in the arrangements as many of the Unit also work flexibly. The supplier will not be required in Hastings when nobody from the Unit is there.
Security clearance
All personnel should be currently cleared to SC clearance.

Contractors must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award.

Evidence of clearance will be requested at the written proposal stage.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
CVs will be requested at Stage 2

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 demonstrable experience of delivering a discovery phase in line with GDS guidelines for a government department
  • Have demonstrable proven ability to support a flexible way of working
  • Have demonstrable experience of risk assessment of future proofing of legacy systems
  • Have demonstrable proven track record of delivering projects at speed using an agile project management methodology with clearly identified deliverables and timescales.
  • Have demonstrable evidence of a robust risk management process, including risk identification, mitigation's and governance.
  • Have demonstrable evidence where system development has needed to comply appropriately with digital policies
  • Have demonstrable experience of delivering discovery sessions involving different stakeholders with various technical knowledge/experience and equipment available
  • Have demonstrable evidence of knowledge of data platforms and technical architecture e.g. working with .net framework, MS windows servers, Open source technologies, SQL database, and cloud based technologies.
  • Have demonstrable experience of drawing up recommendations and options for alpha/beta on IT and data projects
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate evidence of successfully leading, managing and assisting in delivering Discovery IT projects within public sector organisations
  • Demonstrate experience of utilising Open source technologies to affect change

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrable evidence of technical expertise: 15%
  • Demonstrable approach and methodology: 15%
  • Demonstrable evidence of how the approach or solution meets user needs: 15%
  • Demonstrable evidence of how the approach or solution will meet our organisation’s policy or goal: 15%
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate experience of working collaboratively as a team with Government Departments and other suppliers: 5%
  • Demonstrate experience of transparent and collaborative decision making: 5%
  • Demonstrate experience of taking accountability for their work and resolving problems effectively: 5%
  • Demonstrate experience of sharing approach, knowledge and skills with other team members and with the department by example: 5%
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who are the members of the panel for this requirement?
The panel members are to be agreed.
2. Has there been any pre-engagement activities for this requirement?
No pre-engagement activities have been undertaken.
3. It mentions discovery phase, and following question is seen. Does it matter in this phase the following question about technology? 'Have demonstrable evidence of knowledge of data platforms and technical architecture e.g. working framework, MS windows servers, Open source technologies, SQL database, and cloud based technologies.'
This is one of the essential skills DfT are asking suppliers to undertake, which is an assessment of the existing IT system and its current technology/architecture. Bidders need to demonstrate they have knowledge in these areas.
4. What is the timescale for the panel to agree a shortlist of 6 suppliers, and publish a schedule for the next phase?
This is dependant on internal availability, DfT aim to agree a shortlist within 3-5 working days.
5. Can you confirm who completed the RTDO System Discovery in 2016?
Can you share any reports or outputs from that exercise?
The supplier who completed the RTDO system discovery can be found on Contracts Finder.

The reports/outcomes of the previous discovery will be shared with bidders at stage 2.
6. Would it be possible to access the previous discovery documentation?
The previous discovery documentation will be shared with bidders at stage 2.
7. 1)What's the nature of the solution? Is it a SQL database?
2)Does it have a web front end?
3)What is the current platform?
4)Do you have any preferences over the platform choice?
5) It states that all personnel should be SC cleared, is this absolutely
6) mandatory or could it be in progress?
Is it cloud-based? If so, what provider are you using
1) Yes SQL server database with web front end
2) Yes
3) .NET
4) Not at this stage
5) This is a mandatory requirement
6) Not currently , but the plan is to host all together in the cloud at some point in the future.
8. Can you provide some examples or context as to the type of change you are looking for suppliers to evidence with respect to utilising Open Source technologies?
There are no specific examples of the type of evidence that DfT are looking for.

DfT would like to understand how suppliers have used open source technology and how they have published their solution back to the open source community.
9. Would it be possible to detail how technically complex the Operating System is?
DfT require the supplier to undertake this work and assess how complex the current system is and provide recommendations for the future
10. You asked “Demonstrate experience of utilising Open source technologies to affect change.” Could you clarify you mean by “affect change” in the context of your requirement? i.e. is this a technical question or business related?
DfT are asking suppliers to risk assess the current system with a view to providing recommendations for the best way for DfT to continue providing a solution going forward.

DfT want to ensure potential suppliers have evidence of using Open Source technologies, as any developmental changes DfT make will use them.
11. Is SC level clearance for all personnel a strict criteria? This could greatly restrict otherwise viable suppliers for this opportunity. DfT have recently asked for (and engaged) suppliers holding Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) levels for comparable Discovery opportunities.
SC clearance is mandatory for this tender.