The Environment Agency and Defra

Datastore, Rules and Visualisation (DRV)

Incomplete applications

15
Incomplete applications
11 SME, 4 large

Completed applications

16
Completed applications
12 SME, 4 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 14 May 2020
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 21 May 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 28 May 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work The DRV project are looking for a delivery partner to design and build a service, which includes a Microsoft SQL azure database, and automated rules based workflow to verify and validate a mixture of regular and geospatial geoCOBie data.
Latest start date Monday 29 June 2020
Expected contract length Up to 2 years. Exact length still to be determined.
Location No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for The Environment Agency and Defra
Budget range To be confirmed.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The project is part of the Environment Agency’s CAMC (Creating Asset Management Capacity) programme, which is improving the way in which we manage our Flood Risk assets. As part of this programme the EA are aiming to reach BIM level 2, and therefore have a need to improve the quality of verified asset data.

This project will improve the current manual exchange of data from geoCOBie and IDP files through the project lifecycle, by introducing a rules service which will provide automated verification and validation of asset data during submission. This service will permit data which meets agreed parameters (as defined in the data requirements library), and report back to the submitter any failed data, enabling them to resolve this before re-submission. Data which passes verification and validation will be stored in a central repository (Microsoft SQL Azure), enabling it to be surfaced by visualisation tools and services (Power BI, 3d-modelling, mapping services).

User needs have been completed for the Discovery phase and the project is now ready to move into the Alpha phase.
Problem to be solved We would like a delivery partner with the skills and capabilities to design, configure, build and deploy a service.

The service will need to interact with geoCOBie/IDP files within our common data environment (Asite), read and verify this data against define business and data rules, provide reports back to the submitter as to the success of verification, and write data which passes validation into a SQL azure database. None of these components currently exist, so we would need the delivery partner to provision and build these components.

There are several highly complex geospatial rules which will need proving, and so FME server is seen as the most appropriate technology by which to deliver these. In addition there is a complexity around concessions to rules, and versioning of rules which we need to validate during the PoC.

Following the PoC we will need to understand the cost and effort involved in delivering a full service, as well as support in deploying the service to our internal environments.
Who the users are and what they need to do Internal Environment Agency staff and approved external contractors (via the CDE) need to have access to a service which provides a database and an automated rules based workflow to verify and validate data.
Early market engagement The project approached a number of suppliers found on G-Cloud 11 in February 2020 to receive rough order of magnitude (ROM) quotes. This enabled the completion of a strategic outline case, and to verify whether there were any delivery partners with the skills, expertise and availability to support the project.
Any work that’s already been done The project have completed Discovery, and created the following products:

‘As is’ and ‘to be’ process maps
Detailed requirements covering the PoC, and future DRV service (including a requirements summary document)
User stories for geoCOBie interactions
An options paper covering technologies to deliver the service
An architectural vision
Cloud environment design
Logical and Conceptual data models
Scripts to deploy the SQL Azure databases – geoCOBie mapping to relevant fields

The project have a good understanding of what's required. If interested in the Discovery work please request further information by emailing scott.latham@defra.gov.uk.
Existing team The project is being delivered by Defra’s Digital, Data and technology services on behalf of the Environment Agency. The team comprises:

• Project Manager
• Business Analyst
• Technical Architect
• Enterprise Architect
• Data Architect
• Cloud Architect
• QA & Test Manager

The project is working closely with the Environment Agency’s Creating Asset Management Capacity programme, which provides access to Asset Management subject matter experts
Current phase Alpha

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Due to COVID 19 this work is expected to take place remotely.
Working arrangements Work will need to be done remotely, so we require a delivery partner who are experienced in remote working and coordinating project delivery in this way.
Security clearance All members of the project team would require BPSS minimum. This comprises:

Right to work
Identity– ID Data check
Criminal Records
Employment history check

We require some members of your project team to hold SC clearance, those who would potentially be involved in deployment of the product to Defra Environments.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions The EA / Defra will own all of the IPR, documentation, and bespoke components produced as part of this work.

We will require a test strategy and clear evidence of bug and defect management and resolution before acceptance criteria can be met

Ideally this project will be delivered using our internal Jira instance and arranged into sprints – with clear reporting and burn down charts.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Have extensive Agile and waterfall IT project delivery experience
  • Have Cloud environment design, configuration and deployment (Microsoft Azure) experience
  • Have Design, Configuration, and deployment of Microsoft SQL Azure databases experience
  • Have Business Analysis and User Research for IT services experience
  • Have data architecture – logical and conceptual data models experience
  • Have DBA skills and expertise
  • Have extensive experience of ETL tools, deployment of bespoke services using FME server
  • Have comprehensive understanding of Enterprise Asset Management solutions
  • Have extensive experience with geospatial data management, processing and exploitation
  • Have extensive experience with enterprise GIS tools and services
  • Have experience of application of data and business rules to ensure data quality, completeness and compliance
  • Have experience of authoring complex workflows with multiple events
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of Building Information Modelling (BIM) especially BS1192-4 and COBie information exchange processes
  • Have experience of Supporting IT services, incident management.
  • Have experience of IT service design
  • Have experience of project delivery with large public sector organisations, and capability to resource appropriately
  • Have design and delivery of technical proof of concepts (PoC) experience
  • Have a robust approach to quality assurance and test – management of bugs and defects
  • Must meet listed security criteria
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience of BIM (especially BS1192-4 and COBie information exchange processes) in the context of Flood Risk Asset Management
  • Have previously worked with automation and extraction of data from geoCOBie/COBie
  • Have expertise in the Information Delivery Plan (IDP) process
  • Have experience of direct work with the Asite platform, and associated APIs
  • Have experience of deployment, configuration and integration of Microsoft Power BI
  • Have experience of deployment, configuration and integration of Microsoft Logic Apps / Power Automate (Flow)
  • Have experience of on premise and cloud 3d modelling products
  • Have experience of design and deployment of mapping services (e.g. Arc GIS online)
  • Have experience of authoring of bespoke FME workbenches and connectors using Python

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution, approach to architecture
  • Approach and methodology
  • Ability to deliver bespoke geospatial components of service
  • Ability to deliver cloud components of service
  • Understanding and expertise in applying business and data rules
  • Expertise in data architecture, management, quality, and ETL tools
  • Approach to quality assurance and test
  • Understanding and expertise of Building Information Modelling (BIM) & BS1192-4 information exchange process
  • Understanding and expertise of Asset Management
  • How the approach or solution meets the DRVs objectives
  • Innovative approach
  • Estimated timeframes for the work, and availability of team
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure and experience
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Be able to work remotely using digital collaboration tools to successfully deliver projects
  • Understand the need for high quality documentation and compliance with Defra’s design processes
  • Understand how to work with government departments and additional sensitivity and security control required when working with government data, assets and infrastructure
  • Be responsive and engaged during UK working hours (i.e. 9-5 UK time)
  • Be collaborative and quickly able to build relationships with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Seek innovative solutions
Payment approach Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

15%

Price

35%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Clarification regarding number of deliverables. This project is expected to be delivered in phases. The 1st deliverable is the technical Proof of Concept (PoC) and the 2nd deliverable is expected to be a minimum viable product (MVP) or the full live service.

Please note that the 2nd deliverable will only occur if the 1st is deemed a
success.
2. Can you provide the procurement timeline post Stage 1 submission, and will a presentation and a proposal be required? We expect to complete the initial assessment on 29/05/2020, however this will be dependent on the number of submissions. This should include answers to our questions and a written proposal.

We would like the 5 shortlisted suppliers to provide a short presentation of the proposal, with an opportunity for us to discuss the project and ask follow up questions - this is anticipated in the week commencing 01/06 (likely Wednesday and Thursday).

Thereafter we hope to complete evaluation 05/06, thereafter moving on to the award / negotiation phase.
3. Who delivered the Discovery phase? This was delivered internally by Defra's Digital Data and technology services function (DDTS). DDTS are delivering the project in collaboration with the Environment Agency.
4. Regarding the need for SC clearance, will you support staff who need to obtain that clearance? No the project don't have budget or sufficient time for this, it is a requirement we would need a delivery partner to meet - as it could otherwise add delays into the project. Our apologies.
5. Is there an incumbent supplier, if so, who? No - so far this has been an internal delivery to the point of Discovery.
6. What are your procurement timelines, e.g. when will the shortlisted companies be informed? We expect to complete the initial assessment on 29/05/2020, however this will be dependent on the number of submissions. This should include answers to our questions and a written proposal.

We would like the 5 shortlisted suppliers to provide a short presentation of the proposal, with an opportunity for us to discuss the project and ask follow up questions - this is anticipated in the week commencing 01/06 (likely Wednesday and Thursday).

Thereafter we hope to complete evaluation 05/06, thereafter moving on to the award / negotiation phase.
7. Was the Discovery phase conducted internally or externally, if so, who? It was an internal discovery which identified the need for a delivery partner to support the project in delivering a technical proof of concept as the first phase, to enable us to verify and validate our thinking.
8. Please can you confirm the range of rough order of magnitude (ROM) quotes from the exercise in February 2020 and/or the budget range included in the strategic outline case? Thank you. We would like responses based on what delivery partners estimate would be involved so that they can be compared. This should be based on an appropriate team to deliver the PoC and full service.

We expect the PoC to be in the range of 8-10 weeks, ideally completed by the end of August 2020. Costs should reflect this with an appropriate delivery team. The PoC will inform the following phases and also the production of the full business case.

Please bear in mind that price is one of the weighted factors on the DOS framework, but should also be realistic.
9. Is there an incumbent supplier, if so, who? There is no incumbent supplier. Discovery was completed internally.
10. What is the budget? We would like responses based on what delivery partners estimate would be involved so that they can be compared. This should be based on an appropriate team to deliver the PoC and full service.

We expect the PoC to be in the range of 8-10 weeks, ideally completed by the end of August 2020. Costs should reflect this with an appropriate delivery team. The PoC will inform the following phases and also the production of the full business case.

Please bear in mind that price is one of the weighted factors on the DOS framework, but should also be realistic
11. Can you give an indication of the expected team (size/makeup)? We would expect a team of adequate size and blend of skills to deliver the requirements. At a high level we'd expect a project/delivery manager to coordinate and act as a single point of contact, developer(s), technical architect, possibly data/cloud architects, Testers beyond PoC etc. Part of the assessment will be looking at team structure so we'd expect a recommendation of an appropriate team structure to deliver the work.
12. Please can you provide an indicative budget for this work. "We would like responses based on what delivery partners estimate would be involved so that they can be compared. This should be based on an appropriate team to deliver the PoC and full service.

We expect the PoC to be in the range of 8-10 weeks, ideally completed by the end of August 2020. Costs should reflect this with an appropriate delivery team. The PoC will inform the following phases and also the production of the full business case.

Please bear in mind that price is one of the weighted factors on the DOS framework, but should also be realistic"
13. Can you confirm if you are seeking a supplier who can provide a team covering more than one role, not an individual? We are looking for a well resourced delivery partner who can first design and build a technical proof of concept and eventually a full production service for a large public sector organisation. This would need a reasonable team to deliver - likely with architect(s), developer(s), delivery/project manager, test analyst(s) (beyond PoC). The team proposal will be part of the assessment scoring.
14. Is an FME workbench definitely the solution to be implemented in the POC of concept phase? The PQQ questions list FME as a must have, but the DRV Architecture Vision states that “The use of FME Server will be explored as part of the mechanism. This answer is in 2 parts, due to the word limit.

1)

We would like FME server (not just workbench) to be explored as the primary option for delivering at least the geospatial component of the solution. This is because it's a strategic capability/tool within Defra, and we have a support model and internal skills and knowledge around it. It is therefore an essential criteria within the assessment process. The reason that the vision states that it will be explored is that the PoC is expected to validate whether or not FME is suitable to meet functional and non-functional requirements.
15. Is an FME workbench definitely the solution to be implemented in the POC of concept phase? The PQQ questions list FME as a must have, but the DRV Architecture Vision states that “The use of FME Server will be explored as part of the mechanism. This answer is in 2 parts, due to the word limit.

2)

The vision is high level document, which will be developed into a technical solution design during Alpha. FME is a necessary skill as it would need to be proven unsuitable for us to look at investing in other technologies for the geospatial elements of the service. We are looking for a delivery partner to provide some expertise of how the most appropriate solution would function, whether that is FME alone or a hybrid of FME and something like Microsoft Logic apps to deliver the rules based functionality.
16. Can you please say if a supplier was engaged at the previous stage and if so how you will ensure a fair competition at this stage. There is no incumbent supplier. The discovery exercise was completed internally by Defra and the Environment Agency.

The only external market engagement was to obtain ROM costs and estimates for the business case. To ensure fair competition the same documents used when obtaining ROM costs are available by emailing the address above, however they have been updated to include newer requirements and a discovery architecture vision.

Suppliers will be assessed against the specified criteria in a fair and consistent way on cost, technical, and cultural fit.
17. Please let us know if there is a possibility of extending the submission deadline? Unfortunately we cannot extend the deadline. The project had hoped to come to market sooner and are working to relatively tight deadlines as we have a funded project team - the PoC phase ideally needs to be completed by the end of August and so we do not want to introduce additional time into this process. Apologies.
18. Is there an incumbent in place? There is no incumbent supplier. Discovery was completed internally.
19. What's the confirmed budget for this project? We would like responses based on what delivery partners estimate would be involved, so that they can be compared. This should be based on an appropriate team to deliver the PoC and full service.

We expect the PoC to be in the range of 8-10 weeks, ideally completed by the end of August 2020. Costs should reflect this with an appropriate delivery team. The PoC will inform the following phases and also the production of the full business case.

Please bear in mind that price is one of the weighted factors on the DOS framework, but should also be realistic"
20. We understand that the work is expected to take place remotely. However, can you please confirm if this remote location can be an offshore location? We are working with government flood risk Asset data and information which could have a classification of official-sensitive. Offshoring outside of the EU/EEA would therefore not be permissible. Our preference is for a UK based team.
21. Can you please confirm if the work is allowed to be carried out at an offshore location, the project team can have an equivalent of BPSS? We would require some project team members to also hold SC clearance as mentioned above, of which there is no equivalent to our understanding. It is a requirement to interact with Defra cloud environments, and so without this in place the project will not be able to deliver effectively. Again we would prefer a UK based team, however would consider a team based in the EU/EEA if there was strong justification with regards to their skillset, and can meet the BPSS and SC criteria.
22. Who is on the panel? The initial assessment will be completed by Defra’s Digital, Data and technology Service staff (DDTS). This will be the Project Manager, Business Analyst, and Solution Architect – for the following more detailed evaluation phase with shortlisted suppliers we will also include an Environment Agency SME with BIM expertise to represent the customer, and potentially a representative from the Environment Agency’s data team with a background in FME workbench and server.
23. Please could you clarify your response to question 6. You state assessment will be based on answers to the questions and a written proposal. Is there a word/page limit to the written proposal? How should the proposal be submitted as there is no upload facility that we can see alongside the 100 word answer boxes. The applications will initially be evaluated on how well the supplier meets the essential and nice to have criteria only. Once a shortlist of suppliers has been compiled only those suppliers will be asked to provide a proposal.
24. In clarifications #2 and #6 you confirmed that "We expect to complete the initial assessment on 29/05/2020, however this will be dependent on the number of submissions. This should include answers to our questions and a written proposal." Further to this clarification, please can you confirm if: a. You are expecting a written proposal in addition to the 100-word responses as part of our submission on 29th May? b. OR: are you expecting only the 100-word responses on 29th May, and the full written proposal from only the 5 shortlisted suppliers at a later date? Written proposals will be invited from only those suppliers who are shortlisted.
25. If you require a full written proposal prior to the 29th May, as suggested in your clarifications #2 and #6, what format is this submission required in and how should we submit this? Written proposals will be invited from only those suppliers who are shortlisted. The shortlisted suppliers will be provided with more information about format and how to submit them.
26. Are you expecting suppliers to already hold security clearance with the EA/DEFRA? OR, if this is not the case, will you sponsor the relevant individuals within the successful tendering organisation to obtain SC clearance? It would be beneficial if a supplier already has SC clearance with Defra / EA, however not essential provided all project team members hold BPSS. Defra will be able to sponsor relevant staff for SC clearance, as this level of access to Defra cloud systems is not anticipated until the end of PoC, but would need to be commenced at the start of the PoC work. A similar question was posted, which we misinterpreted so have issued a correction.
27. Regarding the need for SC clearance, will you support staff who need to obtain that clearance? (CORRECTION TO QUESTION 4) Apologies we misinterpreted this question (originally number 4), please take this as the revised answer.

It would be beneficial if a supplier already has SC clearance with Defra / EA, however not essential provided all project team members hold BPSS. Defra will be able to sponsor relevant staff for SC clearance, as this level of access to Defra cloud systems is not anticipated until the end of PoC, but would need to be commenced at the start of the PoC work.
28. Is there an opportunity for suppliers to form a delivery partnership? If so, how can applicants find out about other suppliers who have expressed an interest in this project? The DOS framework does not allow us to see which suppliers have expressed an interest prior to the closing date, so a delivery partnership would not be achievable through this route.

We would prefer a single supplier for simplicity and cost reasons, unless there was a strong justification for dividing the work between multiple suppliers.
29. With reference to your responses to question 6, please can you confirm that that the initial stage of the submission simply comprises the responses to the “Essential skills and experience”, and the “Nice to have” questions required in the Digital Marketplace questionnaire, and that, at this stage an additional written proposal is not required?
Assuming that's the case, please can you provide clarity on the process and timeline for short-listed suppliers. We understand that you will ask short-listed suppliers to provide written proposals and presentations. Can you please confirm the deadline for these proposals and the subsequent award timeline”
We can confirm that the initial stage will just be an evaluation the answers to the 'essential' and 'nice to have' criteria. in order to produce a shortlist of suppliers.

An opportunity to do a presentation will be given to each shortlisted supplier, these will take place during w/c 1st June. The presentations will be an opportunity for suppliers to give some high level detail about themselves and their proposal, and to ask further questions about the work in order to enable them to finalise their proposal.

A written proposal will then be required during w/c 8th June.
30. Is there a published definition of geoCOBIE and how this relates to COBIE that you can provide please? geoCOBie is a straight format development to BS1192-4 data standard as described in the EA EIR (Employer Information Requirements). principally the tab names Facility, Floor and Space – for Buildings, have been replaced with Extent, Region and Feature. Other than that it follows the standard.

We have presented this format and hope to have this taken on board as a ‘Model View Definition’ for geographic assets but at present the EIR defines the standard extension. The EA EIR will be shared with the supplier awarded this work at the start of PoC.