Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) – ITS Service Creation

Provision of Software Engineering Services 2 - PS/20/120

Incomplete applications

17
Incomplete applications
10 SME, 7 large

Completed applications

6
Completed applications
5 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 21 May 2020
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 28 May 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 4 June 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work DVLA requires a supplier to provide a flexible delivery of highly skilled Engineering developers/support services to aide in the design, development and support of transformation solutions, working closely with our Development Teams and able to solve complex problems, via a call off agreement to deliver an agreed set of outcomes.
Latest start date Monday 14 September 2020
Expected contract length 12-month contract. All work will be managed via individual Statements of Work.
Location Wales
Organisation the work is for Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) – ITS Service Creation
Budget range The total value of all Statements of Work commissioned under the proposed call-off agreement will not exceed £3m.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The DVLA is building new services and moving away from its legacy technology onto new, cloud-based platforms utilising modern technologies like containers and serverless.

As part of the DVLA IT Strategy, DVLA intends to re-architect and re-engineer all IT systems onto new, open-source, cloud-hosted commodity IT platforms. These systems will need to integrate together and in to a number of common components.

DVLA requires a software and engineering service to develop and support part of its Digital Transformation Programme. This service provision needs to be able to provide technically skilled, experienced squads to deliver technical solutions.
Problem to be solved DVLA require the delivery of two Squad based software and engineering teams made up of Solution Architects, Business Analysts, Software engineers, SDET, Test Engineers, Test Managers, Agile Delivery Managers, Technical Product Managers, Cloud Engineers, Platform Engineers, Entire squads (where the composition will reflect the nature of the required outcomes).

DVLA requires a supplier to provide a flexible delivery of highly skilled Engineering developers/support services to aide in the design, development and support of transformation solutions, working closely with our Development Teams and able to solve complex problems, via a call off agreement to;
• Deliver migration of legacy services to cloud based environments,
• Develop new internal and external facing services,
• Support DVLAs digital strategy by creating online services and digital channels to improve overall customer service

All deliverables will be in line with DVLA solutions. The appointed supplier shall have the ability to deliver a mix of engineering services in line with outcome based deliverables, as set out in the individual Statements of Work as well as having the ability to interact and give guidance on best practice and react to technical challenges.

DVLA is responsible for the overall business requirements and solution architecture.
Who the users are and what they need to do DVLA Business transformation projects, Information Assurance Group, Cyber Security, existing business area (e.g. Human Resources, Finance, Estates), General Public, Other government departments

Mixture of internal and external facing systems: Internal – transactional processing, data sharing, reporting and MI. External – Public facing applications and enquiries
Early market engagement There has been no early market engagement.
Any work that’s already been done DVLA is in the process of re-architecting and re-engineering all IT systems onto new, open-source, cloud-hosted commodity IT platforms. These systems have to integrate together and into a number of common components with progress having been made in delivering the functionality to build the integration components.

Supporting this a Microsoft-Azure based Strategic MIBI data-Platform has also been built.

DVLA has also moved its high-volume enquiry services previously provided by a number of end-of-life, non-strategic platforms and databases to a strategic, cloud-hosted, open-source IT platform with the development of services enabling the delivery of a Strategic-Enquiries-Platform - New Vehicles Enquiry Service.
Existing team DVLA has in place a number of digital development teams working on a range of different projects and business as usual activities using Agile methodology.

The existing IT Service Creation team in DVLA includes Technical Product Managers, Agile Delivery Managers, Delivery Managers, Business Analysts, Software Engineers, Infrastructure Engineers and Testers, Cloud Engineers, Platform Engineers and Solution Architects.

A typical DVLA squad consists of Software Engineers, Architect, an Agile Delivery Manager, Product Owner, SDET and Technical Product Manager.
Current phase Not applicable

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The work will take place in DVLA offices in Swansea, however, in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak and in line with Government guidance in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, supplier resource allocated under this Call-Off Contract (once awarded) will initially work remotely. At the point where ‘working from home’ restrictions are lifted the supplier resource will be required to work onsite at the DVLA’s Swansea offices.

Please note: Supplier resource will initially be required to attend the DVLA site in Swansea, in order to collect the necessary equipment to begin working remotely.
Working arrangements Statements of Work(SoW) will be issued to define the deliverables of each phase. The supplier’s team will need to work effectively with existing and future teams(both civil servants& other suppliers).

The initial SoW will be Capped Time & Materials but the Buyer reserves the right in the contract to use alternative payment mechanisms such as Fixed-Price or T&M for future SOWs. Suppliers shall provide transparency to the Buyer on the rates paid to resources & any third-parties in the supply-chain on request. Where applicable expenses shall be submitted in line with the Buyers Standard T&S policy and agreed in advance.
Security clearance DBS - BPSS with Basic Disclosure(issued by Disclosure &Barring Service)SC may be required for further work but will be sponsored by DVLA if needed. All resource will be required to achieve three months residency in the UK in addition to BPSS prior to working with or on behalf of DVLA.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions In order to support DVLA’s Digital Transformation Programme and to meet the Software Engineering Services Requirement DVLA is advertising two opportunities concurrently (PS/20/119 – Provision of Software Engineering Services 1 & PS/20/120 – Provision of Software Engineering Services 2). A dual sourcing strategy has been adopted to ensure delivery, appropriate and maintainable capacity levels, and scalability to reduce the risk within the programme therefore the opportunities will be awarded to two separate suppliers.

Suppliers must be able to provide resources within a 2-week notice period with the necessary skills to minimise impact on delivery.

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 demonstrable experience and examples of 5 or more years of supplying an Engineering squad based service to an enterprise sized environment.
  • Have demonstrable experience and examples of 5 or more years of providing an Engineering squad based service in a multi-vendor landscape.
  • Have demonstrable experience of 3 or more years of delivering projects using modern delivery concepts such as Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery pipelines.
  • Have demonstrable experience and examples of a period of 3 or more years of delivering enterprise scale integration solutions using serverless and java technologies.
  • Have demonstrable experience of supplying a squad based engineering service able to enforce best practice delivery and support processes in line with DVLA’s own coding standards.
  • Have demonstrable experience of provisioning an engineering service working on a public cloud, including AWS and Microsoft Azure/365.
  • Have demonstrable experience of providing an Engineering service with strong skills in delivering into AWS(Amazon Web Services) with a particular focus on API Gateway,Cognito, Lamdba, S3,Dynamo & other Serverless technologies.
  • Have demonstrable experience of providing developers certified with AWS to Associate or Professional level.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years delivering solutions using Java, REST API, OpenAPI specs.
  • • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of test automation using Ruby and Cucumber.
  • • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of OAuth security.
  • • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of use in the Atlassian toolset (with a focus on JIRA, bitbucket) and Git.

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 10
Proposal criteria
  • • Explain your overall Engineering Approach along with Delivery and support Methodology and how this can be utilised to support DVLA’s objectives. (5%)
  • • Describe how you will ensure that DVLA is supplied with high quality and appropriately skilled resources, including developers and engineers (5%)
  • • Explain how you can commit to meet DVLA's continuous need for Development and engineering squads. (5%)
  • • Provide a range of sample CVs to demonstrate the typical resource quality that will be provided to meet the requirements. (5%)
  • • Provide up to three client focused examples where your organisation has provided the desired service capability. (5%)
  • • Explain your method for attracting/recruiting/retaining/replacing high quality, appropriately skilled resources in line with the 2-week notice and what internal processes you’ll undertake to ensure they match our requirements (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • • Provide an example of being able to form effective relationships with people of all seniorities and job types
  • • Provide an example of supporting enablement of in-house subject matter expertise, engaging with staff and creating an environment of knowledge sharing.
  • • Provide 2 or more examples of excellent communication and influencing skills that supports the delivery of the customer’s objectives.
  • • Provide 2 or more examples of previous integration into client culture
  • • Provide 2 or more examples of ability to coach, document and handover to existing staff.
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

70%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Can you please confirm if there is an incumbent? Multiple suppliers have been involved in completing work for components of work which have fed into this requirement, when they were individual projects. However, no supplier has been contracted to work on a single requirement with all of the criteria listed in the specification for PS/20/120. Therefore there is no incumbent supplier at present.
2. Can you please confirm if there is a current incumbent ? Multiple suppliers have been involved in completing work for components of work which have fed into this requirement, when they were individual projects. However, no supplier has been contracted to work on a single requirement with all of the criteria listed in the specification for PS/20/120. Therefore there is no incumbent supplier at present.
3. What is the difference between Services 1 and 2? Could one supplier win both? In order to support DVLA’s Digital Transformation Programme and to meet the Software Engineering Services Requirement DVLA is advertising two opportunities concurrently (PS/20/119 – Provision of Software Engineering Services 1 & PS/20/120 – Provision of Software Engineering Services 2). A dual sourcing strategy has been adopted to ensure delivery, appropriate and maintainable capacity levels, and scalability to reduce the risk within the programme therefore the opportunities will be awarded to two separate suppliers.’ The DOS framework rules does not support multi sourcing, which is the reason for publishing separate requirements.
4. Are we able to use 2 examples for this question: Have demonstrable experience of provisioning an engineering service working on a public cloud, including AWS and Microsoft Azure/365. Multiple examples are permitted as long as they are within the specified word count.
5. Is the contract deemed to be outside IR35? This service sits outside of IR35
6. In your question “Have demonstrable experience and examples of 5 or more years of supplying an Engineering squad based service to an enterprise sized environment.” is the period of time relevant or the breadth of experience? Both are key criteria, however the evidence provided needs to be demonstrable over a period of 5 or more years.
7. Are you expecting project teams to be made up of supplier resources only or will some be blended? Project teams could potentially be both discrete and blended but Supplier delivered engineering services will be by outcome based deliverables as set out in individual Statements of Work
8. What is the technical stack used for the existing systems created as part of your digital transformation? There are 3 approved tech stacks;
Backend: Java SpringBoot
Serverless Backend: Node.js
Front-end: Ruby on Rails with React
9. Will remote working of team members be supported where required by the supplier? Please refer back to the published requirement: ‘’ The work will take place in DVLA offices in Swansea however in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak and in line with Government guidance in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, supplier resource allocated under this Call-Off Contract (once awarded) will initially work remotely. At the point where ‘working from home’ restrictions are lifted the supplier resource will be required to work onsite at the DVLA’s Swansea offices
10. In light of the two similar DOS notices that have been published simultaneously, is the expectation that suppliers should respond to one or both of the publications? suppliers are eligible to apply for both requirements-PS/20/119 and PS/20/120, however to reduce the risk within the programme the opportunities will be awarded to two separate suppliers. Therefore a dual sourcing strategy has been adopted to ensure delivery, appropriate and maintainable capacity levels, and scalability. The DOS framework rules do not support multi sourcing, which is the reason for publishing separate requirements. Each supplier needs to make their own decision on whether to apply for one or both, but will not be awarded more than one.
11. How will you compare the price of bids? Price will be evaluated based on what a typical squad looks like as listed in the requirement and will comprise of 20% of the evaluation weighting as per the advert.
12. Is the DVLA IT strategy referred to in this notice referring to the publication covering period 2017-2020? (or is there a newer version available for consumption by potential suppliers) The latest published version of the DVLA Strategy is the one referenced.
13. As an indication for suppliers on DVLA's skillset requirements, how would DVLA apportion the current AWS :Azure workloads (i.e. 60:40 or otherwise)? Would this proportion be expected to remain consistent through the duration of this contract? The AWS:Azure workloads are currently provisioned at approximately 80:20 and are likely to remain consistent, though may be subject to change depending on the priority of the future pipeline of work.
14. Could you please elaborate by what you mean by 'Cloud engineers'? What are the skills you are looking for under this role? Cloud Engineers should have experience working as senior developers and will need to have delivered Cloud based services using modern technologies and tools and be interested in distributing systems and writing resilient code. Responsible for designing, building, and operating all the services we consume from AWS/Azure, and the software run on top like Kubernetes and ElasticSearch.
Some of the tools and technologies used are: AWS for most of our infrastructure; Kubernetes; Instana; Spinnaker; Elastic; Terraform or Cloudformation; Serverless
15. Will the supplier be responsible for the delivery management of the project/service being developed, using their own Delivery Managers? This will be dependent on the make-up of the squad required to deliver the outcome based deliverables as set out in individual Statements of Work but Delivery Management is one of the roles detailed in the specification.
16. You state that the total value will not exceed £3m. Is this budget exclusive or inclusive of VAT? The budget is exclusive of VAT.
17. Are DVLA open to re-assessing the requirement for supplier staff to attend the DVLA site in Swansea to collect equipment should COVID-19 restrictions still be in force to avoid contravening government guidelines on travel from elsewhere in the UK? Supplier resource will initially be required to attend the DVLA site in Swansea, in order to collect the necessary equipment to begin working remotely. Should travel restrictions still be in place a ‘critical worker’ letter will be issued to supplier staff in order for them to make the journey to the DVLA site.
18. Can you provide an indication of your team profile requirements for the initial SOW(s) that would commence on Monday 14 September 2020? The team profile requirement would need to be provided by the supplier in order to meet the required outcome and agreed by the DVLA prior to the SoW commencing, and will consist of some or all of the roles listed in the requirement specification.
19. How will price evaluation be calculated? The price evaluation will be calculated based on what a typical squad looks like as listed in the requirement and will comprise of 20% of the evaluation weighting as per the advert.
20. While the supplier team will be required to be on site for specific roles or parts of the engagement, are you open to the supplier's team otherwise delivering from their own UK or EU offices? Referring back to the DOS specification - the work will take place in DVLA offices in Swansea, however, in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak and in line with Government guidance in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, supplier resource allocated under this Call-Off Contract (once awarded) will initially work remotely (within the UK only). At the point where ‘working from home’ restrictions are lifted the supplier resource will be required to work onsite at the DVLA’s Swansea offices, subject to provision of accommodation that meets Government guidance and social distancing measures.
21. What is the expected schedule and profile for the onboarding of teams/roles over the initial months of the contract? The requirement is to onboard at the earliest opportunity post contract award and subject to the first SOW being agreed. The team profile requirement will need to be provided by the supplier in order to meet the required outcome of each individual SOW but will consist of the roles detailed in the specification.
22. In the Proposal Criteria suppliers are asked to explain their “Delivery and support Methodology”. Could you please elaborate on what ‘support’ means in this instance (e.g. DVLA staff enablement or supporting live service etc). DVLA are moving to a devops model where the engineers support the services that they've developed rather than handing over to a separate support function, for example, developing and deploying code fixes to service issues.
23. 1. ‘At the point where ‘working from home’ restrictions are lifted the supplier resource will be required to work onsite at the DVLA’s Swansea offices.' – We assume that there will be reasonable time allowed to the supplier to relocate staff to areas local to the DVLA’s Swansea offices as the team may be geographically dispersed at the time of selection and team formation.
2. Are there any expectation of roles or capabilities relating to User Experience and Design as the plan is for wide ranging digital transformation.
1. At the point where ‘working from home’ restrictions are lifted the supplier resource will be required to work onsite at the DVLA’s Swansea offices. DVLA will provide reasonable notice to suppliers.

2. The roles required are as detailed in the specification.
24. We note that you have stated 'Two Squad based software and engineering teams made up of...Entire squads'. Could you confirm the overall number of squads or team members that DVLA expects in each of the teams. The team profile requirement will need to be provided by the supplier in order to meet the required outcome of each individual SOW but will consist of the roles detailed in the specification.
25. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or, will they only be used for the purposes of down-selecting suppliers? Bids will be scored at each stage of the evaluation as per the criteria set out in the requirement advert published on DOS. For bidders who are shortlisted, their total score will be based on all of the evaluation criteria listed in the requirement and scores from the evaluation and shortlist stages will be totalled up to provide an overall score.
26. Can the agency confirm that it is not expecting duplicate bids (one for PS/20/119 and a second for PS/20/120) and that a single bid against either DOS notice will suffice? Each supplier needs to make their own decision on whether to apply for one or both opportunities (PS/20/119 and PS/20/120), but will not be awarded more than one.
27. Is there further information that you will share with the down-selected suppliers ahead of proposal submission? Once bidders have been successfully shortlisted, they will be required to submit their cultural fit, proposal and a pricing schedule (which will be issued to them once successfully shortlisted). No other information will be shared with suppliers.
28. When COVID-19 restrictions permit travel and the return of office-based working, we appreciate the need to be on-site. Are you open to this presence being 3 days per week, to increase the talent pool available to you through travelling personnel? The work will take place in DVLA offices in Swansea, however, in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak and in line with Government guidance in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, supplier resource allocated under this Call-Off Contract (once awarded) will initially work remotely (within the UK only). At the point where ‘working from home’ restrictions are lifted the supplier resource will be required to work onsite at the DVLA’s Swansea offices, subject to provision of accommodation that meets Government guidance and social distancing measures.
29. Can the Buyers Standard T&S policy be supplied? The DVLA’s travel and subsistence policy will be provided to the winning supplier on commencement of the Contract.
30. What timescales are you working to for: (1) informing down-selected suppliers, (2) submission of proposals and (3) scheduling of presentations? Please see below estimates
1) Initial Shortlisting is proposed for the end of week commencing 22/6/2020
2) Proposals for successful bidders to be submitted by 30/7/2020
3) No presentations are to take place.
31. Reference to the work completed on "Microsoft-Azure based Strategic MIBI data-Platform" is there any further support required on the data platform? No as MiBi is not currently  included under this Programme of work.
32. Could you provide the details of the applications in scope in terms of their functionality as well as current and projected technology landscape. In terms of functionality it's all services that are to manage the registers of driver and vehicle databases. Current and projected technology landscape are as follows:

Backend: Java SpringBoot
Serverless Backend: Node.js
Front-end: Ruby on Rails with React . with legacy services on mainframe
33. Could you provide the details of the applications in scope in terms of their functionality as well as current and projected technology landscape. In terms of functionality it's all services that are to manage the registers of driver and vehicle databases. Current and projected technology landscape are as follows:
Backend: Java SpringBoot
Serverless Backend: Node.js
Front-end: Ruby on Rails with React . with legacy services on mainframe
34. 1. Based on the dual sourcing strategy, is there the intention to form mixed teams consisting of supplier staff from both of the selected suppliers, or will they remain as separate teams

2. Please clarify how many IT systems are in scope overall. Is there a classification available based on small/medium/large and also the nature of current legacy technologies identified for migration and transformation

3. For re-architecting and re-engineering, can the supplier suggest team capability vis-a-vis potential solutions and accelerators which can aid the activity, or are there already a defined set of products/tools which are expected to be used.
1. There is no intention to form mixed teams consisting of supplier staff from both of the selected suppliers

2. DVLA has two main systems, Vehicles and Drivers, with Drivers being primarily in scope of this specification.

3. There are a DVLA defined set of products/tools, technical approach and patterns.
The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Thursday 28 May 2020.