Start date: Monday 2 November 2020
Value: £648,270
Company size: SME
Daventry District Council


21 Incomplete applications

20 SME, 1 large

30 Completed applications

29 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Wednesday 17 June 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 24 June 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 1 July 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
A partnership approach to:
1. Phase 1 - Design & build two new Unitary Authority websites, providing seamless customer journeys back to existing Local Authority sites

2. Phase 2 - Migrate/update content, enable decommissioning of existing sites and upskill existing team to continue transformation beyond the lifetime of the contract
Latest start date
Tuesday 15 September 2020
Expected contract length
Potentially 2 years + 6months extension option
East Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Daventry District Council
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
In 2018 the UK Government recommended that the current County, District and Borough authorities within Northamptonshire should be replaced with two unitary authorities. Two new separate websites (acting independently with separate Content Management Systems (CMS)) will need to be in place to reflect this change, initially linking back to the existing 8 Local Authority websites for a seamless customer journey on Vesting Day (1st April 2021). The existing websites will need to be decommissioned (current expectations are within two years maximum from Vesting Day) and all third party sites and transactional systems will need to be replaced to create end-to-end user experiences.
Websites are to be live for beta testing by the end of December 2020 moving to live 1st April 2021.
The delivery partner will lead to develop a programme of work including sourcing and providing the CMS, designing & building two Minimum Viable Product (MVP) (websites) and migrating and updating content from the existing council websites. We see this as the start of a longer term project to then enable us to close down the existing sites, improve user experience and transfer skills into the retained unitary digital teams to enable continuing maintenance, development and improvements.
Problem to be solved
We need to have two new unitary MVP websites developed by 31st Dec 2020, linking back to the existing council sites for the majority of council service content and transactions.
The user experience must be as simple as possible so that customers can navigate seamlessly between the new websites and the relevant content and transactional services on the existing 'legacy' sites.
After Vesting Day, the existing websites need to begin decommissioning, a process which needs to be completed for all sites within 2 years from live.
The delivery partner will lead the design and implementation of the new unitary websites. This includes recommending, providing and configuring the CMS so that the sites are accessible, sustainable, responsive and scalable. A cloud first approach should be utilised where possible for both websites and CMS systems with the appropriate security controls to minimise complex network configuration of the existing networks. The new websites must meet all relevant government guidance and legislation including GDPR, accessibility legislation and the EU cookie directive.
We need a partner that can work with us, upskilling the team in UX, service design and agile methodologies whilst embedding a user-centered approach to delivery sustainable beyond the life of the contract.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Below are some examples of our high-level user needs based on our assumptions. Once we progress the discovery phase of the project, we will be able to validate and broaden user needs.
• As a resident of Northamptonshire, I want to be able to locate information effortlessly, so that I can complete my request quickly and easily.
• As a business, we want to complete compulsory business transactions easily, so that we can carry on with day to day responsibilities as a business with no delay.
• As a customer service advisor, I want to be able to find information about a specific council service quickly, so that I can help answer the query for the customer who has made contact.
• As a content editor/publisher, I need a simple and intuitive interface, so that I can create and manage useful content.
It is important that although there is a focus on the needs of members of the public, it is noted that people within the local authorities are users too.
Early market engagement
Please access the summary from our early market engagement exercise below;
Any work that’s already been done
• Research into similar Local Authority unitary website change processes and decision made on the general approach to MVP (top level sites linking to existing District and Borough sites with joint County site) for Vesting Day
• System audit (collated information about current systems in use by existing authorities)
• Baseline information about existing websites, microsites, third party systems and forms has been collected.
• Mapping of the current content publication processes (‘as-is’)
• Analytics review – transaction volumes, website page views, conversion rates (where available)
Existing team
The project will report into the Future Northants Unitary Programme governance team and will be run by an empowered delivery team.

There is some capacity to support the work from existing resource however note that existing roles are not full time and will need to combine with Business As Usual (BAU) activity.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Due to the current Coronavirus outbreak situation, many staff are now working remotely. Remote working/collaboration platforms are being used to enable communication and movement of the project (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Trello etc.) this will continue throughout the project
Should the situation make it possible to work on-site within the contract time, the team’s home base will be Northamptonshire County Council headquarters, but you will need to be prepared to work in the district and borough offices located across Northamptonshire. There will be flexibility around working from home or other offices. This will be dictated by the needs of the project
Working arrangements
We would expect a delivery partner to work with us on this project for as long as necessary each week. The length of time spent on this project by the partner each week will be determined based on the needs of the project.
Any communication or activities that need to take place will be carried out through the most appropriate channel.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Please note the following in relation to this contract opportunity

Local government services in Northamptonshire are currently provided by a single County Council and seven separate District and Borough Councils.

On 1 April 2021, all the existing councils in Northamptonshire will be abolished and replaced with two new unitary councils – North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire Councils.

During the period leading up to 1 April 2021, all contract procurement will follow Daventry District Council’s Procurement Framework. On 1 April 2021, all contracts procured using this Framework will transfer to one or both of the new unitary councils

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
  • Commitment to deliver two MVPs by 31st December 2020;providing and implementing separate websites with separate content management systems for each site - 5%
  • Understanding and experience of delivering services that meet, GDS Service Standard, MHCLG Local Digital Declaration, GDS Technology Code of Practice, WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility guidelines - 5%
  • Providing qualified, skilled personnel to; manage and contribute to the various project stages -provide skills in content migration, content strategy development, business analysis, user research and service delivery - 3%
  • Designing high volume digital services to meet wide ranging user needs; includes mapping business requirements, developing user journeys,stories, personas and wireframes for key content pages/types - 2%
  • Understanding and experience of providing visually engaging customer-first websites that have transformed the online experience for users -2%
  • Understanding and experience of working with internal IT teams to arrange hosting and integration with existing services - 2%
  • Understanding and experience of data security and compliance (GDPR) - 2%
  • Understanding and experience of providing multi-site search functionality and managing search engine optimisation - 2%
  • Understanding and experience of creating and maintaining databases - 1%
  • Other technologies like Customer Relationships Management (CRM) systems and online form platforms - Also having understanding of integration between systems to ensure duplication of effort is minimised - 1%
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical Solution - 5%
  • Approach and Methodology ; How the approach and solution meet user needs, How the approach meets the organisations’ goals - 5%
  • Identification of risks and dependencies and offered approaches to managing these - 5%
  • Team Structure - 2%
  • Value for Money - 8%
Cultural fit criteria
  • Able to work well with colleagues across the Northamptonshire local authorities and existing suppliers, including those who have low technical expertise – 2.5%
  • Able to share detailed knowledge and skills regarding the user-centred design, agile methodology and continuous improvement with team members – 2.5%
  • Able to up skill and empower in-house teams to create a sustainable product outcome - 2.5%
  • Comfortable implementing their ways of working to encourage existing colleagues to follow suit – 2.5%
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. What is your budget range for this body of work's 2 year contract duration?
Bidders are expected to provide their best and final price
2. Please advise who is on the assessment panel for this opportunity
Bidder should please clarify the reason for this question and how it will support the completion of their bid.
3. What is the budget for the project?
Is this opportunity just for Discovery at this stage or are you looking for a supplier to lock in from Discovery to Live and thereafter to CI and Support?
Bidders are expected to provide their best and final price

The project is planned in two phases

1) Design & build two new Unitary Authority websites, providing seamless customer journeys back to existing Local Authority sites and

2) Migrate/update content, enable decommissioning of existing sites and up-skill existing team to continue transformation beyond the lifetime of the contract; we are looking for a partner to work with us through discovery to live and beyond
4. Whilst separate CMSs, is it expected that the two site would share a similar content architecture, IA, visual language etc.?
Please see requirements description. This is to be determined during the project
5. Where will the sites be hosted and who will support these?
Please refer to the requirements description. This is to be determined during the project
6. Can the development work be carried out offshore?
Locational requirements will be dictated by the needs of the project therefore we would expect the team to be available to work on-site if required.
7. Does the authority have a CMS preference?
No preference expressed.
8. What is the vesting day?
Vesting day (1st April 2021) is the day on which the two new Unitary Authorities (North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire) will legally come into being and the existing 8 Local Authorities in Northamptonshire (Northamptonshire County Council, Daventry District Council, South Northamptonshire Council, Northampton Borough Council, Corby District Council, Kettering Borough Council, East Northamptonshire Council and the Borough Council of Wellingborough)
9. Would you be open to suppliers outsourcing the marketing content and strategy within this project? Has this been considered being separated from the technical brief?
We want to deal with one single supplier however outsourcing of some parts of the work would be acceptable
10. Is the cost of upskilling the existing workforce reflected in the budget?
There is no fixed budget for the work set. Bids should include what the supplier is able to deliver for the cost proposed, and be clear about what is not included in this respect.
11. When is the discovery phase expected to complete?
There is no fixed timeline however we require the initial MVP in place by the end of December 2020
12. Is there scope for the delivery partner to undergo its own form of discovery in the event that discrepancies are identified from the output of the ongoing discovery?
Yes, however note timeline requirement and Vesting Day deadline specifically (1st April 2021)
13. Will the delivery partner be bound by the findings of the discovery phase?
Are you expecting project teams to be made up of supplier resources only or will some be blended?
Blended resource
14. Have you defined a product backlog for the new websites?
15. Have you identified a Product owner(s) for the new websites?
Yes – 1 overarching Product Manager and 2 Product Owner ‘Leads’ for the North and West
16. How will you compare the price of bids?
A pricing template will be provided at the ITT stage
17. Does your statement “There is some capacity to support the work from existing resource however note that existing roles are not full time and will need to combine with Business As Usual (BAU) activity.” cover contribution to development, support or upskilling of staff?
A ‘Delivery’ team has been set up to progress the work to procure partner support, to carry out discovery activity and, once the partner support is procured, to work with the partner (being upskilled in the process) to meet the objectives of the project. The project delivery The team will continue to be available in this capacity (roles combined with BAU activity) to work with the partner.
18. Will the product backlog be defined by the discovery phase?
The Discovery phase is yet to be completed. We expect to collaborate with the successful partner to complete the Discovery phase and lead the direction of delivery
19. Are you able to share the outcomes of your Early Market CMS Engagement? It would be useful to know of there are certain CMS platforms you are favouring or avoiding.
We do not have a CMS preference. The Early Market CMS Engagement referred to was carried out to gain an understanding of the current technologies and market
20. Can we have access to the first SOW?
We are still at pre-procurement stage. Statements of work are not usually agreed until after contract award.
21. Are you expecting a price per SOW?
See above, please refer to our response on access to first SOW
22. What is the reason for having two different Content Management Systems for each website?
North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire are two separate Unitary organisations and will operate independently.
23. You mention that pricing will count for 40% of your decision but isn't included in these initial questions. Would you like to receive rate cards at this stage?
Pricing will be considered at the next stage (Evaluation Stage) of the process. We will not be marking on pricing at this point.
24. Is the contract deemed to be outside IR35?
Yes, we are commissioning deliverables and would expect the supplier to be providing the people resource and thus checking the IR35/employment status of any workers they hire to deliver the contract
25. This contract has not been advertised for open EU competition. Can you therefore confirm that the total budget for all supplier work on the contract with Daventry District Council to deliver both websites during the period September 2020 to April 2021 will be lower than £181,302 excluding VAT?
As we are using a Framework, advertising this contract on OJEU is not applicable. As only suppliers on the Digital Outcome and Specialist 4 framework can participate in the competition.

Also, we have previously stated that shortlisted bidders would be required to provide their best and final price and bid at the Invitation to tender stage
26. Please clarify what appears to be a requirement for supplier teams to be based on-site in your Northampton office (and potentially elsewhere in the county) once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
We expect the supplier to be based on-site in the Northampton office and potentially elsewhere in the County once Covid restrictions allows for this.
27. Revised response to Q26;
Please clarify what appears to be a requirement for supplier teams to be based on-site in your Northampton office (and potentially elsewhere in the county) once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Please find a revised response to Question 26 below;

We do not expect the supplier to be working on-site 100% of the time – the need to work on-site will be dictated by the project and thus flexibility to do so is required.
28. Can you confirm whether a digital or technical strategy exists that will influence the delivery of this solution? If so, can you confirm the required tech stack / platform?
The only requirements are that this is a cloud hosted solution. Post vesting day there will be transactional / integration requirements. The websites/CMS must be able to allow integrations to other applications preferably via API.
29. Are there any other ongoing (or soon to be commissioned) projects relating to the creation of the new unitary authorities that may influence the delivery of the new websites or be running in parallel with this project?
None that will impact this project at this time.
30. In respect of your response to clarification question 26, please can we further clarify this?
Your initial spec for work set-up states: 'There will be flexibility around working from home or other offices. This will be dictated by the needs of the project.'?
Do you expect, conditions allowing, that the successful tenderer will be based at these offices for all aspects of delivery work? Or is this only for activity and meetings where on-site presence/face to face meetings would be desirable? This could include: detailed briefing, insight, exploration/collaborative work, feedback sessions etc.?
We expect the successful tenderer to be flexible about working location - a degree of remote working will likely be continuing in the short term for day to day business however the supplier should be available for face to face meetings, collaboration and other sessions where this is the most effective way of building a partnership, communicating and to fit with the working patterns of the team.
31. Several questions about budget have been raised, but no clear answer has been offered. This is a challenge for potential suppliers. There is a large variation in the cost of implementing different solutions. For example, if a cheap open source solution would do, you could probably get a supplier to deliver for <£150k. If an enterprise level solution is required a higher level of investment will be needed. To help everyone qualify this opportunity, can you provide further guidance on expected budget? Digital Marketplace opportunities normally openly state this so that you get the right suppliers bidding for the work.
We have not specified a budget for the work because we are procuring to deliver an outcome – the outcome is the focus of the procurement, with a partnership approach to delivery. We want prospective suppliers to provide value for money responses to achieve the outcomes stated for the two parts of the work.