This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Thursday 6 August 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

FCO Consular Intelligent Client Function - Technical Architecture & Business Analysis

15 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 2 large

19 Completed applications

14 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Published
Thursday 23 July 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 30 July 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 6 August 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Set up and embed FCO Consular's Architecture Function, prepare a programme business case to transform the Consular technical architecture to support online services. Manage the transformation programme, including the rollout of mission critical products.

Design and delivery of digital services on GOV.UK is out of scope.
Latest start date
Monday 14 September 2020
Expected contract length
1 year with the option to extend by 1 year.
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
Budget range
Statement of Work 1 & 2 (up to end December 2020) - Maximum of £700,000

Total contract value - up to £2,500,000

Payment Approach: Fixed Price + T&M, each Statement of Work will agree appropriate mechanism.

About the work

Why the work is being done
One of the FCO’s three foreign policy priorities is to support British nationals around the world through modern and efficient consular services.

Consular is delivering more services online to allow customers to access our services remotely without visiting a Consulate. The technical architecture underpinning these services has grown organically with data stored in disparate IT systems and applications.

Consular requires a Technical Architecture Function to: design and support a sustainable architecture so that our technology better supports the end-to-end customer journey; produce a programme business case by December; and in parallel roll out new business critical products and services by January.
Problem to be solved
It is envisaged that the supplier will need to:

• Set up and embed the architecture function within Consular, defining processes, governance and architecture tooling and maintain business, data, application, infrastructure, security and service domains;

• Support and lead in developing a technical operating model, stakeholder engagement and delivery strategy, and governance aligned to the draft technical roadmap;

• Support in the production of a programme business case for the transformation programme;

• Analyse requirements to re-procure systems enabling proof of concepts to support options evaluation; and

• Support business transformation and roll-out of business critical products or services to the network.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a Consular Officer overseas, I need to have a holistic view of a consular case regardless of contact method – by phone, email or social media

As a Manager, I need to make decisions through real time data.

As a Technology & Transformation lead, I need to ensure that our technical architecture is sustainable and supports the end to end user journey.

As a Senior Manager, I need to ensure that we make the right digital investment decisions and that we can provide accurate data about how to support British nationals abroad.
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
An indicative target technical architecture and IT operating model have been produced, consisting of a hybrid of SaaS products and bespoke development. Systems within the operating model based on an AWS platform include CRM, Event Messaging Service, Case Management and various business systems. The target architecture includes APIs, messaging integration and a UI to provide a consistent look and feel for users (staff).

Discoveries have already been undertaken to capture user needs for different Consular case types and separately, a future telephony and contact centre solution.

The team will need to consolidate this work to design the future technical architecture.
Existing team
Consular's Technical Architect, Consular Head of Technology and Transformation (strategic) and Senior Delivery Manager (for delivery aspects) will be your key points of contact.

Within FCO, you will be working with a range of policy, technology and digital leads across Consular, the Digital Transformation Unit, FCO and overseas network. You will also work with existing suppliers of various consular applications and stakeholders in the FCO including IT strategy leads and FCO live support and represent the programme at technical and senior governance meetings.

You may also be required to facilitate demos working with external suppliers.
Current phase
Discovery

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
In normal circumstances the supplier will be required to work in London, and occasionally Milton Keynes, when collaborative working is required. Virtual working will be encouraged for non-collaborative activity.
During the COVID-19 period, we have been remote working making regular contact between teams via Microsoft Teams. Depending on the evolving pandemic situation, working remotely/working from home for a sustained period of time might be required at short notice.
Working arrangements
The supplier should determine how best to manage working arrangements to achieve the best outcome. In business as usual circumstances we would expect you to be able to work in the FCO at least two days a week and attend face-to-face meetings - all currently held on MS Teams. The team should be easily reachable by phone or secure email. The resource should: be collaborative, responsive and work effectively with existing suppliers and be comfortable talking to non-technical staff and senior management translating requirements into technical terms.
Security clearance
All staff working on FCO premises and IT network must be at least SC cleared or capable of being cleared to SC. Bidders must confirm clearance of nominated resources. If required, FCO will initiate SC clearances.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Any data in relation to work packages must be kept in the UK.

ISO 9001, ISO 27001 certification must be held by the supplier by the Service Commencement date. Evidence of certification shall be required.

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
  • Proven track record of successfully leading and redesigning legacy IT architecture as part of a large digital transformation programme using Agile and Prince 2 methodology and user-centred design
  • Demonstrable experience of working and understanding hybrid landscapes (SaaS and bespoke solutions) with a particular focus on designing hybrid architecture using AWS technologies
  • Demonstrable experience of working with transactional services, APIs, and micro-service driven applications
  • Demonstrable experience of effective collaboration between multiple product vendors and the business to align strategic, policy and technical objectives
  • Proven track record of effectively dovetailing business, data, security, technology and service management architecture
  • Proven track record of developing and maintaining data and security architecture strategies within a hybrid environment and managing data risks in the context of GDPR
  • Proven track record of development and contribution to Five Case business cases
  • Demonstrable experience of initiating and specifying requirements, reviewing user experience and project managing small IT and digital procurements to deliver value for money within short time frames
  • Demonstrable experience of working with and understanding AWS environments, including re-platforming services onto AWS
  • Experience of preparing project and programme documentation, and providing timely, high quality and accurate reports to the SRO, project boards and other key stakeholders and preparing papers for programme meetings
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of leading public sector digital and technology transformation programmes
  • Experience of working with organisations that have comparable global scope and a geographically spread workforce
  • Provide evidence of architecture team members holding AWS Professional Certifications

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
4
Proposal criteria
  • Technical Solution
  • Approach and Methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets FCO's goal
  • Estimated time frames for the work
  • How you've identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team Structure
  • Value for Money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Evidence of excellent oral communications skills and ability to dissect and deliver complex and technical information and making language simple and accessible for non-technical audiences
  • Experience of successfully transferring technical knowledge to permanent staff within the client organisation
  • Experience of championing the value of user research, user-centred design, and evidence-based decision making
  • Have a culture of transparency and no-blame, encouraging all to fail fast and learn from mistakes, and challenge the status quo
  • Track record of working in multidisciplinary teams and multi-supplier environments
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

65%

Cultural fit

5%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. "Discoveries have already been undertaken to capture user needs for different Consular case types and separately, a future telephony and contact centre solution."

Were these discoveries conducted by external suppliers and are these suppliers a) still engaged by FCO as incumbent suppliers and b) eligible to bid for this opportunity?
Discoveries were conducted by PA Consulting, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence and various individual contractors over the past nine months.

All suppliers who were involved in discoveries are eligible to bid for this opportunity.
2. Is there an incumbent? If so who?
There is no incumbent supplier for this requirement.
3. Who is currently delivering discoveries?
Discoveries were undertaken by PA Consulting, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence and various individual contractors over the past nine months.
4. You state that ISO 27001 certification must be held by the supplier by the Service Commencement date. This is a limiting factor that will affect the size of supplier that can bid for this work and therefore limit the competition. Most of our customers environments are ISO 27001 certified or accredited so we work in this environment and we support and take our customers through certification so there is little value of us as an SME gaining certification ourselves. Will you consider removing this requirement if we can demonstrate our experience and knowledge of ISO27001.
At this stage, the FCO is not intending to remove this requirement from the opportunity. Due to the breadth and skills of the resources required to deliver this opportunity, we do not believe there will be a significant reduction in the competition.
5. Do you require both ISO9001 and 27001, or will ISO27001 on its own be acceptable?
We require both accreditations to be held.
6. Is the role outside of IR35 scope?
This is an outcome opportunity. As such, IR35 considerations are not valid as all outcome requirements fall outside of IR35.
7. Will you accept suppliers using more than one example per response?
Yes
8. FCO states an additional requirement: ‘ISO 9001, ISO 27001 certification must be held by the supplier by the Service Commencement date. Evidence of certification shall be required.' To our knowledge, no other Government department has ever mandated these standards on DOS procurements. As this condition effectively bars DOS suppliers without that certification from bidding for this opportunity, could FCO confirm that Crown Commercial Services are content that this is legally compliant?
The FCO is content that the requiring of industry standard certifications is no bar to bidding and the FCO is free to set the standards it requires of its suppliers. The requirement specifically allows for those without current certification to bid, however, award of the contract shall be subject to holding the accreditation by the service commencement date (as per the opportunity). Others have requested this in the past as has the FCO. The FCO is content with the legal compliance.
9. We note that an indicative target technical architecture and IT operating model have already been produced, and discoveries have already been undertaken to capture user needs for different Consular case types as well as a future telephony and contact centre solution. Please can you confirm which suppliers have been involved in these activities to date. Thanks.
Discoveries were undertaken by PA Consulting, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence and various individual contractors over the past nine months.
10. What does the current infrastructure consist of (On Prem/Cloud/Hybrid) AWS is mentioned, is this the preferred end state or would you consider a multi cloud approach?
The current infrastructure is a hybrid structure.

AWS is the preferred cloud end state.
11. Historically work of this nature and scope were provided exclusively to the FCO under BAE's SIAM contract with the FCO. Please can you summarise the reasons for this piece of work not being commissioned via that contract?
Work of this nature has not always been provided to FCO under BAE’s SIAM contract and usually FCO would go to market for this type of service.
12. Please can you confirm the senior member of the FCO Consular team that we would reporting to and accountable for delivering the contractual outcomes for this package of work?
We are not in a position nor would it be appropriate to disclose names of FCO personnel. The successful supplier shall be provided with the appropriate named contacts.
13. Is it expected the architecture function should align to GDS and other government architectural or technical standards?
Yes, GDS and government architectural and technical standards should be adhered to.
14. You discuss hybrid landscapes, architecture and environments. Please confirm what you consider hybrid in these contexts.
Hybrid in these contexts would mean the combination of COTS SaaS, Bespoke and Open sourced products across the estate.
15. Are there any other design or user research teams looking at similar solutions or outcomes within FCO?
No there are no other design or user research teams looking at similar solutions or outcomes within FCO.
16. Please can you share the discovery details (Initial architecture view and indicative TOM)?
Where appropriate these will be shared with shortlisted suppliers. They will not be shared at this stage.