Awarded to Scott Logic Limited

Start date: Friday 18 December 2020
Value: £350,000
Company size: large
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Ongoing Support and Development for FCO's Open Source Data Analysis Platform

4 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 1 large

13 Completed applications

8 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Published
Monday 17 August 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 24 August 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 31 August 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
To provide ongoing support and development to maintain OSU's open source data analysis system and work with OSU to develop enhancements.
Latest start date
Sunday 15 November 2020
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Budget range
As this is the first support contract for this system, the first 6 months of ongoing support will be charged on a T&M basis. After 6 months, there will be a review between FCO and supplier as to whether a fixed price model would be more suitable.

The total envisaged budget for support and development is £140,000 per year. This is indicative and may be subject to change.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Open Source Unit (OSU) hosts an open-data analysis platform. We are seeking a supplier to support this system and to resolve incidents and problems. We would also like the supplier to develop new features on an adhoc basis to meet user needs as they evolve.
Problem to be solved
We require a supplier with the technical expertise and experience to support our data analysis platform. This will involve ensuring system availability (through proactive health monitoring and security auditing, resolving errors or bugs) and developing ad-hoc enhancements to the system as requested by FCO. There is also an established working Backlog for ongoing development which shall need supporting. We may consider re-platforming the application in 2021.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The platform is intended to meet a wide range of informational and analytical foreign policy use-cases around open data. These include collating some high value data streams; mining self-hosted data for timeseries trends and qualitative insights; visualising and spatial querying data with geospatial dimensions; harnessing live API-based data resources; and comparative-analysis of a broad range of timeseries data resources. It also enables groups of users to collate and manage shared informational resources and analyses, including via customisable dashboards, to inform decisions around strategic objectives in the region and to track the impact of previous interventions.
Early market engagement
No early market engagement has been completed.
Any work that’s already been done
The application has already undergone several stages of development. The main components of the intended vision are in place and are providing the intended functionality.

The cloud architecture has been built and provides a suitable foundation for possible further feature development. Data pipelines exist that provide regular updates from a number of sources; these can be easily replicated to link to other potential sources. A number of backend components are in place that can be expanded (e.g. Elasticsearch for document storage). A well designed front-end has been developed that enables users to interrogate the data via charts, maps and dashboards.
Existing team
OSU has three data scientists who would be involved with the data science aspects of the project e.g. machine learning / data wrangling. At this stage we do not expect any additional suppliers to be involved with the project.
Current phase
Live

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Work can be done offsite, but we would expect you to be able to visit the London Office on a regular basis (once pandemic restrictions have been lifted). During the COVID-19 period, we have been remote working making contact via Microsoft Teams.
Working arrangements
We expect to have regular catch-ups, e.g. once per fortnight at the FCO premises (post pandemic), but perhaps more frequently if the project requires it. Due to office space constraints, it will not be possible for the whole supplier team to work full time at the FCO.
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 clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
None.

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
  • Experience of providing timely support for IT systems, including providing second and third line support and ensuring that application support is not subject to single points of failure.
  • Proven track record of incident management and problem resolution.
  • Evidence of delivering client-led changes to IT Systems at pace whilst working to tight timescales and in alignment with the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework.
  • Ability to develop technical expertise quickly on unfamiliar systems.
  • Strong track record of service management, service review and monitoring in line with standard ITIL process.
  • Evidence of performance, availability and capability management.
  • Demonstrable experience of working with and understanding AWS environments, including re-platforming services onto AWS.
  • Experience of successfully working with AWS services and architecture (e.g. VPC, EC2, S3, RDS, Lambda, DynamoDB, Cognito...), Elasticsearch, Javascript (Vue.js, D3.js, leaflet.js), Python, Terraform, ArangoDB
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Previous experience of providing IT support for government departments.
  • Experience of Agile development.
  • Familiarity with Government Security Classifications and compliance with HMG Information Assurance and Security Standards.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology (including how approach meets our goal)
  • Estimated time frame for work (start and finish)
  • How supplier has identified risks/dependencies and offered approaches to manage
  • Team structure and technological capabilities in-house
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Track record of working in multidisciplinary teams
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a culture of transparency and no-blame, encouraging all to fail fast and learn from mistakes
  • Have a well established and ingrained culture of service improvement
  • 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
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Note to suppliers:
ISO 9001, ISO 27001 certification must be held by the supplier by the Service Commencement date.
2. Is there an incumbent?
Scott Logic Limited currently provide Early Life Support.
3. Are you willing to look at separate providers for support and development?
Partnered bids will be accepted for this requirement using a prime contractor and sub-contractor arrangement.
4. Does FCO intend to take this service in-house over a particular time period? Would FCO want support from the incoming support partner in order to achieve this aim?
There is currently no intention to bring ongoing support or development in-house.
5. Would FCO be open to share the established backlog of work at the shortlisting phase?
The backlog includes bugs as well as planned new features. Details of the backlog will be shared with shortlisted suppliers where appropriate.
6. Could you please publish the procurement calendar up to the call-off contract award?
A detailed procurement timeline will be made available to shortlisted suppliers. All suppliers must be available to begin transition in November with go-live being mid-December.
7. Does FCO have a preference for the partner to hold recognised AWS competencies in Managed Services, Data & Analytics and Government as a minimum?
Recognised AWS competencies and accreditations are welcomed and evidence can be provided by shortlisted suppliers but are not essential for this requirement.
8. In response to Q1, are both ISO 9001 & ISO 27001 required by the supplier?
Yes, both ISO9001 and ISO27001 must be held by the supplier by the Service Commencement date.
9. As the submission deadline is 31/8/20 and this is a bank holiday, can you please move the submission deadline back by 1 day i.e. to Tuesday night?
As the requirement has already been published the submission deadline cannot be changed.
10. Does FCO have a view on how much time the partner support team may need to commit per month in the way of support?
Currently FCO have 2 days of early life support per calendar month on the system and it is envisaged that the same amount will be needed moving forward. This does not include development work. This may be subject to change at certain points during the contract.
11. Are FCO comfortable with the support partner connecting their monitoring tools to the platform?
Any monitoring tools that are integrated into the platform and therefore the FCO network will need to pass an internal security review before they can be connected.
12. Will suppliers be required to work full time, or is it on an as and when an issue occurs basis?
It is envisaged that the supplier will be required to respond to critical bugs to ensure continuity of platform availability. For non-urgent work, including minor bugs and new feature development, an agreed forward work plan is envisaged, which could involve periods of full-time activity.