Awarded to Equal Experts UK Limited

Start date: Tuesday 22 December 2020
Value: £2,000,000
Company size: large
Crown Prosecution Service

Digital Platform Team & Digital Services

23 Incomplete applications

17 SME, 6 large

35 Completed applications

17 SME, 18 large

Important dates

Tuesday 1 September 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 8 September 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 15 September 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Team required to support CPS Digital Platform (cloud based) which host services to support CPS's 6500 internal users and some external facing services used by Criminal Justice Service partners and members of the public. Team will also be required to develop and maintain new services driven by innovation.
Latest start date
Wednesday 2 December 2020
Expected contract length
2 Years
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
Crown Prosecution Service
Budget range
The budget is up to £4m over the 2 years (£2m a year).

About the work

Why the work is being done
CPS is looking to further its investment in its Digital Transformation putting Digital at the centre of its 2025 Strategy. This will predominantly require a shift from traditional legacy technology and delivery processes to modern cloud-based services and modern delivery practices. Digital services and tools will be hosted on CPS Digital Platform client-side with integrations to legacy systems and third-party technologies and services.
Problem to be solved
CPS has a requirement for the following:

1. To support the CPS Digital Platform. The Digital Platform will predominantly host services that supports CPS’s 6500 internal users but may potentially evolve to support external facing services used by our Criminal Justice Service Partners and members of the public.

2. To build, deploy and maintain the modern, cloud-based platform in which to host services developed by the team. The teams should be capable of delivering informed options around platform and tooling as well as implementing those options. The current platform makes use of modern technologies such as Azure, Kubernetes, Docker, Terraform, and Azure Devops, and follows patterns such as Microservices Architecture and Infrastructure as Code.

3. The new services could be custom built software, integrated COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) products or a combination of both. Software and services may require integration with our existing CPS estate, which encompasses third party solutions Outsystems, Oracle, Service Now and custom-built legacy services. The Digital Platform will be utilised where possible and practical.

4. Have input into the wider CPS Cloud Strategy and be able to assist where necessary with architecture, design, security, implementation, and maintenance of CPS Cloud Services.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users of the Digital Platform will be the development teams building services. For example, the development teams build an app like an automated redaction service and the digital platform provides the tools to build, test, deploy and host the service.
Users of the services are CPS staff; predominantly legal and operational staff. Users also include the public; victims and witnesses.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The innovation team is led by the Head of Digital Technology Solutions department, and currently constitutes 3 small teams, the Discovery team (User Researcher and Product Owner), Skunk Team (Dev and a Business Analyst) and the Digital Platform Team (Dev, QA, Del Lead, DevOps engineer).

The contracted supplier will have to work with our incumbent suppliers (CGI, Wipro, Century Link) and any potentially other suppliers developing services sourced from Govt Frameworks.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
They will be based at Wakefield office but can work from home during the time of COVID restrictions.

Crown Prosecution Service
4 South Parade
West Yorkshire, WF1 1LR
United Kingdom
Working arrangements
The team will be based at Wakefield office but can work from home during the time of COVID restrictions.

The team are expected to use their own equipment but will be provided access to CPS's networks.
Security clearance
DBS clearance will be required and on occasions SC.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

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 developing in Azure
  • C# Programming Language
  • Devops and agile methodologies
  • Test driven development approach
  • Working in Innovation type environment
  • Working with Cloud cognitive services (AI and Machine Learning)
  • Working to GDS standards
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Serverless computing
  • Automation technologies (e.g. RPA)
  • Outsystems 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
  • Approach and methodology
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you confirm that the skills and experience requirements for this are intended to be identical to those for the "Digital & Innovation Products & Services" opportunity (DOS 12294)?
In the main they are identical but it is anticipated there will be a devops engineer requirement for the platform team.
2. You have said SC will be required on occasions. Is this something required beforehand or will the department sponsor people through?
The department will sponsor people through.
3. Please can you confirm if this opportunity is outside of IR35.
It is outside of IR35.
4. The Working Arrangements indicate that "The team will be based at Wakefield office but can work from home during the time of COVID restrictions." Please can you confirm if the team is expected to be at Wakefield 5 days a week after COVID restrictions are removed or whether you would be content with remote working.
Pre-COVID, 3 days a week would have been expected, if things return to that scenario then that would be the requirement.
5. What is the context in which you are using automation technologies such as RPA?
Predominantly internal prosecution processes. There are many manual processes due to the nature of our legacy systems. Our main system is due for replacement in 2-3 years and there is little appetite for major investment presenting an opportunity for technology like RPA.
6. How is the current team working with Cloud cognitive services? Business context?
They are looking at automating the prosecution process as much as possible. Currently looking at Intelligent Character Recognition of written statements and Video Transcription of Videos but have a backlog including automating redaction, supporting disclosure, interrogating the prosecution file for anomalies and similarities. Producing timelines, relationships and so forth.
7. What are you looking for in Serverless computing question? Our prior experience?
Prior experience, particularly in an Innovation context.
8. Experience with Outsystems - are you looking for development experience in Outsystems or integration or anything?
Both, we have an in-house development team utilising the platform. Some solutions may use the platform or integrate with new and existing Outsystems applications.
9. This team will enable CPS in-house team in building end user services? Is our understanding right?
10. Do you have an incumbent supplier in place?
Yes but the contract is due to expire.
11. Who developed the existing CPS digital platform?
CPS with support from an incumbent supplier.
12. Does the contract amount include the cost of hosting and licensing? What roles are the incumbent suppliers undertaking – are they responsible for legacy systems that interface into the CPS digital platform?
No, hosting and licencing are separate. The supplier is providing the capability only. There are likely to be 2 services in production when the supplier starts that the supplier will be supported by the platform. However the services themselves will be managed by separate teams.
13. Are the incumbent supplier allowed to apply for this offering, given they have detailed knowledge of the incumbent service?
14. For Q5 can you please clarify what you mean by an 'Innovation type environment'?
One where there is fast turn around of proof of concepts, with clear success criteria, and a fail fast mentality. Utilizing new techniques, technologies and processes that add value to CPS.
15. If we used the option of off-shore resources for certain technical skills, would you accept a DBS equivalent clearance for these?
Preferably resource would be on shore but potentially yes
16. Are deployments to the digital platform fully automated?
17. Does CPS have a view on a roadmap for modernising the platform onto which new services will be deployed (e.g. harnessing PaaS, Kubernetes etc.?)
The Platform will always have a roadmap of continuous improveoment and that is the role of the team. As mentioned the current platform makes use of modern technologies such as Azure, Kubernetes, Docker, Terraform, and Azure Devops, and follows patterns such as Microservices Architecture and Infrastructure as Code.
18. Does CPS wish the successful bidder to help enable its own in-house DevOps capability?
Yes where possible but there is a realistic expectation from CPS that a belonged team will always be required.
19. Is there any commonality between the CPS Digital Platform and the Criminal Justice System Common Platform?
Both are in early stages of development. It is expected there will be interoperability between the two but they are separate.
20. Is the current operating model for the platform mature?
21. Does the support required extend beyond a normal working hours devops/continuous improvement model, to requiring a more formal support model, e.g. with SLA/ticketing/out-of-hours support? If so, please outline the requirements.
There is no extended support expected, the supplier is expected to work normal working hours.
22. Which of the suppliers mentioned is the incumbent for this opportunity?
The incumbent supplier specifically for this service has not been mentioned. The suppliers mentioned are some of our core IT providers.
23. Will the additional assessment methods include a presentation?
24. Is there further information that you will share with the down-selected suppliers to inform how to approach the engagement?
There is no further information
25. The DOS framework guidance advises suppliers to evidence 1 example per criteria. Is this your expectation?
26. Who from your team will be assessing the applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
2 x Senior Digital Managers (e.g. Head of Digital Solutions) and 2 members of the commercial team .
27. What timescales are you working to for: (1) informing down-selected suppliers, (2) submission of proposals and (3) scheduling of presentations?
(1) Down-selected suppliers to be informed by 18th September.
(2) Proposals should be submitted by 30th September.
(3) Presentations in early Oct 2020.