This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 2 October 2020
Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM)

Ofgem 2020-140 Digital Solution for the Green Gas Support Scheme

10 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 2 large

21 Completed applications

11 SME, 10 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 18 September 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 25 September 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 2 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
A new product to be developed that supports the end users needs internally and externally including the following :-
• Account set up,
• User permissions
• Application/admission to scheme
• Compliance declaration submissions
• Supplier compliance
• Fuel mix disclosure
• Data reports
• Automated audit trail
• Payments
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 December 2020
Expected contract length
10 months with an optional 6 month extension
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM)
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Ofgem delivers green energy and social programmes on behalf of government. These programmes are in fields as diverse as renewable heat and electricity, energy efficiency and fuel poverty.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) recently consulted on proposals for a Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS). Ofgem has been named as the intended administrator for the scheme. The scheme is intended to increase the proportion of green gas in the grid and to contribute towards reaching the Government’s net zero emissions target by 2050.
This contract is expected to start 1st of December 2020, with the Green Gas Support scheme & MVP digital product Go-Live date of October 2021.
Problem to be solved
A co-sourcing partner is required to develop/deliver the digital solution that will administer the proposed Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS).

Ofgem, as the administrator of the GGSS, will likely need to make regular tariff payments to participants, for biomethane injection into the grid. The scheme is expected to be open to new participants for four years.
The applicant would set up an account on the digital solution, work on completing an online application, and after providing all evidence, submit the application. Ofgem teams would assess it and ask for additional evidence if needed, and approve or reject the application. In case of approval, the applicant submits data on a regular basis which are assessed by Ofgem. The applicant would be able to check progress of their application at any point during the process via a self-service portal to reduce the need for calls to the enquiries team. The applicant will be able to access a payment schedule for receiving payments from Ofgem online. The system will facilitate functionality for other user groups to make levy payments, to manage credit cover, mutualisation, and the provision of quarterly data.
Who the users are and what they need to do
• External users including participants, installers and intermediaries that complete applications, install systems, submit meter readings, fuel records and notify us of any amendments to their renewable heating system.
• Internal users, who administer the scheme to process applications, manage payments, meter submissions, fuel records, technical amendments and other back-office tasks.
• Audit, compliance and counter-fraud teams who monitor fraudulent practices and actions that breach regulatory requirements.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We are at present in discovery phase and have undertaken internal user research workshops and interviews on processes, pain points, functionality and additional requirements. We are completing external user research to establish how participants interact with the current service and what their needs are. This research is also seeking to talk to agents, auditors and installers.
Existing team
Underpinning all of the above requirement is the ability of the team to work as an integrated team with Ofgem.
The co-sourcing partner is required to work as part of an Ofgem programme delivery team, alongside Delivery Managers, Product Managers, Developers, and Service Design professionals.
The shape of the team will evolve as the project progresses. The team will be assisted by subject matter experts from the wider team, largely within the business, but also with technical expertise. The team is supported by a Senior Reporting Officer, senior management structure, and project steering group.
Current phase
Discovery

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The usual place of work is at 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London,
E14 4PU, though suppliers can also work from the Glasgow office if preferable. At present the team is working remotely due to Covid-19 and the successful supplier would be expected to do the same until government advice on best practice changes.
Working arrangements
Suppliers will be required to be on site or working remotely 5 days a week Monday-Friday to work with delivery team. They will be required to update various teams and senior managers and run show and tell sessions.
Expenses will be in line with Ofgem expenses policy and security must meet Ofgem's requirements.
Security clearance
All Supplier staff (including sub-contractors) working on Ofgem’s premises will require to be security cleared to BPSS as a minimum at the awarded Supplier’s expense.

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
  • The supplier has previous experience of delivering a Programme of this magnitude
  • The supplier has evidence of delivering at scale
  • Work well in an Agile team, adhering to sprint ceremonies, and working collaboratively with teams outside of your immediate remit
  • The supplier will be well versed in GDS requirements
  • The supplier has previous experience of working in Azure cloud technology.
  • The supplier has previous experience of Microsoft focus dev. Stack
  • The supplier works to GDS and National Cyber Security Centre security standards
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working with Ofgem on previous scheme launches
  • A knowledge or understanding of renewable energy support schemes and relevant technologies

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Evidence your work with clients of different levels of technical expertise on similar projects
  • Team structure including roles, resourcing levels, responsibility and availability
  • Your proposed approach and methodology, detailing how it meets the needs of this requirement
Cultural fit criteria
  • Identification of risks, dependencies, and offered approaches to solve or manage them
  • Demonstrate transparent, collaborative approach to work, sharing this with the project team and seeking actionable feedback
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Could you please advise who conducted the Discovery work?
Discovery is being carried out by the dedicated internal team including specialist contractors in the service design and user research roles. For information, we are undergoing a voluntary GDS discovery assessment on 4 November.
2. Could you give an indication of budget please?
£600k - £850k
3. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Applications will be scored by Ofgem employees with the following job roles:
Head of Future Heat Programme;
DDaT Enterprise Architect;
Head of Operations;
Head of Digital Development.
4. You state that experience of MS Azure is an essential. Does this indicate that your intended deployment platform is Azure or are you open to bids with other target technologies?
Our deployment platform is Azure and we are not open to bids that would use other deployment platform technologies.
5. Hi what is your preferred Microsoft.dev stack – Dynamics CRM?.Net Core or SharePoint please?
Our common development environment across Ofgem is Microsoft .Net core
6. Could you please let us know which supplier(s) worked with you, during Discovery. Thanks
Discovery is being carried out by the dedicated internal team including specialist contractors in the service design and user research roles. For information, we are undergoing a voluntary GDS discovery assessment on 4 November.
7. Can you provide some parameters associated with the question, "The supplier has previous experience of delivering a Programme of this magnitude". Is magnitude based on economic importance, size of programme, number of resources, etc. Some clear guidance will be very helpful.
This is a new Government end to end service which will service thousands of transactions a year involving individuals and businesses, from application, through to payment and data collection.  Existing Ofgem digital products that support the administration of other renewable energy schemes can be researched for comparison (eg NDRHI, DRHI and ECO).
8. Can you provide further clarification on the scale of the Green Gas Support Scheme as asked for in the question, "The supplier has evidence of delivering at scale". Is this evidence for the scale required for the Discovery or the entire lifecycle of delivery?
This is a new Government end to end service which will service thousands of transactions a year involving individuals and businesses, from application, through to payment and data collection.  Existing Ofgem digital products that support the administration of other renewable energy schemes can be researched for comparison (eg NDRHI, DRHI and ECO).
9. Are you looking to receive applications from existing Ofgem suppliers? The Nice to Have Question states, "Experience of working with Ofgem on previous scheme launches". This question means that only suppliers to Ofgem can score on this question.
It will be helpful to have worked with Ofgem previously but we will accept proposals from other suppliers and please note that this “nice to have” requirement will not be scored.
10. Will you accept a solution written in PhP?
Will you consider consider long-term remote working?
We require the solution to be written in Microsoft .Net core to meet our technical Architecture . We would consider long term remote working.
11. Noting the desire for fixed price delivery, on an agile project that is still in Discovery and has yet to run Alpha, please advise how you intend to structure the project commercially and what detailed information will be available and when, to support a quotation?
Detailed information of this opportunity will be available to shortlisted tenderers to enable submission of a commercial bid.  The submission should be fixed price for Alpha, Beta and Live phases of the project.  This fixed price should be itemised by day rates and number of days required by each suggested specialist reflecting the need for different roles in different phases.  The total price will be used to evaluate tenderers. After Discovery, the roadmap may evolve as we find out more, Ofgem will then refer to the day rates detailed in the successful tenderers commercial evaluation for any change to work.
12. You mention to hope having an MVP digital product, with a Go-Live date of October 2021. Is this opportunity, and the budget, anticipated to cover Alpha, Beta and Live? and if so, are we expected to give a fixed price for all phases at presentation stage? Thanks.
Detailed information of this opportunity will be available to shortlisted tenderers to enable submission of a commercial bid.  The submission should be fixed price for Alpha, Beta and Live phases of the project.  This fixed price should be itemised by day rates and number of days required by each suggested specialist reflecting the need for different roles in different phases.  The total price will be used to evaluate tenderers. After Discovery, the roadmap may evolve as we find out more, Ofgem will then refer to the day rates detailed in the successful tenderers commercial evaluation for any change to work.
13. Is it the intention that the team will be a mixture of Ofgem and supplier staff? If so can you give us an indication of which roles Ofgem may look to fill. Thanks.
The co-sourcing partner will be required to work with the internal Ofgem team including Senior Delivery Manager, Senior Software Engineer, Technical Solutions Architect, 2 x Product Managers, 2 x Developers, Automation Tester, Content Designer, Business Analyst, Service Designer and User Researcher. We are expecting bidders to outline their suggested team profile and how that might be different for Alpha and Beta.
14. This opportunity details usual places of work but also remote working. Does a (UK based) remote development team meet the intended approach to delivery? Please note that very occasional onsite attendance would be possible. Could you also comment on the size of the external development team you are expecting to work with (number of individuals) and the size of the OFGEM team that the external team would need to work with?
We would except remote working but where practicable being co-located onsite will be an advantage.
The co-sourcing partner will be required to work with the internal Ofgem team including Senior Delivery Manager, Senior Software Engineer, Technical Solutions Architect, 2 x Product Managers, 2 x Developers, Automation Tester, Content Designer, Business Analyst, Service Designer and User Researcher. We are expecting bidders to outline their suggested team profile and how that might be different for Alpha and Beta.
15. At this stage, there doesn't appear to be any draft terms & conditions or draft commercial templates to review. Is this correct? (i.e. to confirm that we are not missing any documentation)
The full tender information, including draft terms and conditions and commercial templates will be made available to the shortlisted suppliers.  There are currently no additional documents to download as part of this tender.
16. Please could you confirm if you anticipate any on-going run, maintenance, technical or administrative support with regards to the GGSS solution or end to end service?
After GGSS goes live the product will transition into the Ofgem Product Management Team for support and continual improvement.
17. With regard to your fourth essential skill, what aspect of GDS requirements are deemed essential? If this refers to GDS service assessments, will you accept equivalents such as the ScotGov Digital First Service Standard assessments?
If it is an equivalent and acceptable standard we will accept it
18. With regard to your second nice-to-have skill, which renewable energy support schemes are considered in-scope? What specific technologies are relevant to these schemes?
A knowledge or understanding of any recent renewable heat schemes. Technologies are covered off in the essential requirements.
19. You've said this is a digital service, do you know whether any of your users have assisted digital needs or do not have access to the Internet?
We have participants that will require digital assistance, we accept applications from all mediums.
20. Do you expect to have to migrate data from any legacy service?
No as this a new scheme
21. Is your budget (Q2) inclusive or exclusive of VAT?
Inclusive of VAT
22. Has the existing team considered use of e.g. GOV.UK Notify or other common cross-government services as part of the solution?
There is ongoing discussion on the use of some GOV.UK aspects but communications will be conducted by in-house teams
23. How will price be evaluated: will you be evaluating by the total price, rate card or both?
The commercial element of the tender will be evaluated by total price.
24. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
Will only be used for shortlisting and new scoring in place for further phases.
25. Will your Product Owner be allocated full time to this project?
Yes , Product Owner is already on board and working on discovery
26. Are you able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research?
User Research is ongoing in discovery with users we have contacted via various sources and we will be able to supply users for future User Research
27. Has work has been fully defined, bounded and prioritised as an output from Discovery?
We are still in Discovery and consultation phases.
28. Will you be able to organise access to stakeholders throughout the project?
Access to Stakeholders will be made available depending on priorities
29. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would you expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed 'exceeding' and score 3 marks?
A response showing evidence of the ability to meet and exceed the authority’s requirements in the Specification.
30. Do you have any preference between public sector or private sector examples? Or will both be treated equally as long as they are relevant to the question? We appreciate some of the questions are public sector specific (e.g. GDS assessment, GOV.UK Notify) and would necessitate public sector examples
Examples will contribute to score depending on how relevant they are. Private sector examples are acceptable but by their nature may not be as relevant.
31. Please can you share a procurement timeline outlining steps (which would typically include evidence response evaluation from 2nd October, shortlisting of suppliers for next stage, preparation of supplier proposals, evaluation of supplier proposals, announcement of successful supplier, contract completion, contract signatures, commence work on 1st December)?
A detailed timetable will be included in the ITT sent to shortlisted suppliers
32. Do you require one example per question to be cited, or is it acceptable to include multiple examples for a single question? Some of the questions (e.g. The supplier will be well versed in GDS requirements) could benefit from more than one example to demonstrate breadth.
It is acceptable to submit more than one example provided it is relevant. It is up to the tenderer to make that choice.
33. Please could you share the outputs thus far from Discovery with suppliers?
This will be supplied to shortlisted suppliers
34. Noting that your voluntary assessment is on 4th November, when do you expect Discovery to be complete?
Assessment is the 4th of November and the rest of the month is tying up loose ends.
35. In Clarification question 12, you have stated the scope is Alpha, Beta and Live. Please can you define what you mean by "Live"? For example, is this simply go live support around launch to public beta or are you expecting suppliers to also deliver a continuous improvement phase that runs all the way through to and including a GDS Live Assessment?
After GGSS goes live the product will transition into the Ofgem Product Management Team for support and continual improvement.
36. Please can you confirm how Fixed Price will be applied? With an Agile approach, there is no fixed specification, and requirements will evolve in response to user research. Additionally, Ofgem are proposing to provide the Delivery Management role, and therefore suppliers will not be empowered to manage the team towards a specific outcome/deliverables. Are you essentially seeking a fixed price for an agreed team for an agreed period of time to work under the direction of your Delivery Manager?
The fixed price should be itemised by day rates and number of days required by each suggested specialist reflecting the need for different roles in different phases.  After Discovery, the roadmap may evolve as we find out more, Ofgem will then refer to the day rates detailed in the successful tenderers commercial evaluation for any change to work.
37. Can you confirm whether both nice to have questions will be scored (or not) as per question and answer number 9?
It will be helpful to have worked with Ofgem previously and have an awareness of renewable heat schemes but we will accept proposals from other suppliers. Please note that these “nice to have” requirements will only be scored to seperate tenders that have scored the same via the Essential criteria.
38. Has the Discovery phase explored options for reuse, rent, buy, or build? If so, is there a preference or recommendation of a particular option?
Discovery is still ongoing and all options are being explored
39. Has the Discovery phase explored options for reuse, rent, buy, or build? If so, is there a preference or recommendation of a particular option?
Discovery is still ongoing and all options are being explored
40. It is very difficult to know the scope and how much effort would be required for a Beta and Live phase at this point. What further information will Ofgem be able to provide to give the confidence that suppliers are proposing a sensible solution? Also, how will Ofgem compare suppliers bids like for like in relation to both solution and pricing?
Detailed information of this opportunity will be available to shortlisted tenderers to enable submission of a commercial bid.  The submission should be fixed price for Alpha, Beta and Live phases of the project.  This fixed price should be itemised by day rates and number of days required by each suggested specialist reflecting the need for different roles in different phases.  The total price will be used to evaluate tenderers as well as responses to the technical requirements.
41. Is this project able to continue into subsequent phases without gaps? For example, between Alpha and Beta.
We will be moving into Beta following a successful GDS Alpha assessment
42. Have any external suppliers been involved with this work so far?
Discovery is being carried out by the dedicated internal team including specialist contractors in the service design and user research roles. For information, we are undergoing a voluntary GDS discovery assessment on 4 November.