Awarded to Methods Business and Digital Technology Limited

Start date: Friday 1 January 2021
Value: £3,432,750
Company size: SME


15 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 2 large

27 Completed applications

18 SME, 9 large

Important dates

Friday 16 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 23 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 30 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Provide a flexible team of eight DevOps engineers and one Practice Lead to:
•Operate/maintain virtualised cloud infrastructure & application CI/CD services
•support development activity through to Live Production environments.
•employ continuous improvement principles to enhance automation/reliability of development/test environments.
•achieve cost efficiency through active management of all non-live environments
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 December 2020
Expected contract length
An initial duration of 24 months (with optional 6-month extension)
Organisation the work is for
Budget range
The target rate card is £700-800 for a Senior Dev Ops Engineer role, and £850-950 for the Dev Ops Practice Lead.
The total Supplier charge will be evaluated as per evaluation criteria % with the lowest bid achieving the highest percentage score.
Pricing submission documents and initial SOW will be issued to suppliers who are shortlisted for Round 2.

About the work

Why the work is being done
HMCTS Reform, Crime Programme is designed to develop efficient, proportionate and accessible digital services to enable access to justice via appropriate modern channels. The Common Platform is an increment based delivery programme using a blend of Agile and Waterfall methodology.
Problem to be solved
To support this, Crime Programme is looking for the provision of initially eight DevOps engineers and one DevOps Practice Lead, to ensure HMCTS and CPS transition and run great digital services. Suppliers resources must have strong DevOps skills and be ready to quickly get to work within a multi-disciplinary team of developers, designers, and analysts focussed on one or more products or projects providing services capable of running high volume, reliable and flexible services that are relentlessly user-focussed and continually improved through iterative development.
Who the users are and what they need to do
1) As a citizen, view/track my case and plea online, be alerted to changes and for the case to proceed efficiently. 2) As a prosecutor, prepare and manage my case to enable an efficient and effective prosecution. 3) As a defence practitioner, understand the evidence of a case to best advise my client. 4) As a HMCTS administrator, manage the delivery of justice services so the process is delivered efficiently. 5) As a member of judiciary, access all relevant information so that I can make a judgement
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The Crime Programme is established and has embedded the Common Platform Programme, that has been running for a number of years
Work completed has delivered initial releases into Production for various strands of the programme. Equally significant work has been undertaken to migrate to the Azure Cloud platform, together with use of Azure native and Open Source solutions including PaaS services, increased use of automation and focus on the ability to ‘farm’ compute resources and move away from persistent environments
Existing team
The existing team consists of eight DevOps engineers and one DevOps Practice Lead, working to agreed programme standards and governance, co-ordinated within the Operational Services team. The supplier’s resources will be working with Civil Servants and multiple suppliers across various strands of work for delivery of the Programme
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Primarily Southern House, Wellesley Grove Croydon CR9 1WW
Working arrangements
Reporting to the Head of DevOps. Quality and performance standards are set by the DevOps Practice Lead. The team will work to SAFe Agile principles. Work will be tracked and monitored on Atlassian Jira and quality documentation using Atlassian Confluence. Adherence to Programme and MOJ security governance and standards is mandatory. The team will be required to work onsite and provide support Monday to Friday 08:00 – 18:00, as well as out of hours and weekend working in support of planned releases. Participation in stand-ups, planning sessions, show & tells and retrospectives as required
Security clearance
All supplier resources must Baseline Personnel Security Check (BPSS) clearance which must be dated within three months of the start date. See for further guidance. The role of Business Analyst practice lead will require SC security clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The initial Statement-of-Work(SOW) will be Time & Materials but the Buyer reserves the right in the contract to use alternative payment mechanisms such as Fixed-Price or Capped-T&M for future SOWs. Suppliers shall provide transparency to the Buyer on the rates paid to resources & any third-parties in the supply-chain on request. Expenses shall be submitted in line with the MOJ Standard T&S, policy and agreed in advance of expenditure.

Supplier shall provide Liability-Insurance & Professional-Indemnity as detailed in the contract.
Suppliers must provide resources within a 2-week notice period with the necessary skills to minimise impact on delivery.

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
  • Demonstrate technical capability&proven track record in operating&maintaining an enterprise grade continuous integration /continual delivery infrastructure for the reliable and consistent development, testing and delivery of primarily Java applications.
  • Demonstrate experience in operating and maintaining cloud services on the Azure platform utilising Azure specific PaaS elements and associated monitoring services.
  • Demonstrate experience of building, configuring &maintaining new virtual platforms and associated automated tooling and technologies (terraform, ansible, containerisation) adherence to approved designs to ensure reliable, consistent environments utilising full-version control.
  • Demonstrate experience in best practice configuration management of artefacts and configuration files through version control and approved repositories.
  • Evidence a track record in supporting development teams with configuring applications for deployment to ensure those development teams utilise automated deployment and configuration of applications
  • Evidence a track record in enterprise level documentation and experience of undertaking knowledge transfer and retention to the Authority
  • Demonstrate a track record in providing experienced Linux engineering support.
  • Demonstrate experience of working in close collaboration with peers and colleagues in other workstreams e.g. Architecture, Security and Live support functions as examples
  • Demonstrate the experience and ability to deploy the required number of appropriately skilled resources capable of fulfilling the required outcomes to meet the contract start date.
  • Demonstrate experience of working with and successfully delivering digital services, ideally within an enterprise level organisation.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate the ability to deploy replacement engineers as required by the Authority within 10 days of the formal request being received.
  • Specific to the Practice Lead, demonstrate experience of leading large scale Agile development/delivery teams.
  • Demonstrate experience of managing a complex stakeholder environment, including senior stakeholder management and ensuring proper governance

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Explain your overall DevOps technical solution/approach including your delivery methodology and key-artefacts. Explain how these will complement the requirement and how you’ll apply lessons-learnt from similar projects to this programme(15%)
  • Please provide the proposed team structure, named individuals and CVs of nine initial resources including the DevOps Practice lead. CVs must clearly demonstrate alignment with the experience and skills requirements(15%)
  • Please provide up to three case examples of where you have provided a similar service in an enterprise level organisation,demonstrating technical leadership, timely delivery and adoption of best practice standards(15%)
  • Explain how you will implement the first SOW; including how you will manage the transition-period to ensure you deliver the outputs and cite any risks you have identified(10%)
  • Explain how you will: recruit and retain high quality key resources; sustain pricing within changing-market conditions; measure and manage quality including speed of delivery to ensure continuous improvements(5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Explain your proposed approach for working with co-located, multi-vendor HMCTS teams(2%)
  • Demonstrate how you would ensure transparency and collaboration at all levels of project delivery; users, developers and management(2%)
  • Explain how you would maintain a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes; provide examples(1%)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there an incumbent supplier?
The incumbent supplier is QA Consulting Service Ltd. That DOS Call-off contract expire on 31st December 2020.
2. Does this requirement fall inside or outside of IR35?
CP currently assess this opportunity to be a Services contract and outside of the scope of IR35. We are not in a position to speculate on any future assessments of IR35 which may be undertaken by HMRC.
3. Do you require all resources to start on same day, or would a phased approach be acceptable?
The supplier must be able to fully resource the contract from the beginning of the contract.
4. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
This will be evaluated by: The Digital Deputy Director, Senior Programme Manager, Head of Live Services and programme Delivery Manager.
5. Could you please clarify the Practice Lead role and the security clearance required? It states that "The role of Business Analyst practice lead will require SC security clearance.", we would have presumed this would be a DevOps Practice Lead.
Apologies, the Business Analyst practice lead role requirement for SC clearance is NOT part of this requirement. This was cut and paste a error. For the avoidance of doubt all Dev Ops roles only require BPSS clearance.
6. The past few months has enabled effective remote working and collaboration. Until we return to normal, the presumption is that this work can we done remotely? Post COVID, will remote working and collaboration also be acceptable?
Work is been done remotely at present due to the COVID lockdown. Post COVID the programme will analyse the situation and a decision would be made which both follows the directions given by the government but that also one that meets the needs of the business.
7. Do you expect to source all 8 engineers from one supplier?
Yes we expect the winning supplier to provide the entire team.
8. The spec mentions the squad will need to work onsite in Croydon Monday-Friday. Is this still the case given the Covid-19 situation?
During the Covid lockdown period work is been done remotely.
9. Can you confirm the budget?
Up to £4.2 million over 2 years.
10. Have satisfactory services been provided by the incumbent?
This is commercially confidential information.
11. Must the Practice manager and Dev Ops engineers have SC upon commencement of the work?
For the avoidance of doubt all Dev Ops roles including the Practice lead only require BPSS clearance. Apologies for the confusing wording.
12. Will we be marked down if we don't have public sector examples to quote for the bid questions? We have strong Azure engagements within other sectors.
You will not be marked down for not having Public Sector experience. Note some of the questions do ask for evidence of large scale or complex environments.
13. What is your definition of a DevOps Practice Lead? Are you looking for someone who is technically strong or one with experience of large scale project/programme management?
The Practice Lead needs to be technically strong, have hand-on experience with a variety of technologies and toolsets plus have a proven track record of having implemented/maintained DevOps in large organisations. We have a delivery manager in this space to cover the Project/Programme Management front, however skills in this space will still be valuable.
14. Is the closing date for applications of 30 October for the first phase of this application and will there be another closing date for the written proposal for those selected
Yes it is a two round procurement process. Only shortlisted bidders will be invited to submit detailed proposals for round 2. It is planned that the second round will close during the week commencing 23rd November but HMCTS does not commit to this date at this point.
15. The requirement is stated as the provision of initially eight DevOps engineers and one DevOps Practice Lead. Does this mean that there may be scope to increase at some stage?
The programme has requested eight DevOps engineers and one DevOps Practice Lead. At this stage there is no intention to increase this.
16. What duration of handover from the existing supplier have you budgeted for?
4 weeks
17. For answers, can you advise if you require a specific clear example or are a range of examples acceptable?
We would like you to provide the evidence which best shows that you are able to meet each criterion. This can be either one example or more than one example but note you are limited by the portal as to the number of words in each answer.
18. Are you open to a proposal of a different structure that still meets the capabilities required?
In Round 1 you are required to answer the essential and nice to have criteria. Bidders who are shortlisted to Round 2 will also have to respond to the criteria published above. Those bidders may propose an alternative structure if they so wish but it will not form part of the evaluation.
19. Would it be possible to confirm if the evaluation team are civil servants please?
The Evaluation panel will comprise of two civil servants and one supplier resource. The supplier in question has confirmed that they will not be bidding in this competition.
20. Can you confirm the end to end tech stack please?
We currently use a blend of (but not limited too) Ansible, Terraform, Groovy and a minor case of ARM to script our automation, orchestrated by Jenkins (through a series of executors). A series of other tools and technologies are used alongside these to help delivery our CI/CD pipelines.
21. Can you share some information about the technical stack that the programme uses. Is it primarily Java stack ? We are assuming that there is a culture of automation in the team and we are already using CI/CD tools to some extent in the development and deployment process. Is there any documentation available?
The platform is built on a custom command and Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS) framework, with Java (Back End) and Javascript (Front End) used as the primary building blocks for our applications. Our automation use a mixture of Ansible, Terraform and Groovy for our CI/CD scripting, with Jenkins as our orchestration layer tying this together. Our SDLC pipeline is automated and uses a variety of ancillary tools in order to generate and deploy artefacts onto the virtual environments.
22. Please could you explain your definition of virtual platforms?
Virtual platforms refers to our Azure Cloud, which is our primary hosting environment for the platform as a whole.