This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 16 October 2020
Food Standards Agency

Enabling and supporting our Digital, Data and Technology development activities

22 Incomplete applications

16 SME, 6 large

10 Completed applications

7 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 2 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 9 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 16 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
We need a delivery partner to provide agile highly-skilled multi-disciplinary Digital Data and Technology people and teams with the flexible capacity to support us to develop new and existing services in line with the Government Service Standard.
Latest start date
Monday 30 November 2020
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Food Standards Agency
Budget range
Budget for 2 year call off will be capped at £2,000,000. The FSA will not guarantee any minimum spend value under the proposed call off contract.

About the work

Why the work is being done
To support and enable FSA services and people by:
Providing skills and experience for our digital, data and technology services
Providing development and delivery capacity for projects where needed
Providing teaching and best practise for our people to build their skills and capabilities

FSA delivers services that consumers, businesses and FSA staff need. These ensure consumers are informed about food safety issues, businesses can access regulatory information and our people can deliver their work.

FSA services need continuous development to meet priorities and user needs. These services must be secure, robust and meet government standards and accessibility regulations.
Problem to be solved
We need a delivery partner to provide agile multi-disciplinary people and teams with flexible capacity to support us to develop our services. This includes iteration and integration of existing services and building new services using Agile delivery methods to Government Service Standards.

This may involve providing key skills to support in-house multi-disciplinary teams or providing multi-disciplinary teams to deliver specific projects.
Requirements and deliverables will be defined through individual work packages via this proposed call-off contract. We may incorporate regular development within this.

At all times, we want a focus on partnership, working to the spirit of the FSA.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Everyone in the UK is a potential user of our digital services.
As a consumer I need food safety and hygiene information to keep me and my family safe
As a business I need information to run a food business safely
As an FSA staff member, I need services that enable me to work efficiently and to the best of my ability
As CIO I need access to DDaT expertise to support and enable multi-disciplinary teams to deliver FSA services
As a DDaT professional I want guidance and support from experts to help me develop and build my capabilities
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have completed multiple pieces of work including Discovery, Alpha and Beta activity across a range of service areas and technology.

You may be involved with work at any stage of the development lifecycle.
Existing team
You will be working with the FSA Openness, Data and Digital Directorate (Incorporating Digital, Data, Information Technology and Knowledge Management Information and Security functions) as well as those Business Teams relevant to the service. This may also include FSA Communications, Policy, Science, Operations, HR, Finance leads. You will also need to work collaboratively with other suppliers and project teams working on digital projects. This may also involve proactively taking on projects from other teams.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
We are flexible about the location of the team, with much of our delivery done by dispersed teams. However if needs be, the expectation is that the team or people will attend key meetings and sessions at various locations within the UK, but principally FSA offices.
Working arrangements
You can work remotely but are expected to work openly and collaboratively on digital channels (principally using FSA Microsoft 365 services e.g MS Teams). You are expected to participate in regular catch-up calls, present at show & tells and present deliverables. From time to time face to face meetings may be held.
Security clearance
All supplier team members will need to be cleared to Baseline Personnel Security Standard, and may need to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Work packages will be released under this contract for each project. These are subject to gaining any required GDS spend approvals.

Any expenses required to carry out work under this contract must be agreed before hand and comply with FSA Travel and Subsistence Policy.

Suppliers must have Cyber essential Certification or ISO 27001 certificate.

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 in providing digital capabilities and capacity to support the development and delivery of digital services.
  • Expert knowledge and experience of Drupal development and maintenance in Drupal 7, 8 (and demonstrable preparation for Drupal 9) to meet the needs of users, content editors and website managers.
  • Experience of successful development and maintenance of back-end technologies, including databases, use of APIs, meeting data standards and search functionality
  • Expertise in utilisation of Microsoft power platform and associated services
  • Technical experience of implementation and utilisation of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and robotic automation
  • Expert knowledge of market scanning and then procuring and configuring (rather than building) services to meet user needs
  • Experience delivering services that were assessed against Government Service Standards, utilising GDS service design manual and wider industry-standards https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/service-standard
  • Experience following best practice for managing code on GitHub, documentation management
  • Experience of deployment processes, to ensure safe deployment and testing
  • Experience of working and collaborating alongside other suppliers in partnership to deliver services
  • Experience of agile delivery and adopting delivery management that suits the culture and ways of working of the client
  • Experience of working with hosting providers to manage scaling and performance, vulnerability management such as Acquia.
  • Proven track record and experience of building security and privacy by design into creating public facing content and understanding of HMG cyber security standard and the NCSC cloud security principles
  • Experience of successful collaboration and partnership working with the client organisation and successful building internal capability
  • Experience prototyping, designing and developing engaging, well organised and easy-to-use services meeting identified user needs and reflect the organisation's brand ensuring consistency by using style guides for design and implementation
  • Experience meeting needs of a diverse range of users, demonstrating commitment to accessibility, delivering services that meet Level AA of W3C WCAG2.1 accessibility standards, and accessibility testing processes throughout development.
  • expertise/knowledge of best practice of front-end, UI web development, building engaging templates/responsive web design that work across browsers/devices/platforms to levels provided in GDS browser matrix (HTML5/CSS/JS), and validating code (W3C-validation
  • Experience successfully challenging business needs, driving service transformation, efficiency, process improvement and identification of real MVP.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Proven experience of working with Government departments to develop digital services
  • Proven experience of enabling Government departments to develop and support people
  • Proven experience of fitting their ways of working to the culture of the contracting organisation
  • Experience utilising GOV platforms and services e.g. Notify

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Approach to applying robust technical solutions to the development of digital solutions, ensuring we meet requirements of the GDS service standards and meet user needs
  • Approach, methodology and evidence of relevant past work as detailed in suppliers' proposal
  • How you will ensure the approach and technical solution will meet our organisation and FSA people's needs
  • Your approach to ensure the FSA has access to team resources with the required relevant skills, knowledge, and experience needed to complete work, including expertise in line with: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/digital-data-and-technology-profession-capability-framework
  • How you will identify possible risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them Value for money
  • How will you support the organisation to build their digital capability and demonstrate approach to knowledge and skills transfer.
  • Ability to provide expert agile people and teams at short notice whilst ensuring they have right technical competence
  • Provide evidence of having Cyber essential certification or ISO27001 Certificate
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Challenge the business as to their needs and push back when business proposals do not make sense or there is insufficient evidence to support their case
  • FSA is a diverse organisation and strives to be even more so. Describe how you would successfully work as a team with FSA and other suppliers in a diverse environment.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you clarify which roles this opportunity this covers? Does it cover any design roles?
The FSA expects the roles to be provided under this contract to be in line with those detailed in the DDaT Technology profession capability framework (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/digital-data-and-technology-profession-capability-framework).
This would include design roles.
2. Are any specific platforms used for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotic Automation?
The FSA doesn’t have a platform per se at the moment although we are moving towards Azure following standard practices.
3. Could you expand on the purposes Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and robotic automation have been used for previously/the intended purpose?
So far we’ve used artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate processes such as data ingestion, applying Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) in some cases, translations, data cleansing and standardisation, and data visualisation. The decision of what to do with the intelligence generated by any of our technical solutions is done by an expert (NFCU, SHERAM, Imports, Risk Assessment, etc).

We have not yet done any robotic automation. We have looked at it for areas like Finance and Corporate Services but the initial assessment is the volumes do not currently support the case for robotic automation.
4. Is there an incumbent in place?
There is no incumbent supplier in place.
5. Is this opportunity linked to the opportunity in the link that the FSA had published earlier in the year?
https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/11951
These opportunities are not linked, however there may be occasion where the winning supplier would be requested to work in partnership with the FSA’s Strategic Surveillance delivery partner.
6. Can you list the current systems that the FSA uses that are planned to be replaced by this tender activity?
There are no specific systems that are planned for replacement through this tender. Projects identified for this tender to support may involve replacement of systems, but that is project dependent.
7. Would the successful tender applicant need to build new systems to replace the current systems in use by the FSA or will the applicant be required to manage systems where the IP is owned by an existing supplier?
This tender is not principally about build, replacement and management of systems, it is about enabling the FSA to develop new or improved services through providing access to DDaT skills and capabilities either where we don’t have access to that skill inhouse or where we need skilled people to build our delivery teams due to demand.
8. Could you please advise who the incumbent supplier(s) is/are referred to in the 'existing team' section and what their current involvement is?
There is no incumbent supplier for this requirement. The delivery partner may be required to work in partnership with any of the FSA’s current and future suppliers to support development activities as they arise over the life of the contract.
9. Can you tell us more about your use of Drupal? Does all your work under this tender require Drupal skills or do you have a more limited requirement? Is all your content hosted on Drupal?
The FSA's principal use of Drupal is for food.gov.uk and associated services. We also have a variety of other services that do not require Drupal skills. Our external content is principally hosted on Drupal, our internal content uses Sharepoint.