This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 23 October 2020
Department for Work and Pensions

DWP Digital Services: Product Design (Retirement, Bereavement and Care)

14 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 1 large

33 Completed applications

17 SME, 16 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 9 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 16 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 23 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
The Partner must enable DWP to develop new and existing digital services that will transform the citizen’s digital journey for pre-retirement, state pension, pension credit, bereavement and care. Delivered through SoW and partner provided multi-disciplinary team providing services under Service Delivery, Software Development, User Research, User Experience and Design capabilities.
Latest start date
Monday 7 December 2020
Expected contract length
An anticipated duration of two years, with option to extend by up to a further 6 months.
Location
North East England
Organisation the work is for
Department for Work and Pensions
Budget range
The budget is up to a maximum ceiling value of £8m. This is not a commitment to spend up to this value and the Authority reserves the right to consume at its discretion. Further Statements of Work (SoWs) to be agreed as the digital pipeline materialises (subject to approval).
We anticipate that the successful supplier will need to have sufficient capacity in the following digital capabilities to deliver the required outcomes, and we anticipate the team / individuals be a mixture of junior and senior personnel:
User Researchers
Interaction Designers
Content Designers
Front End Developers
Product Owners
Business Analysts

About the work

Why the work is being done
The goal in Retirement Bereavement and Care services is to transform the customer experience of Government, providing easy access to RBC services, with clear information, linking new and existing systems to allow more consistent and responsive provision of services over the web and better customer outcomes. Each service development has its own user driven requirements which will enhance user experience and compliance whilst striving towards the DWP digital goals. We require a Delivery Partner who can add value to this development through provisioning Lot 1 services capabilities, working with existing DWP capabilities and other suppliers in-line with DWP's GDS Digital standards.
Problem to be solved
DWP requires a supplier to deliver specific digital outcomes to meet citizens' pre and post State pensions-age needs, which will require specific digital capabilities and capacity. We want to encourage the majority of interaction with citizens through digital self-service.

Problems our services aim to address:
- Help citizens plan for their retirement through providing a forecast of pension income
- Help citizens claim their pension online
- Help citizens claim their entitlement when responsible for the care of another
- Help citizens claim their seasonal payments
- Help bereaved citizens understand the support available to them
Who the users are and what they need to do
Every adult in the UK is a potential user for one or more of our digital services. Other user groups include, DWP internal agents and trusted helpers.

As a citizen:
I need to be able to easily access the appropriate on-line service(s) so that I can plan for retirement, claim benefit and understand my entitlement (Retirement - State Pension, Bereavement and Care)

As an organisation:
I need to ensure that digital services are built and iterated on real user needs, underpinned by trustworthy data and high quality user research.
Early market engagement
No early market engagement has taken place with suppliers for this requirement.
Any work that’s already been done
The following services have already completed some work. All services need further support to iterate.

Get Your State Pension - Beta
Plan your Retirement, e.g. Check Your State Pension, Support for Check Your State Pension, Find Lost Pension Details - Live and iterating
Bereaved Digtial Services, e.g. Bereavement Support Payment, Capture Information About a Death - Live
Support for Care, e.g. Carer's Allowance Digital - Live, and Carer's PoC (Carers Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Task Management)
Apply and Maintain Carers Allowance - Live
Get your Seasonal Payments - Beta
Manage your Pension Credit – Beta
Existing team
There are currently a number of teams working on these services predominantly delivering using agile methodology, with experience and requirements to deliver to waterfall methods when required. The teams have detailed knowledge and experience in the Retirement / Bereavement and Care arenas. The successful supplier team will work with these existing capabilities (from other suppliers as well as DWP staff). A part of the role of the supplier will be to assist DWP in growing its own capability and we will expect a level of support for our staff with a view to contributing and sharing knowledge.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Initially, and primarily, the work is expected to be undertaken at the following locations, but this may need to be supplemented:
Digital Corporate Centre Hub North East - Benton Park View, Benton Park Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1YX; and
Digital Corporate Centre Hub North West - Peel Park, Brunel Way, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 5ES.
Working arrangements
Currently, due to the Covid19 pandemic and for the foreseeable future, all activity is likely to be remote (Onshore). If there is a future need for co-location, it will be in the specific hubs as outlined within this advert, with a view to a minimum of 80% '9-5' Monday to Friday.
Security clearance
Your proposed delivery team members must have completed the HM Government Baseline Personal Security Standard check and be eligible and prepared to undergo the clearance process to at least Security Check level

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The Call-Off Contract will be supplemented by additional T&C's, which can be found at dwp.bravosolution.co.uk and clicking on "View current opportunities".

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
  • Have experience and expertise in providing digital capabilities and capacity to support the development and delivery of a digital product / service.
  • Your delivery team roles must be available at the Customer’s required location(s) and subject to BPSS clearance from 7th December 2020.
  • Have immediate capacity to supply suitably skilled and experienced resource to provide the following capabilities: Interaction Design; Content Design; Front End Development.
  • Have immediate capacity to supply resource to quickly develop recommendations based on quantitative and qualitative evidence, to evaluate and solve problems creatively, inform product decisions and effect positive outcomes.
  • Have experience of working with incumbent suppliers to transition knowledge of legacy systems and takeover responsibilities within demanding timescales (~2 months).
  • Have immediate capacity to supply resource that have a deep understanding and experience of using product management techniques.
  • Have immediate capacity to supply resource that can provide business analysis capabilities who are key to delivering Project change, experienced in elicitation methods including running workshops, interviews, focus groups, etc.
  • Have immediate capacity to supply resource to design, conduct and analyse user research using a range of techniques, for example one-to-one interviews or usability tests.
  • Supplier would have experience of delivering digital solutions to GDS service standards (or similar), working in the public sector and working within DWP or comparable organisation within last 3 years.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Evidence of resources that have existing SC clearance that will support the speeding up of on-boarding teams.
  • Experience of assisting and mentoring less experienced resources on project teams.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
To be set out in the Request for Proposal.
Cultural fit criteria
To be set out in Request for Proposal.
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

65%

Cultural fit

5%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Do you consider these roles inside or outside IR35?
It is anticipated the intended contract will be treated as an outcome based service solution and therefore out of scope on an IR35 assessment. Each SOW will be assessed on its own merits to determine the IR35 position and this will be kept under review throughout the contract.
2. Is this the replacement for the cancelled opportunity in March https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/12072?
Yes - we can confirm this is the revised replacement for the DWP Digital Services: Product Design (Retirement, Bereavement and Care) opportunity previously published on 11 March 2020.
3. Good Afternoon,
The requirement states that resources should have undergone BPSS clearance and be eligible for SC clearance, however the nice-to-have-skills suggests that resources should already have SC clearance.
Please could you confirm the correct resource clearance level required at the start of the engagement.
To clarify, the requirement states resources should have undergone BPSS clearance. SC clearance is a 'Nice to have' requirement only at this stage.
4. Good Morning, Please can you clarify if there is an existing supplier for this service?
Yes, Scrumconnect Ltd is currently contracted for a broadly equivalent service scope.
5. If other suppliers were used previously, is there a particular reason that you are coming to market again at this stage of the cycle?
The previous advertisement for this opportunity was cancelled prior to a supplier being selected due to COVID-19.
6. We understand that a number of the services included in the scope of this DOS exercise are either in Beta or Live. Would you please confirm whether these services were developed in-house or whether other suppliers have been involved already?
Teams have been used to date comprising both in-house and supplier-based (Scrumconnect) capabilities.
7. Is the Department open to delivery models that include near or offshore delivery centres?
Suppliers will be expected to utilise DWP infrastructure, systems and equipment meaning that services cannot be performed overseas.
8. Regarding the ‘Security Clearance’ section – do you require specific BPSS certification for each employee or will you accept the equivalent standards / proof of equal satisfactory clearance?
BPSS certification will be required.
9. If it is determined that supplier staff must undergo the clearance process to at least Security Check level, will this process be funded by DWP?
DWP will not fund external security clearances.
10. Regarding essential criteria 3,4,6,7,8 and the language ‘immediate capacity to supply resource…’ – do you want suppliers to detail a process/methodology or case study for these criteria?
DWP will simply need assurance that you can deliver, scale and support the project delivery. Additional evidence you can supply in the form of examples will clearly strengthen your application.
11. Regarding essential criterion 2 ‘Your delivery team roles must be available at the Customer’s required location(s) and subject to BPSS clearance from 7th December 2020.’ – how do you want suppliers to respond to this within criterion using the singular case study DOS format?
It is understood that general DOS guidance to suppliers advises that suppliers should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement (unless the buyer specifies otherwise), using up to 100 words for each response, and an example can be re-used across different essential or nice-to-have requirements. Suppliers are being asked to confirm that they can satisfy this essential requirement and provide an appropriate example that evidences the ability to deploy on a timely basis and at scale.
12. Could you confirm which of the two DWP locations (Newcastle and Blackpool) that you would expect (under normal circumstances) the delivery roles will be required to work at please? Is there a logical split in roles and functions between the two locations?
Newcastle is the main hub and epicentre of delivery for this contract. Current government legislation on travel and workplace arrangements will also need to be considered throughout any contract period.
13. Could you confirm that you will require all proposed delivery roles to have BPSS clearance in place or is it sufficient that they have an application in progress by that date?
The information already published states that proposed delivery team members must have completed the HM Government Baseline Personal Security Standard check and be eligible and prepared to undergo the clearance process to at least Security Check level.
14. What technology will the Front End Developers be working with and on please?
Java.
15. Regarding your statement that 'Your proposed delivery team members must have completed the HM Government Baseline Personal Security Standard check and be eligible and prepared to undergo the clearance process to at least Security Check level':
Does this mean all team members will be expected to achieve SC clearance to deliver under this contract?
The information already published states that proposed delivery team members must have completed the HM Government Baseline Personal Security Standard check and be eligible and prepared to undergo the clearance process to at least Security Check level. If SC clearance is required for any of these roles then DWP could support team members in attaining this clearance level, as long as it does not impact on delivery, however DWP would not fund this.
16. Regarding the criterion 'Your delivery team roles must be available at the Customer’s required location(s) and subject to BPSS clearance from 7th December 2020.'
Will on-site working be a requirement from the start of this contract, or will teams be expected to work remotely in line with Government advice for relevant regions for the duration of restrictions?
If the latter, will suppliers be required to demonstrate how they will ensure teams will be available on-site from the commencement date?
Appropriate clearances will be needed from contract start. There may be a need, on occasion, to visit DWP hubs i.e. for kit collections or an awareness sessions but due to Covid, on site working is and remains highly unlikely for the foreseeable future. The position will be kept under review consistent with Government guidelines.
17. When asking for detail on 'Experience of assisting and mentoring less experienced resources on project teams': Does 'resources' refer to suppliers' own junior personnel, internal resources or resources from other suppliers?
If any of these, is there one which would be more applicable to DWP requirements for this contract?
We welcome all levels of experience. Our current capabilities are at differing levels of maturity. We hold regular coaching sessions, have a wealth of best practice and a healthy community in which to share experience and best practice.
18. To help suppliers answer the criterion 'Evidence of resources that have existing SC clearance that will support the speeding up of on-boarding teams':
Can you provide an indication of the number of roles and/or number of services which will require SC-cleared personnel from 7 December?
Please see response to question 15.
19. Good Afternoon,
We noticed that DWP had published the same opportunity back in March'20 and was subsequently cancelled.
The previous opportunity was of significantly less value and resourcing needs to the current published opportunity.
1) Could DWP elaborate on the reason for increase in budget?
2) Is it due to additional services or increased roadmap which requires higher capacity
3) Could you also elaborate on the anticipated resources required during the engagement and per call of contract
The increased budget is due to the significant shift in priorities following COVID-19 and the resulting broader, more accelerated portfolio of priorities. Anticipated resource is predominantly design-centric i.e. QA's, Designers, Front-end developers and Interaction designers. If we established further roles that would be beneficial then we would be open to that consideration; within the parameters of what would be commonly understood to be Product Design capabilities.
20. Good Afternoon,
The summary of work states that 'The Partner must enable DWP to develop new and existing digital services'. Developing new services requires additional capabilities (e.g. Architects) which are not listed in the required digital capabilities list.
Could DWP clarify if:
Additional capabilities will be sourced from in-house team or supplier will have to provision them based on the individual needs of the engagement / SoW
RB&C will use a combination of internal and external capabilities and the successful bidder may not be the only external provider on any given delivery team as RB&C engage a number of third party suppliers to enhance its internal capabilities. There is no current expectation that the Call-Off Contract to be awarded through this DOS procurement will be used to source non-Product Design capabilities (e.g. DevOps).
21. Hello, with regard to question 2, are you looking for a binary yes/no answer? Many thanks.
It is understood that general DOS guidance to suppliers advises that suppliers should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement (unless the buyer specifies otherwise), using up to 100 words for each response, and an example can be re-used across different essential or nice-to-have requirements. Suppliers are being asked to confirm that they can satisfy this essential requirement and provide an appropriate example that evidences the ability to deploy on a timely basis and at scale.
22. We are unable to find the additional T&C in Bravo under' current opportunities' Could you confirm which of the three opportunities that are showing as current contains the additional T&C. Any further details would be much appreciated.
There are no further Terms and Conditions above the standard T's and C's at this stage. If anything additional is required it would be shared with successful suppliers at the final Request for Proposal evaluation stage.
23. What team size do you anticipate needing from the chosen partner across the different roles/skills you have stated? What might this look like across the 2 year period?
Teams range in size from between 8 and 18 on average, multi-disciplinary teams. Team sizes are flexible dependant on the current requirement.
24. What level of security clearance do you expect in place from day 1?
The information already published states that proposed delivery team members must have completed the HM Government Baseline Personal Security Standard check and be eligible and prepared to undergo the clearance process to at least Security Check level. If SC clearance is required for any of these roles then DWP could support team members in attaining this clearance level, as long as it does not impact on delivery, however DWP would not fund this.
25. The opportunity as advertised reference to work locations. Is there an obvious split?
Newcastle is the main hub and epicentre of delivery for this contract. Current government legislation on travel and workplace arrangements will also need to be considered throughout any contract period. The inclusion of Blackpool as a location within the requirement is to allow scope for future projects only. Current government legislation, guidance and restrictions on travel and workplace arrangements will also need to be considered throughout any contract period.
26. Which languages and frameworks will Front End Developers primarily be involved with?
Java, JavaScript and Node.js. Working in an Agile environment as multi-disciplinary teams, with remote teams working collaboratively through Microsoft Teams.
27. This opportunity as advertised has less focus on automated skillset than the previous iteration. Was this a conscious decision?
Any changes are purely down to the wording of the advertised opportunity. There is no change of emphasis and development supported by testing and automation will remain paramount.
28. What form will Statements of Work take. Outcome bases, T&M or a mixture of both?
We aim to deliver 1 or more Statements of Work under this contract and will be outcome based.
29. What is the reason for the increased budget for the revised opportunity?
The increased budget is due to the significant shift in priorities following COVID-19 and the resulting broader, more accelerated portfolio of priorities.
30. You have detailed 6 roles within this opportunity. Do you anticipate any further resource requirements?
We have set out the main capability requirements at this stage, consistent with the Product Design opportunity. If we established further roles that would be beneficial then we would be open to that consideration; within the parameters of what would be commonly understood to be Product Design capabilities.
31. The opportunity as advertised references further Terms and Conditions. Where can these be found?
There are no further Terms and Conditions above the standard T's and C's at this stage. If anything additional is required it would be shared with successful suppliers at the final Request for Proposal evaluation stage.
32. The opportunity makes reference to the possible need for Security Clearance (SC) in addition to BPSS. Would this be for handling live data purposes?
As a predominantly design-centric project, exposure to live data will be rare although anyone having access to Government projects will always have to exercise discretion. BPSS is currently mandatory for all suppliers. SC is unlikely to be needed but should exposure to certain types of data or work within Security for example be necessary, this may require individual SC assessments to be made.
33. The requirement states some work packages are in Beta phase and others Live phase. Can you clarify if these are Private / Public Beta and whether Live products have been through GDS assessments?
The work packages across the RB&C portfolio are currently in a range of different status: Discovery, Alpha, Public Beta and Live. All have been through the appropriate assessments. The majority are citizen facing systems and have been through the full GDS assessment. Others have at least been through the internal GDS assessment.
34. Can you provide clarification of the Legacy systems that these transformational services are working to transition away from?
The main legacy systems we aim to transition away from are the PSCS, ISCS, CACS and AACS applications (Retirement Pensions Computer Service, Income Support Computer System, Carers Allowance Computer Service and Attendance Allowance Computer Service respectively).
35. Can you provide a timeline of this DOS procurement?
The deadline for asking supplier questions is Friday 16/10/20 (23:59)
The deadline for responding to supplier questions is Thursday 22/10/20 (23:59).
Deadline for supplier bids to be submitted is Friday 23/10/20 (23:59)
We will aim to complete the shortlisting and issue Request for Proposal to shortlisted suppliers week commencing 2/11/20
We will aim to award the contract and subsequent first Statement of Work early to mid December 20.
36. The opportunity references some Waterfall methodology. Can you provide further detail?
The majority of digital teams within RB&C are now classified as mature in terms of their Agile capability. As other teams move across they may not be working with some older methods. Through continuous improvement all teams will be encouraged to develop to a fully Agile state
37. The requirements reference mentoring and supporting less experienced team members. Can you provide further detail?
Our digital teams within RB&C are truly empowered, multi-disciplinary teams who are encouraged to continuously improve, share knowledge, best practice and adopt 'best in breed' principles. There will be no requirement for formal training (unless suggested) but the supplier would be expected to contribute to developing capability through the DWP Communities of Practice.
38. Security Clearance is included as a 'Nice-to-have' skill / experience. How would you expect suppliers to respond to this question?
It is probably worth re-iterating that proposed delivery team members must have completed the HM Government Baseline Personal Security Standard check and be eligible and prepared to undergo the clearance process to at least Security Check level. If SC clearance is required for any of these roles then DWP could support team members in attaining this clearance level, as long as it does not impact on delivery, however DWP would not fund this. Suppliers are therefore being asked to evidence by way of an appropriate example that they can satisfy this requirement in a timely manner to the required scale.
39. The requirement references Onshore working. Would Offshore working be a possibility?
Due to DWP infrastructure and equipment constraints, Offshore type working will not be possible.
40. What are your existing design / process methodologies?
Our digital teams deliver under an Agile framework dependant on their current position. Predominantly this will be in the form of Scrum teams with Design and Delivery task boards. We will also use Kanban etc. as required.
41. What is the existing team infrastructure?
Team sizes are between 8 and 18 and work to Product Owners / Agile Delivery Managers with overarching support.
42. Who is the incumbent supplier?
Scrumconnect Ltd is currently contracted for a broadly equivalent service scope.
43. What are the current team sizes?
Teams range in size from between 8 and 18 on average, multi-disciplinary teams. Team sizes are flexible dependant on the current requirement.
44. Is it correct there is no DevOps requirement in the advertisement?
As this opportunity is Design focused, yes it is correct that DevOps will not form part of this requirement.
45. Good Afternoon,
Please could you clarify the following -
1) The current size and structure of the digital team (including suppliers) working on the stated services.
2) The composition of in-house team working on the stated services
3) How many new digital services do you envisage will be required to develop during the term of the engagement
1) The teams range in size from 8 – 18 approximately, based upon the service’s current delivery phase e.g. Discovery/Alpha/Beta/Live. Teams are composed of DWP, DOS, ADRO and Suppliers.
2) All teams are all multi-disciplinary, capability is based upon phase. Disciplines include; Product Owners, Agile Delivery Managers, Business Analysts, User Researchers, Content Designers, Interaction Designers, Technical Architects, Software Engineers, Test Engineers. We also embed Subject Matter Experts and Policy Experts in teams where appropriate.
3) We will be looking at new opportunities throughout the engagement term, currently we intend to start 2 new initiatives alongside our inflight commitments.
46. The opportunity refers to front end development as a key requirement, are there existing provisions for back end development (e.g. API gateways, integration development etc)
This opportunity is Design focused, which will include Front End Developers. Each of our services have back end developers / Dev Ops integrated within the teams.
47. Question 5 refers to transitioning knowledge and taking over responsibilities from incumbent suppliers for legacy systems. Can you confirm the winning supplier will be taking over from the incumbent, including all in flight development work?
That is correct. We can confirm that after a period of handover, the new supplier will continue with in-flight projects.
48. Other than internal DWP teams, are there any other existing suppliers the prospective winner will have to work closely with?
Depending on what activities the supplier is engaged on, there may be other suppliers involved and this will be shared as part of development of the relevant Statement(s) of Work.
49. Good afternoon,
Could you please provide clarification on the following questions:
What are the current legacy solutions which we would be expected to work with as part of the transition to a new solution?
When citizens carry out actions relating to their pension online, does this website act as an interface into a pre-existing pension system that carries out the financial calculation and any transactions for the pension itself, or is this within the scope of the solution?
Are there likely to be any requirements for data migration from legacy,or would the legacy solution still be used for historical data?
The main legacy systems we aim to transition away from are the PSCS, ISCS, CACS and AACS applications (Retirement Pensions Computer Service, Income Support Computer System, Carers Allowance Computer Service and Attendance Allowance Computer Service respectively).
There are interfaces which have already been developed in the service which deal with the calculation of State Pension awards for new state pension claims.
There will be a requirement to migrate claims over to the new service from our current legacy services. This will be looked at as a separate discreet piece of work in the first instance by a dedicated team.
50. Good afternoon,
Could you please provide clarification on the following questions:
What are the current legacy solutions which we would be expected to work with as part of the transition to a new solution?
When citizens carry out actions relating to their pension online, does this website act as an interface into a pre-existing pension system that carries out the financial calculation and any transactions for the pension itself, or is this within the scope of the solution?
Are there likely to be any requirements for data migration from legacy,or would the legacy solution still be used for historical data?
Duplicate question received - please see response to question 49 above.
51. Is this service expecting to go through the GDS Service Assessment?
The work packages across the RB&C portfolio are currently in a range of different status: Discovery, Alpha, Public Beta and Live. All have been through the appropriate assessments. The majority are citizen facing systems and have been through the full GDS assessment. Others have at least been through the internal GDS assessment.
52. Please can you confirm that you are happy to receive joint bids from partners and if joint bids should be declared in the 100 word answers at this stage?
DWP is seeking a prime supplier with whom to contract. It is for each potential supplier to determine how best to deliver the requirements. DOS does provide for subcontractors / partners.
53. Can you please clarify whether the products listed in the 'work already done' section are those that will be part of this programme of work or will it be a new product/set of products
Yes, the products which are listed in the 'work already done' section are the key areas for delivery. Any new products will be included in future Statement of Works.