Awarded to Cantarus

Start date: Friday 10 January 2020
Value: £50,000
Company size: SME
Leicester City Council

Love Leicester Application

14 Incomplete applications

14 SME, 0 large

15 Completed applications

14 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Saturday 17 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 23 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Saturday 31 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The chosen supplier will develop an app that will provide access to all online Council services replacing our current app.
The app should offer an engaging user experience and must be easy to access/use. Users will be provided with a seamless experience between our online web-based offer and our app.
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 December 2020
Expected contract length
Up to 6 months.The new app will be published and downloadable before 31/03/2021
East Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Leicester City Council
Budget range
We would be seeking a steer from suppliers with regards to the budget requirements for the work being requested.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Leicester City Council currently has a mobile app called Love Leicester. The app is restricted to only reporting environmental issues, but the Council wants an app that will be a focal channel for citizens, businesses and visitors to interact with us on a wide range of services.
Connection between a users’ My Account profile and the mobile app must be seamless.
The mobile experience will promote self-service, be an easily accessible first port of call for our customers and serve as a platform to receive positive feedback/reviews.
This app must be live by the end of March 2021.
Problem to be solved
Users currently wishing to report environmental issues online can use our Love Leicester app or by our My Account pages. The process for reporting the same issues on both online platforms have very separate customer journeys / displays and experiences, which is problematic and confusing to the user. Love Leicester processes meet user expectations but are difficult to manage in the back-office. The My Account processes are the opposite of this.
The council requires a Leicester City Council branded app that is downloadable directly from the app stores (Android and Apple platforms) without being passed through a third party.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users are predominantly citizens and businesses within the City of Leicester. The Council wants users to access a mobile app that provides information, guidance and an additional contact channel that has a council wide focus.
Residents need to be able to access relevant services/information, undertake basic transactions and be able to report issues.
Service users need to be able to easily access relevant services/information quickly. They should be able to see news and information that is local to them, view personal account(s),

Users should be able to see events in, and information about Leicester.
Early market engagement
Leicester City Council published an ITT in July 2019. A decision was taken to abandon this procurement on the basis that the tendering process was unable to provide the Council with an app that represents its current needs and requirements or represent best value for money.
Our position is now this:
We are developing internal forms that focus on reporting environmental issues, these reports will populate an anonymised database that will then be used to show users reports that relate to the same issue and their status. Users will be able to request updates on progress.
We would expect the app supplier to either provide and build forms that match the content in all or some of our forms and use two APIs provided by Firmstep to push data collected into our Firmstep workflow. Alternatively, we would expect the app supplier to use our existing Firmstep forms and provide access to them within the app, utilising mobile functionality.
We also require a single sign on to be created between the app and our My Account platform. Once a supplier is chosen, they will be able to engage with Firmstep and discuss and feedback how this would be delivered.
Any work that’s already been done
Development work is ongoing to add functionality to the forms currently available on our website. This functionality will bring the forms in line with the functionality provided by the forms within the current Love Leicester app.
This work is being undertaken in a phased approach to focus initially on the forms with the highest levels of submissions.
Other forms are already developed and available on our website. We also have a My Account platform that the app would be linked to.
Existing team
Work will be carried out in conjunction with the Digital Transformation team and the IT Services Department at Leicester City Council
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The project team is usually based within the various city centre locations in Leicester. Currently most staff are working from home. Location will be dependent on restrictions that are in place with regards to Covid-19. We are open to the development of this project being remotely based and deployed.
Working arrangements
Initial meetings will be undertaken via Microsoft Teams calls arranged by LCC staff.
Regular updates on progress to be reporting throughout. Risks and issues to be raised and logged as they occur.
The work would be undertaken in conjunction with our IT and DT teams. The expectation would be that the development of the app would be undertaken and deployed offsite.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
No additional travel costs will be paid.
No element of the work undertaken will be sub-contracted out to a third-party unless this is clearly stated and agreed within the proposal provided.
Payment will be upon deliverable stages as proposed by provider.

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
  • App development skills in iOS and Android with a wide portfolio of successful apps, please provide examples including adoption metrics.
  • Experience designing services for users with low digital literacy
  • Substantial experience of developing interactive and user friendly mobile and web applications.
  • Demonstrable expertise in successful app take-up and use
  • Will deliver the app to meet the requirements of the Digital Service Standard -
  • Use prototyping and user testing throughout development
  • Demonstrable experience within the last 3 years of launching a market leading app
  • Experience designing and implementing WCAG 2.1 AA accessible digital services/products
  • Demonstrable experience of development and maintenance of secure mobile application
  • Demonstrable expertise of industry regulations including DSS, DPA, GDPR, PSD2
  • Experience of the development of apps with embedded web views.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • App development skills in iOS and Android with examples of apps already developed for local government
  • Experience developing market leading apps within the last three years.
  • Experience of working with Firmstep web forms
  • Experience using Firmstep start thread and fill task APIs
  • Experience of integrating Firmstep and an app with a single sign on (SSO)
  • Experience of delivering a product to Digital Service Standard
  • Experience of delivering apps for a large public sector organisation within the last three years.
  • Demonstrable experience of developing solutions that securely integrate to other systems through a variety of techniques including tagging, SOAP and REST interfaces.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Relevant skills and experience
  • Evidence of a good track record developing similar user-friendly apps
  • Value for money
  • Technical solution
  • How the solution meets user needs
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Approach and methodology
  • Team structure
Cultural fit criteria
  • User outcome focused
  • Work professionally as a team with our organisation
  • Transparent and clear decision-making process
  • Collaborative style of working
  • Accessibility of solution is a priority
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Experience in agile development
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Could the council confirm what the "range" of budget is expected for this? We see misaligned expectations usually in the public sector around the costs of an app. Is the council expecting this app to cost 5 figures or low to mid 6 figures?
We are seeking a steer from suppliers with regards to the budget requirements for the work being requested, however our limited research suggests the costs for this work would be in the five-figure range.
2. At the pricing stage, pricing will in part be determined by the volume of services that need to be built. Do you have a list of services that would need to be built on the app (e.g. Report flytipping, report a missed bin etc)?
We have identified around 30 “report it” type forms for the initial build and for this stage of the procurement. The “report it” type forms would need to be either built or connected to our Firmstep forms ready for go-live.There are numerous other forms live on our website, some of which we would want to be available within the app. Its expected that non “report it” type forms would be made accessible within the app.Suppliers will be evaluated on the cost of their proposal and any cost for upkeep of the app or any cost to internally develop the app.
3. For Single Sign on to be effective, this also needs to be enabled on the Firmstep side. Can you confirm that this will be in place? (Firmstep use SAML SSO).
It isn’t currently in place, but we will evaluate all options and proposed solutions
4. Is it envisaged that any authentication will be done within Firmstep?
We are open to all options and will evaluate all proposed solutions
5. You state that the current stage is Beta. If this has followed a process of Discovery and Alpha, is it possible to share this documentation?
The Discovery and Alpha phases were not undertaken within the Digital Marketplace and have been completed internally.
6. We are aware that Firmstep has an app integrates directly with its forms solution. Is this one of your options for consideration, or has this been ruled out?
We are aware that Firmstep has an app and had evaluated this last year – but at that time it was limited to MyServices forms. We need an app that can use our forms either by displaying them in the app or by linking to them via an API. If this is now possible in the Firmstep App we won’t rule it out.
7. 7. Can the Leicester city council confirm the total number of Forms currently live?
Once these or any additional Forms are delivered, either via FirmStep Forms or build within the App, can the Leicester City Council confirm the need to create new forms within the App after it has gone live on app stores? Would the Council propose this could require further development work?
We have identified around 30 “report it” type forms for the initial build and for this stage of the procurement. The “report it” type forms would need to be either built or connected to our Firmstep forms ready for go-live.There are numerous other forms live on our website, some we would want to be available within the app. It is expected that non “report it” type forms would be made accessible within the app.
Suppliers will be evaluated on the cost of their proposal and any cost for upkeep of the app or any cost to internally develop the app
8. Could the council confirm that if the potential single sign on is to be created between the app and My Account platform – what technology for SSO (single sign on) does the "My Account" platform currently use?
Our MyAccount platform does not currently have any SSO capability. This would be an additional development request for Granicus/Firmstep to add this in for us if necessary