Awarded to We Are Snook Ltd

Start date: Wednesday 23 December 2020
Value: £350,000
Company size: SME
Adur & Worthing Councils

OpenCommunity Beta

8 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 1 large

23 Completed applications

22 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Wednesday 28 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 4 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 11 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
To develop OpenCommunity as a platform and community to drive adoption of the OpenReferralUK data standard among local authorities, software suppliers, national public bodies and the community and voluntary sector. To support the development of the technical community, and three local exemplar projects.
Latest start date
Monday 14 December 2020
Expected contract length
Until 31 March 2021
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Adur & Worthing Councils
Budget range
£250,000 with the possibility of a further £100,000 subject to success at project gate 31 January 2021.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Our OpenCommunity Discovery found that national bodies such as the NHS, DWP, MoJ, along with local bodies such as local authorities and community and voluntary organisations require accurate and trusted data about local community services. The Discovery report recommended that a community services standards ecosystem (OpenCommunity) be built to support connection and alignment between multiple layers of organisations nationally and locally, through the adoption and embedding of a well managed data standard, OpenReferralUK, and a supporting community.

A national data standard is vital for efficient referral and signposting by multiple agencies to support for people in the community on a wide range of issues and opportunities; from mental health support, employment support, housing and financial advice, to digital inclusion, social and well-being activities, volunteering opportunities and many more.

Front line practitioners across multiple public service teams lack the shared, reliable information they need to confidently refer and signpost people to community support. Commissioners lack data insight, and local data administration is fragmented, duplicated and costly.

Furthermore, national bodies such as the NHS (local hospitals, GPs, NHS 111) and DWP (local job centres) have no agreed, trusted method for consuming critical local data across their own services.
Problem to be solved
Driving adoption of the standard across multiple public bodies and the software supplier community. We aim to build a brand, online presence and community, including community events, adoption tools, tailored audience content and case studies.

Developing the OpenReferralUK standard further, including technical tools, guides, products and processes and support for the technical community and to adopting organisations.

Progress in securing strong adoption among national public bodies, including NHS, DWP, MHCLG, MoJ, NCVO, Government Digital Service, Data Standards Authority, LGA and others.

Support to local exemplar projects in Leeds, Adur and Worthing, and Buckinghamshire (Family Information Service). The localgov Drupal project, funded by MHCLG separately will receive support from the OpenReferral UK technical standards workstream of this project.

Exemplar work will include standards adoption and building governance processes, designing and testing a common local data management approach, and supporting compliant platforms to scale.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As someone seeking information, I need to know what services are available locally, so that I can meet my health, care, and other needs.

As admin of a service directory, I need to publish data so that it is searchable, and easily integrated as a data service.

As service provider, I want to update my details once, so people and organisations can easily access what I provide.

As national provider I want to access local service directories, including integrations as a data service.

As developer, I need to connect to data about local services, so that I can build useful services.

As a service owner, I need technical and governance support, so that I can successfully implement the Open Referral UK data standard.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
This work is part of a programme funded by the MHCLG Digital Fund

The results of the discovery are published at

As a result of the work so far, we have already seen adoption of the standard in multiple organisations and the development of the technical standards community.

The guidance and technical documentation for the OpenReferralUK data standard, developed in the alpha phase of the programme, are published at
Existing team
You will be working with project teams at Adur & Worthing, Leeds and Essex Councils along with the project team at the MHCLG Local Digital Fund.

We encourage the lead supplier to explore partnership with other suppliers as appropriate to fulfil the brief.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Work will be conducted remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions in place during the contract period.
Working arrangements
There will be weekly project meetings via video. Work plans will be agreed and monitored by the OpenCommunity project team.

We will use collaborative tools such as Zoom, Miro and Google.

We will adopt an ‘open first’ approach to how we work to help others learn from our experience.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Contract terms to be agreed with Adur & Worthing Councils

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
  • Provide a multidisciplinary team, including user research, service designer and data architect / engineer
  • Adopt user centred design and agile approaches
  • Have experience of designing and implementing API endpoints
  • Be agnostic of any particular software
  • Be able to meet the Local Government Digital Service standard
  • Have experience of data standards and the process of developing and documenting a data standard
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Experience of a similar project

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • The proposed approach and methodology
  • Team structure, including skills and experience
  • Estimated timeframe for the work
  • Identification of risks and plan to mitigate them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisations and suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a commitment to open standards and data sharing mechanisms
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Case study
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. It is not clear to me on reviewing Joint Schedule 6 – Key Subcontractors and Call off Schedule 10 – Exit Management whether there is an expectation/requirement that on exit the Supplier transfers, as a Transferring Asset/Contract, the services of Key Subcontractors to an incoming supplier. If that is the expectation/requirement is there no provision for compensation for the loss of that Asset to the Supplier?
In accordance with the Local Digital Declaration all assets produced will be made openly available to be re-used, including all code, documentation and digital assets.
2. Is there an incumbent? If so, who and will they be applying for this opportunity?
There is no incumbent, and no active contract.
3. What is the earliest start date for this opportunity?
The project team is keen to make an earlier start, as soon as contracts are finalised.
4. Are you able to provide the Alpha outputs? (inc. any wireframes, coded prototypes, etc)
All outputs from previous phases are published on and
5. Is their an incumbent provider? And, who has delivered the discovery and alpha?
There is no incumbent provider. The discovery was undertaken by Snook, and the alpha of the OpenReferralUK data standard has been built by an open community of practitioners led by Porism.
6. What are the expected timelines for the work?
From December 14th 2020 (with a possible earlier start) through to 31st March 2021, with a project gateway at end of January 2021.
7. Do we need to lead or support this Beta phase?
We would expect a lead supplier to submit a response, having identified any partners required to fulfil the brief.
8. Does the delivery include software platform?
No the project focuses on developing the data standard and supporting infrastructure. Local authorities will be working to build compliant systems or with their existing suppliers to request existing systems be adapted to be compliant with the data standard.
9. If a platform is to be delivered who will manage the hosting platform?
There is no platform to be delivered, although there is expected to be a community website, and the host is yet to be identified.
10. Will the Authority provide the Scrum Master and/or Project manager for this engagement?
We will provide project managers at exemplar sites, but the supplier will project manage the beta.
11. Will there be an opportunity to go through the validation of Alpha deliverables before Beta starts to ensure that there is no change to the proposed solution?
Yes, the first steps of the beta will be to review previous work and we are very open to course correction.
12. How many APIs are expected to be delivered in Beta phase?
This is not yet defined, but we would expect at least one exemplar site to be supported in this regard.
13. Who will be responsible for testing and implementation of the solution?
This is a data standards project, rather than a solution build.
14. Could the Authority share the delivery plan for Beta?
There is no detailed plan for the beta, this will be developed and agreed in the first sprints of the project.
15. Will the Authority accept a blend of off and on-shore resources?
We do not have any objection to this in principle.
16. Will there be any non-functional requirement (security, performance, volumes, scalability, supportability, maintainability, extensibility, usability, etc.)?
This is a data standards project, not a software build
17. Does the Authority have any defined processes for release, change, support?
The ownership and governance processes for the data standard form part of the beta build.
18. Could the Authority share the technical design for Beta?
This is a data standard project, and the technical design for the data standard is established and being iterated.
19. Who is responsible for the business analysis (distinct from service design work)?
We would expect to be able to draw this expertise from the supplier where it is required, according to an agreed project delivery plan.
20. Do the Alpha phase deliverables need to be replaced?
No, we will build on from the outputs. Note that this is not a software project.
21. Will the Beta phase deliver a hosted platform, if so please provide functional and non-functional details e.g. technical design, support, security, performance?
This is not a technology build.
22. Is any of the partner local authorities doing any complimentary work on service directories that is separately funded and happening at the same time as this beta?
Yes the exemplars are partly funded by other means, and OpenCommunity will add additional value relating to the implementing of the data standard, governance and management models
23. You ask us to be agnostic of any particular software. Can you elaborate on that? Is there a current preferred technology stack or are you open to any suggestions?
We do not envisage software build beyond the community website and support for API builds.
24. What concurrent changes, programmes or projects does this project depend upon and what are those dependencies, for example with Leeds and Essex councils?
The Leeds LOOP project is a well established directories project that OpenCommunity will support to become compliant with the standard. Essex do not currently have an active project.
25. Who is sponsoring this work within Adur and Worthing Council and are they the decision maker? If not who will decide on the winning bid?
The shortlisting panel will comprise representatives from Leeds, Essex, Adur & Worthing and MHCLG.