Awarded to Clarasys Limited

Start date: Friday 16 April 2021
Value: £4,000,000
Company size: SME
Secretary of State for Home Department (acting through the Home Office)

C18480 Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) Central Product Partner Service

8 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 3 large

26 Completed applications

20 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Monday 4 January 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 11 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 18 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The Home Office is looking for a supplier who can provide the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to help meet demand for Product Management within the Home Office’s DDaT directorate and other Home Office Programmes, on a range of internal and public facing services from discovery to live.
Latest start date
Wednesday 1 April 2020
Expected contract length
24 Months
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Secretary of State for Home Department (acting through the Home Office)
Budget range
The Home Office anticipates the total cost for DDaT Product Services to be in the following range for 12 months £1m - £2m.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Home Office DDaT is looking for a partner specialising in Product Management, to help build knowledge and capability within the organisation in the delivery and transformation of digital service development and the continuous improvement of user centred services across all our areas of work (including immigration and passports, borders, policing and counter-terrorism).
Problem to be solved
A Product Manager will use their knowledge of user needs and business goals to frame and solve problems and set priorities for delivery teams. They will be responsible for the overall vision and quality of the product being delivered sometimes in conjunction with a Lead Product Manager or portfolio/programme director.

They will identify opportunities for improving business outcomes and enhancing benefits, looking to continuously improve the quality, capability and efficiency of your product.

Due to the variety in these teams across areas, products and technologies, as well as wide-scale range, our engagements typically vary. As such this is a flexible approach to allow engagements to be appropriate for any given team.

This is an element in our long-term change programme, which is leading the transformation in support of our digital future. This work specifically supports improvements in our resourcing approach and better alignment of product capabilities to the profession. These changes are being put in place to provide technology which:
• Is accessible and aligned to user_needs
• Can be built and maintained more cost effectively
• Enables a data driven organisation
• Allows more rapid iteration

This work must contribute to the evolution of our delivery against these goals.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Home Office service users (staff and external).
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
A civil service led mixed team of managed service providers, contractors and civil servants. The successful bidder will be required to engage and collaborate across all groups delivering and maintaining services for the Home Office.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The majority of the services are expected to be based at our London, Croydon, Sheffield or Manchester sites. However, the successful supplier must be capable of providing the service nationwide. Secondary locations may include Glasgow, Liverpool, Southport or Hendon.

The work will be divided into Statements of Work (SOWs) which will clearly identify the relevant base location.
Working arrangements
A flexible approach is required to meet the needs of each individual project and programme. The work will be divided into Statements of Work (SOWs) which will clearly identify the working arrangements.
Security clearance
All supplier staff must have Counter Terrorism Check (CTC) prior to starting work, however most work will require Security Clearance (SC). Supplier staff not in possession of the required clearance must be willing to undergo and capable of passing the clearance process. Occasionally, NPPV3 or DV clearance is required.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
1.Travel expenses are payable for journeys outside the M25 (Greater London) or journeys greater than 10 miles from other base locations, where approved in advance and in line with HO Travel policy (subsistence not payable).

2. Professions rate caps will be applied to all roles at all SFIA levels. Caps will be provided to shortlisted suppliers at RFP stage.

3. Seasonal furloughs may be required.

4. Potential Providers participating in the Request for Proposal (RFP ) stage will need to complete, sign and return a non-disclosure and ethical walls agreement (NDA) prior to receiving the RFP.

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
  • Recent experience (within the last 2 years) in placing experienced product managers into government or critical National Infrastructure multidisciplinary delivery teams
  • Evidence that their Product Management Services placed must have recent experience (within last 2 years) of working across the product lifecycle
  • Experience of product managers using data to drive decisions about the product development, and showing excellent communication skills when working with stakeholders
  • Experience of working with delivery teams who are beginning to work in a product-centric and iterative way, with an ability to introduce best practice
  • Appreciation and practical experience of service design, user research, UX design, data & development principles and how each contributes to creating successful products
  • Experience in senior stakeholder engagement, influencing and management
  • Experience in adding value to the professional community they work within
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Essential Skills carried forward from stage 1
  • Approach and Methodology
  • How the approach meets the requirements
  • Organisation capability to provide specialist support
  • Reporting and Governance approach
  • Added Value / Value for Money
  • Team mobilisation
Cultural fit criteria
  • Community and Culture
  • Social Value
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who’s in the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
This is a new service and there is no incumbent.
2. Who’s on the panel?
Head of Role for Product; 2 Lead Product Managers from across the department; and Commercial.
3. Will Home Office be sponsoring individuals to achieve Security Clearance (SC)?
4. Can we ask we what typical SFIA levels you’ve been “hiring” Products Managers at, over the past 12 months?
5. Are you able to share any rate guidance e.g. max rates by SFIA levels?
There are two levels of rate - target and maximum. Target or less is what we are aiming for but price submissions will be absolutely capped at the maximum rate and submissions over maximum rate will not be acceptable.
SFIA 3 Target £540 / Max £633
SFIA 4 Target £680 / Max £759
SFIA 5 Target £800 / Max £886
6. Regarding question 3, are you more interested in data use in the discovery phase, during development, in continuous improvement or throughout?
We are interested in using data to make informed decisions throughout the lifecycle of the product.
7. On the second part of the question, do the communication skills need to specifically relate to the use of data, or can they be separate examples?
The skills do not specifically need to relate to the use of data.
8. What is the budget for the second year of the service? Has this been approved?
We expect a spend of £1m to £2m per annum during the contract term (the total spend will be capped at £4.5m for the whole term). Budget approval will be sought on a SOW by SOW basis as a wide range of portfolio and project budgets will be used.
9. The latest start date is April. Is there a possibility that the work will start before then in this financial year?
The current timetable of procurement activities indicates a procurement result by early March so it is unlikely that very much work, if any, would start this FY.
10. Can you clarify what you mean by seasonal furlough – is this usually the period over Christmas, or are there more furlough periods?
Seasonal furloughs have been referenced in case programme and projects decide to pause work over Christmas, Easter or possibly during parts of the summer. This would be agreed on a statement of work basis. In 2020 only one of the DDaT programmes had a furlough, which was from 18th December to 4th January, with the other programmes and portfolios working through this period.
11. You mention product-centric teams – are they using agile, user-centric approaches?
There are a mixture of delivery methodologies in use, some are more iterative while others are more predictive. The department is moving to being more product centric and with that iterative, so there will be teams at different levels of maturity in that regard.
12. Referring to best practice, are you able to define any applicable standards?
It refers to internal best practice that is being developed.
13. Are you are able to give an insight to envisaged products?
That's difficult to do due to the scale and variety of the Home Office objectives and operations. The products will vary in size and complexity, and could be public facing or internal facing for Home Office Staff.
14. We’re conscious that the use of contractors to fulfil this service may represent an IR35 risk to yourselves, are you comfortable with the use of resources engaged in this way?
It is a matter for the supplier to decide how they will resource the delivery of the requirements, however in doing so you should consider the implications of the IR35 legislation as it currently applies to the Public Sector and whether it will apply to you from 6th April 2021. The Authority will regularly assess any arrangement to assure itself that it is acting in a compliant manner and would expect the supplier to do the same.

Continued below
15. Question 14 continued
The use of contractors providing their services via a Personal Service Company or other Intermediary structure represent an IR35 risk when engaged to deliver Managed Service type arrangements, as a supplier you should be aware of the risks involved and ensure you comply with the IR35 legislation.