Awarded to Kainos Software Ltd

Start date: Thursday 1 April 2021
Value: £54,500,000
Company size: large
Defra

Digital Delivery

10 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 2 large

28 Completed applications

10 SME, 18 large

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 5 January 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 12 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 19 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Improvements to services developed in readiness for EUExit to facilitate trade and regulation aligned to Future Trade Agreement and also to support the agricultural sector with the shift from the European Common Agricultural Policy.
Latest start date
Tuesday 31 March 2020
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Defra
Budget range
Up to £54.5 million. This is an estimated total, there will be no commitment to spend.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Assisting Defra group to deliver efficient and effective public services, ensuring that delivery is aligned to well understood problems and policy. Examples of the services needed are those to facilitate trade and regulation aligned to the Future Trade Agreement with the EU and the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Problem to be solved
EU Trade services are in place for an effective Imports control system, online repository for EHCs, Chemicals and Pesticides services that replicates EU’s REACH-IT and cross-cutting WebOps services to manage pipeline. These services will need to be continuously improved and new services may need to be delivered to support Future Trade Agreement. Defra is also working to replace existing EU arrangements through the future farming programme. Systems will need to be developed as requirements emerge from the Programme.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The services will potentially be used by businesses, citizens and Defra operating teams supporting the business sectors within Defra's remit.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Defra has delivered digital services in readiness of a no-deal exit from the EU. These services are currently either in private or public beta with further improvements identified. Requirements are / being identified to develop new services.
Existing team
Established multidisciplinary teams covering policy, delivery and operations. These teams are typically a mix of civil servants, contingent labour and other Defra suppliers. The digital delivery partner will need to work collaboratively in this structure.
Current phase
Beta

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Defra operates from multiple offices. Delivery locations may change. Current key locations include Crewe, London, Warrington, Reading, Bristol, York, Newcastle.
Working arrangements
On site in Defra offices for majority of time with some scope for remote working upon agreement. This may vary depending upon the status of the pandamic.
Security clearance
Minimum BPSS needed. Some, but not all staff may require SC clearance. This can be arranged after award of contract.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

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
  • . Proven capability in developing digital services that are compliant with GDS Service Standards 1
  • Examples of strong experience of work developed to pass GDS service standard assessments, particularly at key transition points between development phases 8
  • . Examples of developing digital services that integrate with legacy information systems/services transaction based operations. Evidence of services that have been developed, the approaches adopted and the issues encountered/resolved. 10
  • Evidence of capability to mobilise 5-10 agile development teams with the requisite mix of skills and the profile for getting to this level within 2 months of contract award. 12
  • . Examples of working in multi-supplier environments and collaborative development 2
  • Examples of capability to develop digital services using a range of Open Source technologies and integrating with customer technologies. 4
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Where possible the suppliers should be experienced in delivering within large scale public body deliveries with multi-faceted workstreams. Ideally with experience of GDS aligned deliveries.
  • Where possible specific experience of delivering enterprise solutions based service orientated architectures delivered on commodity platforms
  • Where possible experience of working with cross government departments and policy, delivery as well as operational people.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
4
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology 18
  • How the approach meets user needs 16
  • How the approach meets Defra requirements 14
  • Estimated timeframes for the work 6
  • How risks and dependencies are identified and proposed approaches to manage them 10
  • Team structure (capacity and capability) 2
  • Value for money 2
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.
  • • Be comfortable standing up for their discipline. • Can work with clients with low technical expertise. • Knowledge and expertise sharing.
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

5%

Price

35%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. The Latest start date has been specified as Tuesday 31 March 2020. We believe that this is an error. Could you please confirm the correct Start date as we will be required to submit the Latest start date as part of the short list stage response submission.
The correct latest start date is:-

Wednesday 31st March 2021
2. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Technical evaluation will be done by a panel comprising of the Deputy Directors and Programme Managers.
Pricing / commercial evaluation will be done by the Defra Group Commercials.
Recommendations from the panel will be endorsed through the Defra governance boards.
3. Who is the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
Kainos Software Ltd.
Just over 2.5 years.
4. Can you please advise the timelines of this procurement (e.g. shortlisted companies notified, anticipated contract award)? Also, can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present?
We are planning to notify the shortlisted companies by 3rd February 2021 and award the contract by 4th week of March 2021.

Yes, the shortlisted suppliers will be given opportunity to present to the Defra evaluation panel.
5. Please could you provide anymore detail around Essential Skills 2 and 3
2 – Example(s) of established approaches to development that ensure developed services pass GDS Service Standard assessments at key transition points between development phases. These should be described and evidence provided to demonstrate the bidders have strong experience of these assessments and that their approaches work in practice. 8

3 - Proven capability in developing digital services that integrate with legacy information systems/services in demanding transaction based operations. Evidence should be provided of services that have been developed, the approaches adopted and the issues encountered/resolved. 10
6. Please could you provide anymore detail around Essential Skill 4
4 - Proven capability to scale up development teams quickly to meet customer demands for scale or pace of service development. Bidders must describe their ability to increase the number of digital development teams deployed to meet customer demand and how they can achieve this. This should be supported by reference to previous work where this has been required. Bidders should provide evidence of their capability to mobilise 5-10 agile development teams with the requisite mix of skills and the profile for getting to this level within 2 months of contract award. 12
7. Please could you provide any more detail around Essential Skills 5 and 6
5 - Proven capability to work in multi-supplier environments. Evidence should be provided to demonstrate this together with the approach adopted by the bidder to ensure successful collaborative development and examples of where this has been used. 2

6 - demonstrate through examples capability to develop digital services using a range of Open Source technologies and experience integrating with customer technology choices - specifically MS SharePoint, MS Dynamics CRM, Del Boomi, Gov.uk Verify, Gov.UK Notify and Gov.uk Pay services, Java Script, JSNode, M/Soft patterns including C#, C++, VSTS,etc, Octopus Deploy, Selenium Test Tooling, WebOps including M/Soft Azure Kubernetes Service 4
8. Please update whether this opportunity will be awarded to Single Supplier or Multiple Suppliers?
Single supplier as part of the existing multiple supplier programme
9. Will the scores of this shortlist stage be carried forward to ITT/Stage 2? If yes, what is the weightage for stage 1 out of the total score of 100% ?
As set out under the DOS process, stage 1 scores are carried forward to stage 2. For this tender, Stage 1 offers a maximum score of 45%, made up of 40% for Essential Skills and 5% for Nice to Have.
10. In the DOS advert, the ‘Additional assessment methods’ does not mention anything about presentation. Whereas in CQ no.4, you mention that a presentation will be held.
Which one stands true, please clarify and if the latter is true, kindly share the presentation date.
We are aiming to hold presentations on 18th February.
11. Will the scores in the evidence response be carried forward into the proposal stage? How will this weighting work?
Total score available over x2 stages = 100.
Technical Competence
Essential skills - 40 stage 1
Nice to Have - 5 stage 1
Detailed response (proposal) – 15 stage 2

Cultural Fit 5 stage 2
Price 35 stage 2
12. Can you please provide more clarity on what the scores represent against the criteria listed? When added together they do not match the evaluation weighting. Can you confirm how they are weighted and applied?
An Example
• Essential Skills’ form 40% of the available marks
• The figure listed against each skill is the weighting
• Suppliers score for each criteria is 0 -3 as evaluated, multiplied by the weighting. A score of 3 ‘exceeds requirements’ gives the maximum score.
• Suppliers score for ‘Essential Skills’ is :Total weighted score (as evaluated) / Total max score available x % allocated for Essential skills
• The maximum score would be if the supplier scores 3 across the board.
111 / 111 x 40% = 40.
Supplier scored 2 throughout
74/111 x 48% = 27
13. How will pricing be scored? Is there an expected project/team structure or total cost?
Pricing will be based on 2 factors, a blended rate taken from SFIA rate card will be applied to a volume discount calculator to give an overall VfM result. The detail of how to approach this will be provided to the shortlisted suppliers at stage 2 and will be scored at this stage only.
14. DOS guidelines request one example per question; however the Defra questions ask for ‘examples’. Can you please confirm if multiple examples would be scored more favourably, or would one example be preferred?
Examples will be scored on the quality of the whole response to each question. Multiple examples will not automatically mean a higher score. It is for suppliers to make a judgement as to their most advantageous approach
15. The headline requirement talks about EU Trade Services but goes on to reference Future Farming. Could you be a little more explicit as regards the scope of the digital services for this contract? Is the CAP transition to ‘ELM’ included in scope as an example or does this ITT limit itself to only outputs from Future Farming that directly impact Trade Agreements and/or border controls?
The Defra Future Farming and Countryside Programme (FFCP) is in the process of deciding how Information Technology will support the vision for farming in the UK as set out in the Farming is Changing paper published by Defra on the gov.uk website. While decisions on individual aspects of the program are yet to be ratified we would expect some new digital services to be required in support of this program.
16. What do the numbers after every Q under ‘Essential skills and experience’ and ‘Proposal Criteria’ indicate?
The numbers are the weighting assigned to each skill / criteria -please refer to questions 12 and 13
17. Re answer to Q16 - Do you mean refer to questions 11 and 12
Yes
18. Under Q12 you state
• The maximum score would be if the supplier scores 3 across the board.
111 / 111 x 40% = 40.
Supplier scored 2 throughout
74/111 x 48% = 27.
Why do they have a different percentage weighting, ie 40% v 48%?
Apologies, this is a typo -both figures should be 40%
19. What are the figures appearing at the end of each criterie, eg “8” in “Examples of strong experience of work developed to pass GDS service standard assessments, particularly at key transition points between development phases 8”?
Please see questions 11 and 12
20. In Q#1 ”Proven capability in developing digital services that are compliant with GDS Service Standards 1”, can you confirm you will accept experience of developing digital services on government standards outside UK that are similar to GDS Service standards?
We can consider other experience provided the suppliers are able to clearly demonstrate the similarity to the GDS standards and their involvement.
21. In Q#2 ”Examples of strong experience of work developed to pass GDS service standard assessments, particularly at key transition points between development phases 8”, are you looking for experience of going through GDS assessment or the evidence of creating the processes to ensure systems alignment with GDS Service Standards?
Evidence of creating processes, documentation and supporting the programme management on the GDS service assessments, ie experience in producing the documents/evidence as well as experience of leading or participating in GDS assessments.
22. In Q#2 ”Examples of strong experience of work developed to pass GDS service standard assessments, particularly at key transition points between development phases 8”, are you seeking evidence of system that’s gone through GDS service standards or governance structure to ensure system is aligned with GDS Service Standards?
Examples of your strong involvement on the GDS service assessments, may be direct or assisting. Either but both would be good.
23. For Q#3, ”Examples of developing digital services that integrate with legacy information systems/services transaction based operations. Evidence of services that have been developed, the approaches adopted and the issues encountered/resolved. 10“, will you accept a non-UK case study based evidence of mentioned skills?
Yes
24. For Q#4 “Examples of working in multi-supplier environments and collaborative development 2“, will you accept a non-UK case study based evidence of mentioned skills?
Yes
25. Q#6 ”Examples of capability to develop digital services using a range of Open Source technologies and integrating with customer technologies. 4”, will you accept non-UK example where we have used open-source technologies and integrated with government’s open-source APIs similar to Gov Notify/Verify/Pay?
Yes
26. Where possible experience of working with cross government departments and policy, delivery as well as operational people.”, will you accept a non-UK case study based evidence of mentioned skills?
yes
27. In question 2, you mention “particularly at key transition points between development phases”. Can you advise if the transition points you are referring to are the standard GDS Discovery, Alpha, Private Beta, Beta Review/assessment points or something different?
Standard GDS Discovery, Alpha, Private Beta, Beta Review / Assessment points
28. Which SFIA levels do you anticipate being required on the team/s?
Typically the SFIAs 3, 4, 5, 6 with some requirement for the SFIAs 2 and 7.
29. - The work location states ‘On site in Defra offices for majority of time with some scope for remote working upon agreement. This may vary depending upon the status of the pandemic’. Will any potential off-site work arrangements be expected to be located within the UK given the sensitivity around EU Exit?
- Is offshore presence of resources acceptable?
- Is nearshoring acceptable? If yes, any preferences in nearshore locations.
At present all the work is being carried out from within the UK. We expect the response should be based on UK resources. For avoidance of doubt Defra are not requesting pricing information at this phase merely a commitment to having resource available within the UK.
30. With regards to the essential question, ‘Where possible specific experience of delivering enterprise solutions based service orientated architectures delivered on commodity platforms’.
Can you please describe the specific enterprise solutions and commodity platforms that you are interested in?
Can you advise what you mean by “commodity platforms?”
Commodity Platforms’ means off the shelf technical products , including cloud based. Examples may include
• Customer Relationship Manager M (MS Dynamics)
• Workflow Management (MS Sharepoint)
• Document Management
• Business Rules Manager
• Enterprise Service Bus,
• Integration / Application Programming Interface (API) Managers
• Data Platforms
• Business Intelligence Toolset
• Analytic Platforms
• Extract Transform Load Tools
Enterprise Resource Planning
31. What weight is applied to the presentation stage
See question 11. The detailed response to the proposal at stage 2 is given 15%. Presentations will inform the final evaluation of the written response.
32. Please can you expand on the use of MS SharePoint, MS Dynamics CRM, and Boomi across the programme of work? Are these strategic technology choices for DEFRA?
MS SharePoint is used by a number of Defra systems, predominantly as a target data store for applications to place appropriate data into.
MS Dynamics 365 is used extensively within the Defra estate, for a variety of purposes. A number of differing modules are utilised (such as CE, FSM, and Finance) for functions such as case management, resource scheduling, and account / payment management.
Dell Boomi is one of the key integration platforms in use within Defra, predominantly for external integrations and API management.
These technologies are amongst the strategic solutions deployed and approved within Defra.
33. With regards to question ‘Where possible specific experience of delivering enterprise solutions based service orientated architectures delivered on commodity platforms’. Are you seeking examples of delivering enterprise solutions based on service orientated architectures?
Yes
34. Can you please share more details on what kind of experience are you looking for the question – ‘Where possible experience of working with cross government departments and policy, delivery as well as operational people.’
Experience of working with multiple government departments as well as working with operational and policy areas within a department to deliver an integrated service/outcome.
35. Regarding your question “Examples of developing digital services that integrate with legacy information systems/services transaction based operations. Evidence of services that have been developed, the approaches adopted and the issues encountered/resolved”.
Within the 100 word limit, could you clarify whether you would prefer to see a single contract example explored in depth, or whether you would prefer to hear about more than one contract example (as implied) to a lesser level of fidelity?
At least one relevant example described in as much depth as possible with additional examples where appropriate.
36. What is meant by “GDS Aligned deliveries?”
Should we assume this refers to the standard GDS Assessment services/stages (Discover/Alpha/Beta/Live) or, alternatively, does this mean that GDS will play a further and significantly aligned role in the delivery?
Experience of delivering services that require interaction, management and coordination of GDS Assessments and outcomes across Alpha, Beta and Live stages of large scale digital services where multiple departments and stakeholders are involved.

This means services designed and delivered to meet requirements set out in the Service Standard and Technology Code of Practice.
37. In the final ‘nice to have’ question, you mention “delivery as well as operational people”.
Could you please elaborate on these roles and the implied distinctions between them?
Delivery – project / programme delivery, change management.
Operations – Teams responsible to manage live services, end user interactions
38. Ref. Question 2 under Nice to have Skills & Experience, Can you elaborate on what you mean by enterprise solutions based SOA? And what is your definition of Commodity platforms is it Cloud platforms (e.g. AWS / Azure), SaaS Platforms (E.g. Dynamics) or other common platforms built specifically for Defra?
The services being deployed within the relevant Defra workstreams are generally of enterprise scale (with the appropriate levels of availability, monitoring, and management capabilities), many of which are built around SOA principles. The commodity platforms could consist of Cloud-native services from hosting providers, as well as SaaS platforms. There are also some internal on-premise platforms built using commodity solutions, e.g. COTS software.
39. Please can you expand on the experience required with MS SharePoint, MS Dynamics CRM, and the Dell Boomi platform. Is experience in these areas a pre-requisite or can experience with similar technologies suffice?
SharePoint is used by Defra systems as a target for data storage, therefore the supplier must be capable of developing interfaces to SharePoint.
Dynamics365 is used extensively within Defra, including for case management, resource scheduling, and account / payment management. As a key piece of technology in Defra, direct experience would be highly valuable.
Dell Boomi is a key Defra platform for external integrations and API management. Being core to services within this procurement, direct experience would be valuable.
Responses will be scored on relevant experience, with the most relevant experience with the Defra technology stack getting the highest score.
40. Can you please share more details around ‘legacy information systems/services transaction based operations.’ that are currently used
The Defra estate comprises of a multitude of legacy systems, built on technologies deployed over many years. It is not possible to describe details here of all instances that are in operation, however technologies in use are typical of enterprise scale organisations, e.g. data storage across relational or unstructured databases, data warehouses, etc, with enterprise COTS suites, such as ERP and CRM solutions, plus inhouse applications based on architectures from monolithic to microservice based. Interfaces range across several solutions, from file transfer to an API, therefore extensive integration experience would be beneficial. Further information will be provided to shortlisted suppliers.