Awarded to Create/Change

Start date: Monday 7 June 2021
Value: £1,783,375
Company size: SME
Ministry of Justice

Discovery to beta phases related to the recall of people subject to probation orders

21 Incomplete applications

20 SME, 1 large

33 Completed applications

24 SME, 9 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 22 January 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 29 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 5 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Discovery contract looking into the needs of probation staff making recall decisions and opportunities for a digital service that meet those needs. Continuation to alpha and beta is envisioned. However, this will be subject to findings from Discovery.
Latest start date
Wednesday 24 February 2021
Expected contract length
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Justice
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
People on determinate sentences are recalled to prison if their behaviour indicates an increased risk of further offending, which cannot be safely managed in the community. Recalled prisoners are more likely to be reconvicted for a violent, sexual, serious, or any offence, more likely to be assessed as at high risk of serious harm, and vulnerable. The purpose of this work is to understand the needs of probation staff in making appropriate and timely recall decisions and to understand if a digital service could help.
Problem to be solved
Some opportunities for improvement in the area of recall were highlighted in the probation serious further offence review in the case of Joseph McCann: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-into-the-case-of-joseph-mccann

Findings cover issues in the assessment of risk, planning, and implementation and reviewing.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a probation officer, I need to see relevant information about a service user so that I can make an effective recall decision.
As a probation officer, I need to understand the process, procedure and guidelines for making recall decisions so that I can make a recall decision in line policy.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
Service Owner
Service Designer
This is part of Probation Reform Programme which is run as a blended, multi-supplier environment.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Predominantly virtually, with the possibility of London based physical working, if required.
Working arrangements
We would prefer co-location onsite for 3 days a week (as soon as Covid-19 allows), most weeks in order to engage with the Probation Reform Programme, building broader engagement with the style of working (eg through show and tells), and capability building activity through activities such as pair programming/design review. However we also know that remote working is both possible and will also be necessary over the next few months.
Security clearance
A minimum of Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) standard is required. Where access to live production data is necessary, Security Clearance (SC) may also be required.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The MoJ may tender a separate contract for phases after discovery, which will likely incorporate the outputs of this engagement (in whole or in part). The Supplier agrees the MoJ may disclose or use any part of the services, including any deliverables, in a future procurement. If the Supplier is an incumbent under a Contract, at the time of any future procurement, the Supplier may be requested to enter into an ethical wall agreement. There may be scope to undertake additional work as required, requiring the same team/ staff roles, which would be called off under separate Statements of Work.

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
  • Experience in the development of services from discovery to beta, meeting the government service standard and technology code of conduct
  • In-depth understanding and experience of presenting clear, compelling, evidence-based recommendations for change based on primary and secondary research.
  • Ability to communicate with stakeholders clearly and regularly, being an advocate for user needs and GDS principles, standards and working practices.
  • In-depth understanding of collaboratively delivering rapid/ iterative prototyping (low to high fidelity) using design systems and approaches.
  • Experience using modern standards to deploy robust cloud based web solutions that can scale to meet the demand of user needs.
  • Experience of NodeJS and Java.
  • Experience of providing services with a test driven development, continuous integration and delivery approach.
  • Knowledge of the ethics and application of machine learning in public service delivery.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working within the justice ecosystem.
  • Self-directed and comfortable taking delivery ownership for research, analysis and recommendations development.
  • Experience of applying machine learning to support good decision making in public services.
  • Experience of working closely with a range of operational stakeholders to gain traction and their buy-in to the digital process and product.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
4
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate experience with user focused design methodologies which demonstrate a robust approach to service design and development, and explain how you will draw on this experience to deliver this service.
  • Demonstrate practical experience of working in the UK central government ecosystem or equivalent, and explain how you will draw on this experience to deliver this service.
  • Demonstrate your experience of delivering national services against the GDS Service Standard and Technology Code of Practice, and explain how you will draw on this experience to deliver this service.
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding and experience of presenting clear, compelling, evidence-based recommendations for change based on primary and secondary research
  • Demonstrate strong stakeholder management skills, and explain how you will communicate design and technical concepts to a lay audience of senior stakeholders
  • Explain how your approach will meet MOJ's goal; to understand if a digital service could help probation staff in making appropriate and timely recall decisions
  • Demonstrate how your approach and methodology for this project will meet MOJ’s requirements and describe how applying this approach and methodology has been successful in a similar project
  • Explain and clarify how your approach and methodology will meet the needs of this project’s service users
  • Provide an example team structure including skills, experience and relevance of individuals, an accompanying SFIA rate card for each team member and Definitions criteria for each SFIA rating
  • Provide examples of how you have identified and taken ownership of risks, issues, and dependencies and how you have managed their mitigation and resolution.
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver value for money throughout this project, across all phases of delivery (including Discovery, Alpha and Beta)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers in a diverse environment
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with team members and the wider service
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
This is commercially confidential information, and due to the confidentiality nature of the procurement process we are unable to divulge any information about the Evaluation panel for this procurement.
2. Could you give an indication of budget please?
In the spirit of competition and driving value for money, MOJ do not intend to share the budget for this procurement.
3. What is the budget for this project?
In the spirit of competition and driving value for money, MOJ do not intend to share the budget for this procurement.
4. Who’s in the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
This work has not started. There is no incumbent Supplier for this work.
5. Who's on the panel?
This is commercially confidential information, and due to the confidentiality nature of the procurement process we are unable to divulge any information about the Evaluation panel for this procurement.
6. 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?
The timelines for the end of the evaluation period cannot be confirmed at this stage. The latest start date should read Wednesday 24th March 2021. All Suppliers who are shortlisted for this competition will be requested to give a presentation.
7. Whats the contract length and budget?
The Contract length is expected to be 12 months if including a Discovery, Alpha and Private Beta phase. However, this will be subject to findings from Discovery. In the spirit of competition and driving value for money, MOJ do not intend to share the budget for this procurement. However, we will ask shortlisted Suppliers to provide a pricing offering for each of the Discovery, Alpha and Private Beta phases. We will evaluate pricing based on a Discovery - Private Beta contract.
8. Are you able to disclose the duration of the project and an approx. budget?
The Contract length is expected to be 12 months if including a Discovery, Alpha and Private Beta phase. However, this will be subject to findings from Discovery. In the spirit of competition and driving value for money, MOJ do not intend to share the budget for this procurement. However, we will ask shortlisted Suppliers to provide a pricing offering for each of the Discovery, Alpha and Private Beta phases. We will evaluate pricing based on a Discovery - Private Beta contract.
9. Can you please provide an indicative budget for a) the Discovery phase and b) the total Discovery>Beta contract?
In the spirit of competition and driving value for money, MOJ do not intend to share the budget for this procurement. However, we will ask shortlisted Suppliers to provide a pricing offering for each of the Discovery, Alpha and Private Beta phases. We will evaluate pricing based on a Discovery - Private Beta contract.
10. What would be the expected contract length?
The expected contract length, including a Discovery, Alpha and Private Beta phase, is to be 12 months.
11. Please indicate your anticipated duration for the Discovery phase.
It is important, in responding to an enquiry, that potential suppliers reach their own conclusions about the work required in delivering a solution. We expect that all proposals for the anticipated duration of the Discovery phase will be provided by Suppliers as part of this opportunity.
12. For question “Experience of working within the justice ecosystem.”, would you accept non-UK experience of justice ecosystem?
Yes we will consider relevant experience of working within justice ecosystems outside the UK.
13. Are there any links we should be aware of to OASys or other existing recidivism tools already in use in HMPPS that come in to scope of this project?
There are many tools in use by HMPPS some of which are relevant to this problem space. It will be part of the discovery work to identify and investigate these in partnership with digital and HMPPS colleagues.
14. Regarding the question Experience of working within the justice ecosystem.’ can you please clarify what you mean by ecosystem?
Part of the remit during Discovery is to understand who our users are and what their needs and pain points are. It is anticipated that there will be various types of users, both internal and external and including service providers. The scope would then be based on the recommendations of the user research.
15. Are the end users of this solution only probation officers or is it to be made available to other service providers
Part of the remit during Discovery is to understand who our users are and what their needs and pain points are.  It is anticipated that there will be various types of users, both internal and external and including service providers.  The scope would then be based on the recommendations of the user research.
16. Will there will be requirement for any additional work such as DevOps and Platform automation and integration into CI/CD processes?
The team will be required to stand up their own CI/CD pipeline, typically following our standards in Github/CircleCI.
17. We wanted to inquire as to what the full technical requirements and stack were for this opportunity and what percentage of the programme is software engineering focused?
Our technology stack is based around microservices architecture and a cloud first approach. The technical skills required are in our primary languages of Kotlin/Java, NodeJS/Javascript, HTML/CSS, PostgreSQL RDS, GitHub and CircleCI. Deployment is in helm/terraform code to a Kubernetes cluster on AWS, and the suite of AWS services are available.
18. Can you say anymore about the underlying tech stack relevant to this procurement / capability.
Our technology stack is based around microservices architecture and a cloud first approach. The technical skills required are in our primary languages of Kotlin/Java, NodeJS/Javascript, HTML/CSS, PostgreSQL RDS, GitHub and CircleCI. Deployment is in helm/terraform code to a Kubernetes cluster on AWS, and the suite of AWS services are available.
19. Are you able to give an indication of the upper limit of the available budget or a budget range?
We do not intend to provide a budget range or upper limit for the budget for this procurement. Suppliers should reach their own conclusions as to the values for this procurement.
20. Are you able to give an indication of the upper limit of the available budget or a budget range?
We do not intend to provide a budget range or upper limit for the budget for this procurement. Suppliers should reach their own conclusions as to the values for this procurement.
21. Nice to have question ‘Self-directed and comfortable taking delivery ownership for research, analysis and recommendations development.’ Can you please confirm if you are talking about any specific type of research (e.g. Market research, user research, technology research), or if any research is applicable?
We refer to any research pertinent to the outcome.
22. Regarding the Nice to have question ‘Self-directed and comfortable taking delivery ownership for research, analysis and recommendations development.’ Can you please confirm if you are talking about any specific type of research (e.g. Market research, user research, technology research), or if any research is applicable?
We refer to any research pertinent to the outcome.
23. The ‘nice to have skills and experience’ mentions ‘operational stakeholders’ – could you please expand on this, providing examples of types of roles or types of teams they may be part of?
Operational stakeholders are people who are not direct users of the service but have a view, for example on the service in what it should do and be. For example, probation leadership.