Awarded to Simply Zesty Limited

Start date: Monday 16 August 2021
Value: £191,209.50
Company size: SME
Derry City and Strabane District Council

Development, hosting and CMS for a New Council Website

41 Incomplete applications

38 SME, 3 large

13 Completed applications

12 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Tuesday 9 February 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 16 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 23 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Design and build a user-centred, mobile responsive and accessible website implemented on a new Web CMS.. The Web CMS must be hosted, highly usable, and provide multi-channel support and must integrate with a CRM in the future
Latest start date
Wednesday 31 March 2021
Expected contract length
2 years with option for renewal for a further 2 years. Expected implementation completion Autumn 21
Northern Ireland
Organisation the work is for
Derry City and Strabane District Council
Budget range
Circa £100,000 - £150,000 (capital) to include all requirements of initial 12-month term (E.g Discovery, User-centred Design, Configuration, Testing, Support, Hosting etc)

About the work

Why the work is being done
Our online customer experience is inconsistent and lacks uniform standards; online information can be out of date, inaccurate, hard to find, inaccessible; lack of knowledge and understanding of customer behaviour to drive decisions based on data; customers can’t access all the services they need to online; customers find inconsistencies between online and other channel offerings; internal systems don’t seamlessly integrate. In 2020 there was over 1219611 pages views, 327488 unique users, with 221728 users using a mobile device which we expect to rise
Problem to be solved
A new corporate website will act as one of the primary customer facing channels of our Digital first programme, offering convenient access and encouraging self-service. This project will deliver a newly designed (based on principles or similar), user-centred, mobile responsive and accessible website implemented on a new web CMS.. The web CMS must be hosted, highly usable, and provide multi-channel support and must have the ability to integrate with a CRM at a later date, The website and CRM must be hosted in the UK and have full Disaster recovery and backup procedures
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our audience is made up of residents, visitors, councillors, staff, businesses and foreign investors. Some examples of usage are:
Residents use our website for finding their bin collection day, paying fines and licences; councillors look for information on council meetings and minutes; staff use the site to provide customers with information; developers and investors for planning applications and investment opportunities; businesses use our website to find events, support and apply for grants and funding as well as apply for licences Foreign investors look to the site for information on the region and the possibly of investing in the Council area
Early market engagement
We have spoken to a number of suppliers and a number of public sector organisations. We have conducted research in to critical capabilities of web CMS.
Any work that’s already been done
An internal working group has been setup to look at individual sections of the website by each department, As part of this project this group will meet with the winning supplier team to scope out the requirements,
Existing team
Currently the web team sit within the Business and Culture department, Overseen by the Digital Services manager, Currently we have 1 permanent web designer and a temporary web support assistant, DCSDC will also be recurring a new senior web and system developer and will hope to have that in place during the project
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Derry City and Strabane District Council, Council officers 98 Strand Road, Derry, BT48 7NN, However due to the current pandemic online meetings via WebEx, Teams or zoom will be used, and an onsite meeting when events allow us
Working arrangements
Kick-off meetings and face-to-face meetings for key tasks, to ensure swift issue resolution, project milestones achievement, and timescales remain on target. Additional onsite meetings as required and allowed . Otherwise, off-site conference calls and weekly reports.
Project workshop meetings with the internal working group to agree specification of site for each department
Security clearance

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
  • Provide a user friendly, robust, scalable, high availability, hosted (cloud based) Website CMS for public sector local government organisations, which offers complex integrated services to a diverse range of users.
  • A back office web CMS for content management and publication, that scales to handle large volumes of data, stored and published in a variety of content format types
  • CMS must have the ability to allow DCSDC staff to full customise the theme and layout of all pages on the site
  • Must be able to submit form data to restful call and display the results
  • CMS Security admin and access control, allowing authorised users to perform full CRUD operations on all data and objects related to website activities (page creation, navigation, content publication, integration).
  • Provide CMS training and knowledge transfer to content publishers and technical administrators, allowing a self-sufficient approach to develop the Website CMS components reacting to future business or legal requirements
  • The creation of additional Web CMS instances for new independent websites using the same platform, having their own identity and styling, pointing to a domain under our control.
  • GDPR compliance following ICO guidelines, with interactive cookie consent banners.
  • Local engagement with DCSDC in-house marketing team and focus groups to help design the website
  • Using primary research and user-centred design approach, design, develop and implement wireframes and templates using UX design concepts and principles, to create an exceptional responsive digital user experience.
  • Modern responsive design for use on multiple devices such as Mobile and desktop, and various browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, edge and safari
  • The design functionality should be flexible enough to allow the in-house web team to change design elements.
  • Compliance with website accessibility standards which adhere to the W3C WCAG 2.1 and Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018, ensuring future continued compliance.
  • Adherence and compliance to hosted (cloud based) websites (CMS) that achieve and conform to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre cloud security guidance.
  • Adherence and compliance for website (CMS) best practice web application security standards, as listed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).
  • Provide business continuity processes and procedures ensuring minimal service disruption; have effective disaster recovery procedures to implement RPO and RTO; with high availability service levels of 99.999% operational uptime.
  • Significant website CMS scalable integration and interoperability capabilities, enabling seamless integration between line of business and bespoke systems, APIs, Restful, Social Media, Maps, Browsealoud and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online.
  • Integration with systems, gov.notify and
  • Testing of website (accessibility and usability), throughout design and development cycle using a range of devices and assistive technology used by their various audiences. User testing of integrated applications
  • Ownership of the site and data will remain Derry City and Strabane District Council, with a full copy of the site available on request.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide technology that promotes digital inclusion within the website CMS, through use of multi-lingual, sign languages, and other forms of communication.
  • Provide functionality within the website (CMS) features to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing with relevant stakeholders, partners and users.
  • Provide chatbots and online chat as a means of user engagement.
  • Facilitate greater user insight for the discovery of information, services, and other content types, through intuitive navigation and site wide search functionality.
  • Website personalisation allowing users to view relevant content of specific interest.
  • Have context awareness through past user behaviour and choice, to make data driven decisions to help guide the user’s journey and deliver relevant content.
  • Provide expertise regarding Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) best practices to help increase visitor usage of our corporate website, and SEO techniques.
  • Provide online booking functionality within the context of a corporate website (CMS), enabling users (and groups) to book attendance at events and slots on tours (free or paid for).
  • Create secure online forms for data capture, file uploads, and processing payment transactions, for both authenticated and anonymous users,
  • Have business intelligence and site analytics capabilities (website data, performance monitoring and optimisation, journey analytics, usage and browsing traffic activity) to obtain customer insights for service improvement.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How the solution meets our essential requirements, showing a clear understanding of our brief.
  • Technical solution offered with two previous examples of successfully delivering and implementing in a public sector local government organisation of equivalent scale.
  • Approach and methodology, with capacity to successfully deliver within our completion timeframe of Autumn 2021.
  • Proactively identify risks and dependencies highlighting approaches to managing these with innovative alternatives that add value and reduce risk.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as part of a team with Derry City and Strabane District Council and our Customer Focus group and marketing team, and technical partners
  • Take responsibility for delivery of work, and build positive successful relationships by sharing knowledge and experiences
  • Be transparent, collaborative, and innovative in terms of problem solving and decision making
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Q1
Do you have a preferred CMS technology to use or are you looking for a bespoke build?
Kentico, Drupal or Joomla.

But will look at others as long as it is secure.
2. Q2
Are you open to consider a fully offsite (remote) process for the entire duration of the contract?
No, Council will like some onsite interaction if possible once the Covid restrictions have been relaxed
3. Q3 You mention integration with a CRM in the future, could you expand on the desired functionality here?
A3 Council currently does not have a CRM, it plans in the future to look at this, Integration between the CRM and the website would be the gathering of data from forms or applications on the website, which then could be directly input into the Council wide CRM
4. Q4 What kind of content format types and data would you be expecting the CMS to handle outside of HTML pages?
A4 High Res Video
High Res Images
Restful API Call
5. Q5 Please could the council confirm that they would accept the use of a proprietary Web CMS where the IPR is retained by the supplier, yet all content and data created by the council will be owned by the council.
A5 Yes, this will be acceptable,
6. Q6 We understand that you currently use Kentico CMS. You mention you require a ‘NEW’ web CMS, yet include Kentico in the preferred list of clarifications – please can you clarify this.
A6 We are currently running Kentico 8 on our current site and would need the latest version of this, or a new CMS system
7. Q7 Hi, one of your essential skills/experience is “Local engagement with DCSDC in-house marketing team and focus groups to help design the website”.
This would seem to be saying that if you haven’t worked with the DCSD in-house marketing team you should not apply (because you would score 0 on this question and that would disqualify us. Is this intentional?
A7 No, you need to specify on your tender document how you have engaged with any in house teams in any development you have done in the past, and how you plan to engage with Derry and Strabane’s council marketing team and focus group to make this project a success
8. Q8 With regards to providing evidence “for public sector local government organisations, which offers complex integrated services to a diverse range of users.”
Please clarify if providing evidence of working with public sector and arms-length bodies is sufficient? Would a supplier be ruled out if they had limited local government experience?
A8 Yes this is sufficient
9. Q9 Hi, how can we provide an example of
“Ownership of the site and data will remain Derry City and Strabane District Council, with a full copy of the site available on request.” It appears to be a statement rather than a question – will you remove this?
A9 No we cannot remove this statement, your response must indicate you will agree with this requirement