Awarded to TSO - The Stationery Office

Start date: Thursday 1 April 2021
Value: £228,000
Company size: large
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

MHCLG data collection/grant admin service (DELTA) Live,Technical Supp & Development CPD4121004

10 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 2 large

5 Completed applications

4 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Tuesday 26 January 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 2 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 9 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
MHCLG has a key role in understanding local areas,to inform policy decisions,collecting money from Local Authorities for business rates and making payments.We developed a service called Delta,which has been in live beta since March2019.

Support availability Mon–Fri 9AM–5PM.SLA’s would be agreed with the successful supplier to meet the service needs.
Latest start date
Thursday 1 April 2021
Expected contract length
2 years
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
Budget range
For the support element of the contract, we would expect a budget in the range of £10,000 to £12,000 a month with an annual limit of £140000. Additional development and support up to £1m a year may be included dependent on budget/business case approval.

About the work

Why the work is being done
MHCLG has a key role in understanding local areas, in order to inform policy decisions, collecting money from Local Authorities for business rates, and making payments.

We have developed a service called Delta, which has been in live beta since March 2019. In accordance with the Service Standard, we need to continue operating the service as well as delivering continuous improvements.
Problem to be solved
The key problems that continue to need to be solved, written as challenge statements for the relevant supplier are:
•How might we minimise the number of support tickets being created for the service by users, ensuring efficiency for internal staff by reducing any delays in data collections and grants?
•How might we minimise long-term support and hosting costs, to provide MHCLG with good value for money?
•How might we help users to feel more confident that Delta is a reliable service by reducing downtime and bugs?
•How might we better notify users about their actions and activity on Delta?
•How might we enable users to complete tasks on Delta without requiring workarounds or support?
•How might we ensure that Delta is compatible with user’s existing tools/systems?
•How might we reduce users’ dependency on their support network and increase their ability to diagnose and resolve issues on Delta?
•How might we enable users to view and plan around the upcoming data collections required from them?
•How might we make data collections easier to set up and manage?
•How might we make users and organisations easier to manage?
•How might we develop and expand the API functions for data collections in Delta?
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a grant owner I need to complete transactions through Delta so that I can ensure grants are paid on time.
As a treasurer, I need to see all the grant payment transactions, so that I can think strategically about funding.
As a grant reviewer, I need to review grant-related reports, so that I can ensure payment figures are accurate.
As a general user, I need to be able to diagnose and get issues with Delta resolved quickly, so that I can perform within my role.
As a policy team, I need the data in Delta to cascade from a previous returns so that I can ensure we receive payments from external organisation.
As a collection manager, I need to ensure data providers are aware of collection deadlines, so that I can complete the data collection on time and use the data to publish stats.
As a collection manager, I need form design to be quality assured, so that the data coming from Delta is usable for analysis.
As a data provider, I need the option of transferring data directly into the Delta database, so that I can upload data onto Delta.
Early market engagement
There has not been any early market engagement undertaken.
Any work that’s already been done
Over the past eighteen months, a number of iterative improvements have been made to Delta. These include:

•Working towards WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility, starting with external user facing pages
•Moving to a new helpdesk support supplier -Exela
•Resolving bugs and issues within the system to reduce the support queue
•Improving the interface, performance and form journeys to make the service more efficient for users
•Adjusting the workflow in place for the service, to help more users fix problems themselves
•Working towards the development of a Delta API, starting with the homelessness case level data collection
Existing team
From MHCLG Digital, a Product Manager and Delivery Manager dedicated to DELTA will work full time with the team along with an SEO supporting DELTA internal users.
Our current external support team in an average month consists of three Developers, a Quality Assurance Engineer, a Technical Architect full time and 2 developers supporting the day to day operations on a part time basis.

The supplier, will also be working with representatives from the business teams in MHCLG, including subject matter experts.

Due to shared AWS and MarkLogic infrastructure of DELTA, there will be a need to collaborate with other suppliers.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remotely, but also 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF where conditions allow for a couple of days a week.
Working arrangements
We would like the supplier to work in an agile way with us. The team are used to remote working practices, but if Covid-19 workplace restrictions reduced, we would like to co-locate with reps of the successful supplier where possible at least 2 days a week to have the opportunity for face-to-face meetings.
Security clearance
If return to office happens during the contract, CTC level clearance will be required as a minimum with SC level clearance for system admin access. Supplier should state each individuals clearance level assigned to work on DELTA.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
1. All outputs will be owned by MHCLG and published openly where appropriate using a suitable open license that supports reuse.
2. All materials/outputs derived from the contract shall be the property of MHCLG.
3. GDPR requirements will be discussed and agreed once the successful supplier has been notified (as part of discussions to agree the wording of the call-off contract).

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
  • Show evidence of MarkLogic Database skills or NoSQL database architecture
  • Have experience of Orbeon Forms
  • Have experience of Xquery skills
  • Have evidence of Agile working methods
  • Have experience of Jaspersoft reporting
  • Have experience of supporting live services
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have GDS Service Standards and GOV.UK design system knowledge
  • Have experience with WCAG accessibility standards

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical stack fit
  • Approach and Methodology
  • Team structure/roles and time allocation
  • Team day rates, CVs & work history
  • Confirm security level clearance
  • value for money
  • development approach
  • NOTE:Pricing Scores for evaluation will be calculated assuming 21 working days per month of the roles below, these are for evaluation purposes only. Provide daily rates for each.
  • Senior Developer, Business Analyst, Quality Assurance, Second-Line Support, Junior Developer, Technical Architect.
  • Scoring Criteria for the Written proposal -Technical Competence and Cultural Fit will be scored individually using the following Criteria:
  • Score 0 = Failed to provide confidence that the proposal will meet the requirements. An unacceptable response with serious reservations.
  • Score 25 = A Poor response with reservations. The response lacks convincing detail with risk that the proposal will not be successful in meeting all the requirements.
  • Score 50 = Meets the requirements – the response generally meets the requirements, but lacks sufficient detail to warrant a higher mark.
  • Score 75= A Good response that meets the requirements with good supporting evidence. Demonstrates good understanding.
  • Score 100=An Excellent comprehensive response that meets the requirements. Indicates an excellent response with detailed supporting evidence and no weaknesses resulting in a high level of confidence
  • In the event of a tie the highest score in the Technical Competence section will be used to award
  • Presentation (estimated to take place early March 2021)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Challenge status quo
  • Ability to manage challenging and diverse stakeholder needs
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. It seems to me that you have built a system which is not working very well. Would it not be better to rethink the issue? And if you are seriously asking help to make this new system work, for someone to answer there is a need to know much more about the system you use! A better system to collect data could cost less than 150K£
This is a critical service for the department and needs to continue to operate while we consider options from a product perspective. Our current thinking is to improve elements of this service and re-build others. The latter may be covered by other DOS opportunities.