This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Wednesday 3 March 2021
DCMS

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Website and Database copy version 2.0

25 Incomplete applications

23 SME, 2 large

16 Completed applications

15 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 17 February 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 24 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 3 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Replace the existing website with the Government Digital Service Design.
Replace the existing database, written in ‘ruby on rails’,
Provide SAAS for QAVS with bespoke functionality
Ensure both are easy to use and maintain.
Transfer maintenance contract at the end of contract life
maintenance has a service plan in place.
Latest start date
Wednesday 17 March 2021
Expected contract length
2 years with 2 year possible extension
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
DCMS
Budget range
Between £120-170k for website, content development, database enhancements, maintenance and software licence.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK. It is part of the Honours System and equivalent to an MBE. It is aimed at groups of volunteers who are providing an outstanding service to their local community and are leading this work themselves. Any voluntary group of 3 or more people can be nominated for the award, as long as they meet certain eligiblity requirements explained in the nomination guidance. Nominations can only be submitted by someone who is independent of the group need to be accompanied by letters of support from two more independent people. Recipients of the award receive a certificate signed by The Queen and a domed glass crystal. Representatives from the group may also be invited to attend a royal garden party.
Problem to be solved
Management of award process
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a QAVS service provider, we need an interactive website and database that serves all user personas ( nominees, nominators, assessors and awardees) to process, promote and retain all nominations and awards so that we can ensure that the quality, integrity and timeliness of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.
Early market engagement
The Queen's Award existing service is unique to the UK, and is similar to the Queen's Award for Enterprise which is run by BEIS. It currently has an existing website and database written in Ruby on Rails. The new requirement is for a nomination and award software service that can support bespoke functionality and provide portability for flexible ongoing maintenance.
Any work that’s already been done
QAVS is administered using an existing website and database written in ruby on rails. User Stories have been captured during the discovery phase and have identified an MVP. The supplier and the QAVS team will need to work through the user stories and conduct back log refinement
Existing team
The supplier will be expected to work closely with the QAVS team and existing supplier using the agile development process.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ
Working arrangements
The supplier will be expected to work with the QAVS team, supplying access to a secure online sharing tool eg. MS teams/jira/ trello- using the agile software development method for full transparency and remote working. The supplier will be expected to attend meetings in London when required.

Expenses are to be included in the Tender price
Security clearance
BPSS

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
standard

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
  • Demonstrate capability to develop MVP for Website by 2nd of June 2021- GDS phases. Provide a description of timescales and provide technical skill with team structure (10 points)
  • Present SAAS technical platform for maintainability and also present options for re-use of existing code currently written in ruby on rails( 5 Points)
  • Demonstrate experience of award and nomination workflow (SAAS) user stories and 'must have' functionality(5 points)
  • Experience of website, marketing and social media(5 points)
  • Experience of Design( UX and integration to database) (5 Points)
  • Experience of seamless data migration (5 points)
  • Able to automate processes and improve efficiency (5 points)
  • Able to offer machine learning and AI for future use (5 points)
  • Provide a service management plan presenting KPI for licence maintenance and continuous improvement ( 5 Points)
  • Manage 600 records per year and archive historical records( 5 points)
  • Able to Develop Ad Hoc reporting (5 points)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Experience of marketing and branding of a government website (10 points)

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
10
Proposal criteria
Supplier will be expected to provide a word document of no more than 10 pages
Cultural fit criteria
Provide evidence of collaboration and continuous improvement
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

70%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Q1. Is the 2nd of June 2021 delivery date for GDS Alpha phase of MVP?
A1. The MVP is for the website and will be in Beta phase
2. Q2. Please could you advise if there is a preferred tech stack for the new database/CMS backend or are you open to other technologies if it better meets your needs?
A2. We are looking for the supplier to recommend the most efficient technical platform that is easy to maintain and enhance
3. Q3. Do you have any requirements for the technical stack used for this project? For example, does the website need to be redeveloped in Ruby on Rails? Is Open Source preferred?
A3. We are looking for the supplier to recommend the most efficient technical platform that is easy to maintain and enhance- Government good practice guide for technology does recommend use of open source
4. Q4. What version of Ruby on Rails is the QAVS currently written in?
A4. The Ruby on Rails framework (version 4.2.11.1) and Ruby (2.3.1)
5. Q5. What database is used to store the current data?
A5. MongoDB
6. Q6. Can you share the Discovery report and “must have” user stories that came out of the Discovery?
A7. We can- it is an excel spreadsheet compromising of user stories
7. Q7. We can- it is an excel spreadsheet compromising of user stories
A7. Discovery phase was conducted by a joint internal and external team
8. Q8. You note experience is required in “award and nomination workflow.” The award system for QAVS is unique to your organisation. Can you share any details of this – or expand on what you expect to see in an answer to this question?
A8. We have a high level workflow which we can share; Appropriate experience might include work on a process that involves receiving applications/nominations, storing them, recording and updating their status, enabling search activity and the creation of reports, sending notifications to the applicants and other stakeholders.
9. Q9. Is developing a custom solution on an Open Source platform for QAVS v2 that meets your user needs acceptable or are you expecting to use a solution based on off-the-shelf software?
A9. developing an open source custom solution for QAVS 2 is an option providing it meets our fixed cost. We would consider an off the shelf software that can be enhanced to meet specific QAVS requirements within the budget set
10. Q10. The first question requires a response detailing timescales, technical skills and team structure. Is it acceptable to provide web links for team details since it will be difficult to cover all the above in the required 100 word limit. Or are you simply expecting this to be expanded in the full proposal if we are shortlisted?
A10. Yes that would be acceptable, with links to case studies or examples
11. Q11. What is the timeline for the shortlisting stage and will there be an opportunity to have a call to discuss this project?
A11. The timeline for shortlisting will happen between the 8-11 of March. Once the shortlisting stage is complete DCMS will advise on any future calls
12. Q12. You mention “Replace the existing website with the Government Digital Service Design”. Does this mean you already have the look and feel, html and css template that can be give to the project, or do you need the us to take brand guidelines, interpret them, and create the look and feel, html and css?
A12. We will ask you to take the brand guidelines and work closely with GDS and our internal content and QAVS team to create 'look and feel'. We would like to see your design and branding ideas, and work with our content team to decide structure. It would also be good to see examples or links to your websites that you have designed in the past
13. Q12. You mention “Replace the existing website with the Government Digital Service Design”. Does this mean you already have the look and feel, html and css template that can be give to the project, or do you need the us to take brand guidelines, interpret them, and create the look and feel, html and css?
A12. We will ask you to take the brand guidelines and work closely with GDS and our internal content and QAVS team to create 'look and feel'. We would like to see your design and branding ideas, and work with our content team to decide structure. It would also be good to see examples or links to your websites that you have designed in the past
14. Q13. Can you supply some details about your hosting expectations. Are you expecting the hosting costs within the budget articulated? What considerations are there for hosting (Cloud, EU based, resilience, backup etc)?
A13. We are expecting it to be hosted off prem and meet all the non functional requirements for backup, resilience etc
15. Q15. You mention the desire to automate processes, to gain efficiencies. Can you provide details of what manual processes you currently have that you hope to automate, or an indication of what type of manual processes you wish to automate?
A15. "These are detailed in the user stories- however we would like the supplier to suggest more efficient ways of managing the workflow. We currently have to download material as a CSV in order to produce bespoke reports. We would like to be able to produce bespoke reports directly from the database.
We currently have to cut and paste a non-confidential section of the assessment report (inputted online) into a single document for people observing the national judging. We would like to be able to create a document/report with this particular information directly via the database"
16. Q16. You mention a future aspiration to use machine learning and AI. Could you give some indications to what this may focus on?
A16. This could focus on alerting the administrators that nominees have already had the award, did not get the reward, or are eligible. It may also want to aggregate volunteer stories and show what 'good looks like' for volunteering
17. Q17. The first question “Demonstrate capability to develop MVP for Website by 2nd of June 2021- GDS phases. Provide a description of timescales and provide technical skill with team structure (10 points)” Do you need us to describe timescales, technical skill, team structure and and overview of how we would do this within the Alpha,Beta GDS phases in under 100 words? Seems an awful lot of topics to cover with so few words.
A17. The first question “Demonstrate capability to develop MVP for Website by 2nd of June 2021- GDS phases. Provide a description of timescales and provide technical skill with team structure (10 points)” Do you need us to describe timescales, technical skill, team structure and and overview of how we would do this within the Alpha,Beta GDS phases in under 100 words? Seems an awful lot of topics to cover with so few words.
18. Q18.What are the future use cases you have in mind for machine learning and AI?
A18. We would like to automate the existing workflow and attribute machine learning support the preparation of citations the assessors
19. Q19. Do you have any preferred SaaS products for awards management that we should incorporate in our response?
A19. We want the supplier to suggest the most appropriate platform that supports the GDS technology requirements
20. Q20. Can you please confirm what you mean by ‘Provide a service management plan presenting KPI for licence maintenance and continuous improvement’?
A20. We will be looking for the supplier to present service offering (e.g response times to incident management or change requests within the price)
21. Q21. Regarding your request for suppliers to “Present SAAS technical platform for maintainability and also present options for re-use of existing code currently written in ruby on rails”, these are conflicting requests. Which of these options are you most interested in suppliers exploring?
A21. We want the supplier to recommend a technical platform that meets the GDS technology framework
22. Q22. To clarify your request to ‘Replace the existing website with the Government Digital Service Design’, are you looking for suppliers to build the new site using the GOV.​UK Design System? And will you be hoping to incorporate custom branding (colour palette, logos, typography etc.)?
A22. Yes, we want suppliers to build a website and work with our content management team to map the user journey. We want custom brand the logo's etc- however it needs to be compliant with GDS accessibility statement
23. Q23. re criterion: Present SAAS technical platform for maintainability and also present options for re-use of existing code currently written in ruby on rails - Is part of this work to help you evaluate SaaS products versus a bespoke service?
A23. Yes that is correct.
24. Q24. In the essential criteria, the first bullet point is a question we would normally see under the proposal criteria and will be very difficult to answer effectively within the 100-word limit.
A24. This question needs to be answered under the proposal criteria
25. Q25. Machine learning and AI are very broad terms, can the buyer specify what applications of ML they envisage for the future service?
A25. Please see previous questions
26. Are machine learning and AI necessary/essential skills or more like nice to haves?
QAVS is looking for an opportunity to streamline existing processes
and improve the ways of working. Suppliers are asked to offer
innovation in this area
27. Can you confirm that the content for the new site will be written
by your content team, aligned to an agreed sitemap with the chosen
supplier?
The content will be written by the content management team and will
work with the supplier to best present that on the new site.
28. There are questions relating the online marketing. Does the
budget of £120-£170k include a marketing budget, or is that
separate?
The marketing budget is included in the existing budget.
29. In several answers to questions you have replied that you can
provide the output of the Beta work and the current user stories etc.
How do we get access to these documents?
Access to the documents will be provided at either shortlist and or award stage
30. There are questions relating the online marketing. Does the
budget of £120-£170k include a marketing budget, or is that
separate?
See above
31. Beyond the development of the platform and new website there
are questions relating the online marketing. Are you expecting a
single supplier to do both the platform delivery and the online

marketing, or for the chosen supplier to work with your online
marketing agency and content team for SEO optimisation and PPC?
We would like the supplier to deliver the platform and also provide
marketing