Awarded to Capgemini UK plc

Start date: Monday 10 May 2021
Value: £2,225,000
Company size: large
Livestock Information Ltd

LIP Testing & Deployment Services

22 Incomplete applications

19 SME, 3 large

30 Completed applications

20 SME, 10 large

Important dates

Published
Monday 1 March 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 8 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 15 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Testing and Deployment services in support of replacing three existing livestock movement recording systems with a single multi species system. New system is being deployed on Microsoft Azure and uses the Azure DevOps tool to support continuous development, deployment, and testing.
Latest start date
Tuesday 4 May 2021
Expected contract length
Up to 24 months
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Livestock Information Ltd
Budget range
Up to £2,250,000 excluding VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Livestock Information Programme (LIP) is a joint government-industry initiative to create a single system of registration and tracing for livestock in England. LIP is being led by AHDB on behalf of Defra and will replace three existing services; ARAMS (sheep), BCMS (cattle) and eAML2 (pigs). Different transition phases of the programme deliver incremental live services, known collectively as the Livestock Information Service (LIS).

LIS will collect data on multiple species in one place making disease prevention and management faster and more effective. More effective collection and use of livestock information through multi-species livestock tracing can ensure greater resilience and responsiveness to disease and improved food safety. The ability to connect data across the UK livestock sector has the potential to produce on-farm and sector-wide productivity and efficiency improvements.

As LIP moves towards delivering the first of several service transitions from the three existing services to a single multi-species service, LI has a need to procure an intelligent 3rd party deployment and testing service.

LI Ltd is looking for an intelligent managed service provider, leveraging relevant industry and technology experience, delivering managed deployment and testing services working in conjunction with LI Ltd personnel, 3rd party suppliers and stakeholders as required.
Problem to be solved
Multiple teams have been developing new systems, which are now required to be deployed, integrated, and tested on a newly provisioned MS Azure tenancy.

We need to complete the following:
• Planning, preparation and execution of interface, integration, system, end to end, operational acceptance and service model testing.
• Build an internal automated deployment and testing capability, so that applications, bug fixes, new features etc. can be repeatedly deployed and tested. Azure DevOps is currently being used, but opportunities exist to improve how it is being used and to ensure it is being used consistently in support of continuous delivery.
• As the system being developed is replacing three existing systems, there will be a need to test data extracts, initial & delta data uploads.
• As three existing systems will be decommissioned at different times, the transition to the new live service will be phased. Testing and validating these transition steps and testing transition step rollbacks is also required.
• Package and deploy artefacts on multiple environments using automation in support of continuous delivery and service lifecycle management.
Who the users are and what they need to do
WHO
Keepers and handlers (e.g., markets, holding locations, abattoirs etc.) of cattle, sheep and pigs within Great Britain use existing services to record the births, movements and deaths of animals either on an individual basis or as part of a flock or herd.

WHAT
The databases of animals and their movement records are relied upon in the event of any disease outbreak in support of decision making to limit the spread of disease. Knowing where animals are and where they have been is essential so that in the event of a disease outbreak, damage to the economic outputs of the farming community is minimised, food standards are maintained and industry economic output is minimally affected.

The new multi species service being developed by LI will fulfil current and future statutory obligations to record animal movements and, by working closely with industry representatives, will drive improvements in the timeliness and quality of data collected; provide insights through data analytics and improve industry outcomes.

A major goal is to provide a paperless method of reporting animal movements, a UK wide view of animal movements and traceability and to embed continual industry improvement by using actionable data insights.
Early market engagement
None
Any work that’s already been done
Development, integration and transition plans are being developed and so deployment and testing plans need to be developed which are consistent with these.

A high-level test approach has been documented, but this needs to be revisited in line with maturing development, integration and transition plans.

An initial test catalogue is being developed, but this needs to be reviewed and matured in line with development, integration and transition plans.
Existing team
A Test Lead, Test Coordinator and Test Analyst are in place. There are also x2 Manual Test Analysts and x1 User Experience tester embedded within development sprint teams.

Via 3rd parties, we have provisions in place for Accessibility and Penetration testing.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Due to COVID-19, work will need to be predominantly undertaken remotely.
If travel permits, there may be some attendance at workshops at a suitable location in the UK.
Working arrangements
Work may be carried out remotely. Attendance at offices across the UK may be required, within COVID-19 restrictions and after a risk assessment and subject to current guidance and legislation.
Security clearance
BPSS

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
N/A

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
  • For all Essential criteria that state recent experience, please provide the year of the project within your answer. Please insert n/a in the response field for this guidance
  • Recent (within 2 years) experience in creating and communicating an organisational deployment & test strategy.
  • Recent (within 2 years) experience of planning and resource level of effort estimation for deployment and testing environment.
  • Recent (within 2 years) experience in deployment and test script creation & execution within an Azure tenancy.
  • Recent (within 2 years) experience in test traceability to input artefacts, test scripts & interpretation of test execution results.
  • Recent (within 2 years) experience in testing at the API layer.
  • Recent (within 2 years) experience in interface, system, end to end, transition, and service model testing.
  • Recent (within 2 years) experience in data testing and ability to analyse & communicate test outcomes.
  • Demonstrable experience in volume, performance, security, failover & recovery testing and documenting outputs in test reports & defect logs.
  • Recent (within 2 years) experience in the use of automation in support of deployment and testing.
  • Experience in Azure DevOps tool use.
  • Recent (within 2 years) experience of deployment and testing within Microsoft Azure tenancies.
  • Recent (within 2 years) experience of effective stakeholder engagement and facilitation to support decision making and ensure buy-in.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of re-using any existing deployment & test harnesses.
  • Experience in an Azure tenancy, enhancing automation, continuous delivery and delivery pipeline efficiencies.
  • Experience of working within environments with complex hierarchical decision making structures and where multiple stakeholders have differing levels of digital awareness.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Proposed approach to the integration/testing of off the shelf, custom, SaaS, 3rd party software and integrations including to government systems as part of transition and go-live.(max score: 13)
  • Proposed approach to testing the introduction of new features, enhanced functionality, defect fixes and platform layer patches post go-live. (max score: 13)
  • Proposed approach to the creation and maintenance of cost-effective automated testing packs which belong to and can be maintained by LI in the future. (max score: 13)
  • Proposed approach to automated deployment & automated testing within an Azure tenancy. (max score: 13)
  • Proposed approach to identifying and prioritising continuous delivery improvements in order to accelerate the dev/test/go-live pipeline whilst maintaining/improving quality. (max score: 13)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate ability to collaborate and communicate with personnel at all levels of the organisation in a diverse environment, including with other suppliers. (max score: 3)
  • Demonstrate ability to be innovative and achieving value for money in all activities. (max score: 3)
  • Evidence how you drive best practice and demonstrate knowledge sharing to proactively build internal capability. (max score: 3)
  • Approach to developing a “One Team” approach, work as a team, collaborate, establish good working relationships, generate team spirit. (max score: 3)
  • Evidence how you actively promote diversity, inclusion and remote working. (max score: 3)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

65%

Cultural fit

15%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Are the ”x2 Manual Test Analysts and x1 User Experience tester” part of the existing team or part of the separate DevOps provision and therefore not covered under this Digital Outcome?
The x2 Manual Test Analysts and x1 User Experience tester are part of existing teams.
2. Is there an incumbent supplier working with LI Ltd to deliver the converged system? If so, can you share who that is please?
There are numerous 3rd party suppliers working to deliver the converged systems including, but not limited to CGI, Shearwell and Microsoft.
3. Is there an incumbent supplier working with LI Ltd to deliver the converged system? If so, can you share who that is please?
Amendment - There are numerous 3rd party suppliers working to deliver the converged systems including, but not limited to CGI, Shearwell, Fibonacci and Microsoft.
4. Could you clarify who the test supplier would be working with/to, for example to manage defects or issues?
The successful supplier would be working to a Programme Test Manager as part of the programme delivery workstream.
5. What is the profile of staff you envisage, and would you require more than one team?
The resourcing profile is for the shortlisted suppliers to determine based on the requirements in the RFP.
6. With regards to BPSS, do you accept applications from suppliers with legal entity in UK but also employing offsite (in EU), so people who are not resident in United Kingdom?
Every individual working on behalf of LI is required to have passed BPSS screening. Whilst the specific location of individuals is of no concern, work will be required to be performed during UK working hours and as per the working arrangements detailed on the opportunity, there may be a need (subject to COVID-19 restrictions and guidance) for face to face meetings in the UK.
7. Please can the Department clarify what it means by ‘service model testing’?
Service model testing refers to the testing of processes and activities related to provision of service activities.
8. We understand that the Department’s existing team consists of ‘a test lead, a test coordinator, and a test analyst’ and that and that there are also ‘two manual test analysts and a user experience tester’ in place. Is it the Department’s intention for the successful provider to replace this team, or add to it?
Initially, we would expect the successful supplier to add to this team. Over time, we would expect existing test resources to be replaced as and where appropriate.
9. We understand that DEFRA already has an (existing) Azure-based software delivery platform in place. Is it the Department’s intention to run these services from this platform?
LI is implementing its own dedicated Azure-based software delivery platform.
10. Some of our delivery team members are located nearshore (Bosnia) will we be able to use these team members on this delivery?
Whilst the specific location of individuals is of no concern, work will be required to be performed during UK working hours and as per the working arrangements detailed on the opportunity, there may be a need (subject to COVID-19 restrictions and guidance) for face to face meetings in the UK for which expenses would need to be met by the Supplier. Please also see the answer to question 6.
11. Recent (within 2 years) experience in creating and communicating an organisational deployment & test strategy
Can LI please clarify and explain the above question in more detail?
LI is looking for potential suppliers to demonstrate their recent (within 2 years) experience in creating and communicating a strategy for the deployment of artefacts into a cloud environment in readiness for testing. Also for potential suppliers to demonstrate their recent experience in creating and communicating a testing strategy for testing multiple systems and interfaces to one another and 3rd party systems on a cloud environment in support of transition, service go-live and business as usual service management.
12. Recent (within 2 years) experience in creating and communicating an organisational deployment & test strategy
Can LI please clarify and explain the above question in more detail?
Please refer to Question 11 response.
13. Recent (within 2 years) experience of planning and resource level of effort estimation for deployment and testing environment.
Can LI please clarify and explain the above question in more detail?
LI is looking for potential suppliers to demonstrate their recent (within 2 years) experience in creating plans and estimates for deployment and testing work to be undertaken which can then be used to determine the number of resources required for the work to be completed within programme/project schedules.
14. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
The scoring will be conducted by the LI Programme team. The panel will consist of the following positions; Programme Manager, Quality Manager & Project Manager.
15. 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 can confirm that shortlisted suppliers will have an opportunity to present. At this moment we can only confirm the latest start date 4th May. More information about timelines will be will be provided to shortlisted suppliers.
16. Please provide full details of your current environments and the branching strategy that is utilised?
We are designing our environments and landing zones at present. We envisage a Production, Pre-Production, Testing and Development environments. There is no branching strategy at present.
17. Listed in the “Nice-to-have skills and experience” section of your requirements, you ask for “Experience of re-using any existing deployment & test harnesses.” Can you please provide full details of the test harnesses that it would be nice to have experience of?
At present, we have no automated deployment or automated testing in place. We are looking for potential suppliers to indicate whether they have any of their own existing automation tools or frameworks that support deployment, testing or both within the context of a delivery pipeline within an Azure tenancy.
18. Please provide full details of your current automation environment and its configuration?
At present, we have no automation in place.
19. Please confirm whether the current testing (unit, functional, non-functional and automated) of the application is being conducted using a pipeline or manual approach?
At present, current testing is being done manually.
20. “The Livestock Information Programme (LIP) is a joint government-industry initiative to create a single system of registration and tracing for livestock in England”. Is this a single application for managing all data or a suite of apps that integrate?
The new multispecies system is a single application but it will need to integrate with external 3rd party systems.
21. “LIP is being led by AHDB on behalf of Defra and will replace three existing services; ARAMS (sheep), BCMS (cattle) and eAML2 (pigs)”. Is there a data migration from the three existing services into the single service?
Yes, as part of transition activities, there will be multiple data migration activities.
22. “LIS will collect data on multiple species in one place making disease prevention and management faster and more effective”. How is the data collected/ input into the single system? Web based portal front end?
Data is collected
i) via paper forms and input via a web portal
ii) electronically via application programmatic interfaces (APIs)
iii) via batch uploads
23. "Multiple teams have been developing new systems, which are now required to be deployed, integrated, and tested on a newly provisioned MS Azure tenancy". What assurance, if any, has already been carried out the development that is taking place?
Manual testers have been working in support of development Sprint teams. We are now considering integrating developed components and are starting to look at integration and end to end testing.
24. “Planning, preparation and execution of interface, integration, system, end to end, operational acceptance and service model testing”. Are the integrations across the tracing and registration service components / subsystems or are there integrations to other external services?
In addition to integrations across the tracing and registration service components, there are also integrations to other external services.
25. Can we assume that there are other users / LI stakeholders in the process, such as admin, call centre staff, data analysts? Also “industry representatives” mentioned elsewhere
This assumption is correct.
26. You mention that Development, integration and transition plans are being developed and deployment and testing plans need to be developed which are consistent with these. Are there any key milestones dates/timeframes that need to be adhered to for each phase or are these subject to further planning and agreement?
High level plans are in place. Key milestones are subject to further planning and agreement.
27. Will the winning supplier be responsible for revisiting the high-level test approach to bring it in line with maturing development, integration and transition plans?
Yes.
28. Will the winning supplier be responsible for further developing the test catalogue that is still in development?
The successful supplier is expected to lead on further developing the test catalogue that is currently under development.
29. Can you describe what is meant by test catalogue?
Test catalogue refers to the library of test conditions to be considered for execution for subsequent phases of testing.
30. Is any testing required at the user interface layer of the new system or 3 existing systems being replaced?
No testing of the existing 3 systems is required. Testing at the user interface layer of the new system is required.
31. Will the existing test team of x2 Manual Test Analysts and x1 User Experience tester remain in place for the supplier to work with?
It is anticipated that the existing test team will remain in place for the supplier to work with.
32. Will the winning supplier be responsible for creating the environment framework for development, testing and deployment or is it maintaining and enhancing the existing framework?
The successful supplier is expected to lead on the definition and creation of the framework for deployment and testing, working closely with Microsoft, development and integration teams.
33. Please provide full details of the tools that are being used for building your application technical stack for deployment?
CLA API = ASP.NET Core on .NET Full Framework. Built/tested via msbuild and mstest.
API data stored in Azure SQL.

BFF (Backend For Frontend) = Express.js and exposes an Axios interface used by the UI.
UI = React.js. Both unit tested with Jest.

LUIS UIs = .Net Core (v3.1) with C#, Razor and JavaScript.
LUIS and HKD use Oracle Stored Procedures (inwards) and CSV file feeds (inwards).
Data stored in SQL Server.

REST API/SoapUI are used to exchange information via an Azure integration layer.

Data will be stored and maintained in Azure PaaS services.

Deployment is via Azure DevOps.
34. Please confirm how many pipelines your current DevOps configuration utilises? If it is a single pipeline, please confirm details of how your source code is built, tested and deployed?
Would it be possible to obtain a walkthrough of your current pipeline(s)?
i) Each application has one or more pipelines.

The web application (UI & BFF) has multiple pipelines in support of build, release and pull request environments and is currently deployed as an App Service within Azure. Release pipelines are initiated manually. Testing is done manually. Acceptance criteria are written in Gherkin syntax.

CLA has x7 pipelines (CLA CI, Nightly Functional Test, Deploy New Environment, CLAPerformanceTests, CLA System Tests, CLAAnalyzers, Release CLAAnalyzers)
CLA API is all stored in Azure DevOps.

LUIS & HKD also have multiple pipelines.

ii) No.
35. Please confirm whether any infrastructure is required to be created and/or configured as a part of the deployment?
Yes - Infrastructure as Code (Iac) Azure Resource Manager (ARM) will be used for all infrastructure provisioning.
36. Please confirm where the project source code repositories are located and what the current setup is e.g., GitHub, GitLab, AWS Repos, Bitbucket?
Web application UI source code is held in GIT repositories within Azure DevOps, and uses a single repository to ensure the compatibility of BFF and UI components.

Code for CLA API is all stored in Azure DevOps.

LUIS source code is stored in GitHub locally, but is pushed to Azure DevOps.
37. Please confirm whether a hybrid onshore/offshore model of 20% onshore and 80% offshore in India, working UK GMT hours, will be an acceptable working model?
A hybrid onshore/offshore/nearshore model working UK GMT Hours is an acceptable working model.
38. "The ability to connect data across the UK livestock sector has the potential to produce on-farm and sector-wide productivity and efficiency improvements". This implies that there may be integration with other livestock tracing systems across the UK. Is that the case?
Examples of integrations required include with Abattoirs, Markets and other 3rd party systems. In the future there will be a need to integrate with any other livestock tracing systems in use or to be used in the future by Devolved Administrations.
39. “A major goal is to provide a paperless method of reporting animal movements, a UK wide view of animal movements and traceability and to embed continual industry improvement by using actionable data insights”. What are the “paperless methods”? Does the solution support mobile devices?
At present, approximately 25% of animal movements are initially recorded via paper (before being input into our systems) and 75% of animal movements are recorded electronically. Our goal is to move to paperless methods, but we are not there yet. At present, the solution does not support mobile devices.
40. “Development, integration and transition plans are being developed and so deployment and testing plans need to be developed which are consistent with these”. What deployment methodology is being used?
We have not yet implemented a deployment methodology and are working with Microsoft to set up our Azure tenancy in support of test, transition and live service. We require assistance from the successful supplier to help us define and implement our future deployment methodology.
41. What is meant by testing of platform layer patches?
We mean the testing of any patches to our live service platform. These could be related to applications that make up our live service, integration points, Azure tenancy etc.
42. Does the Authority foresee any issues with the delivery of elements of this requirement using an India-based team? In particular how does BPSS clearance apply to offshore personnel?
We do not foresee any issues with the delivery of elements of this requirement using an India-based team.

BPSS clearance is a requirement for UK based staff.
Please refer to the embedded link for rules for working outside the UK.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/714002/HMG_Baseline_Personnel_Security_Standard_-_May_2018.pdf
43. 1. Our offshore employees are verified for Identity check, right to work check, Basic Criminal Record check, Qualification check, Address checks & Reference checks for the previous 3 years employment
Are these sufficient for remote working?
2. What tools are being used for DevOps life cycle, test management & defect management? Such as, Git, Jenkins, HP QC, JIRA etc.
3. Have you invested in tools for test automation, performance & security testing? If yes, please share. If not, do you have any preferred tool of choice [open source/commercial]
i) BPSS clearance is a requirement for UK based staff.
Please refer to the embedded link for rules for working outside the UK.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/714002/HMG_Baseline_Personnel_Security_Standard_-_May_2018.pdf

ii) We are using Azure DevOps for DevOps lifecycle, test management and defect management.

iii) We have not purchased any test tools and have no preferred test tools of choice.