Awarded to Agile Management Solutions

Start date: Thursday 1 July 2021
Value: £4,600,000
Company size: SME
Department for Education

Financial Systems Digital Delivery Team

16 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 3 large

14 Completed applications

10 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Tuesday 2 March 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 9 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 16 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
We are looking for a delivery partner to deliver and develop our Financial Systems and Services. The delivery is a mix of continuous improvements to the financial systems and the end to end identification and delivery of new systems and service delivery as defined on the Programme pipeline.
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 June 2021
Expected contract length
2 Years
West Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Budget range
A pipeline of activity is foreseen over the next 24 months. The current committed budget is £4,664,400 (£2.3m - year 1) and are not to exceed the approval limits with the potential to extend to £2.3 million for year 2.
The indicative budget against the requirements for this capability is £2,33m per year, but that scope could expand or contract.
The Department will define the delivery requirements within each Statement of Work and the Supplier will be expected to provide a breakdown of requirements to fulfil this deliverable. Each SOW will define the cost of deliverables to enable tracking.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The DfE is responsible for timely and secure distribution of circa £100bn of public funds to educational institutions and suppliers. The Department financial accounting system is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) we continually develop the business processes by making improvements to system and developing functionality to support audit findings, there is a programme of Continuous Improvement which includes BC and move to BC Enhancements (aligning to SaaS), to harmonise all the entities/companies within BC so that all are utilising the same standard operating model. Improve the End-to-End service for eInvoicing, implement Primary and Secondary payments services and support/develop the integrations to other services across the Departments infrastructure. The development of the financial systems and interfaces is paramount to ensuring the Department can fulfil its ‘Lifeline 1’ to continue to account, pay and distribute funding securely and timely to educational institutions and suppliers. The Departments financial systems have a defined pipeline of developments to improve and develop over the next 2-years.
Problem to be solved
The DfE require a delivery partner to fulfil the digital delivery and development of the DfE's financial services. This will require a wide range of technical and delivery roles to successfully deliver significant change. The delivery team will form a programme of work and will be responsible for; the successful end-to-and delivery of a harmonising the entities/companies within Business Central to ensure that they have the same (where appropriate) standard operating model, to develop enhancements for Business Central to secure the move to SaaS, deliver existing pipeline of improvements to Business Central via a backlog of requirements, ensure security patches are deployed to Business Central, implementation of a payments solution, secure the eInvoicing capability and develop and enhance the supporting API's. We anticipate that the team will be required to deliver outcomes for 5-10 projects at any given time.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a Delivery Team process owner you need to ensure that providers and suppliers receiving funding for learning and education are paid accurately, securely and timely supporting processes of internal teams. You need to collect information from various internal allocation services, providers and suppliers to ensure accurate and timely payments are made. This is done to enable delivery via funding to educational institutions across England can continue deliver child and adult education. The Delivery Team will need to be able to engage with a range of internal stakeholders and suppliers to support requirements gathering and delivery of the scope of the Programme pipeline.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The Corporate Systems Reform Programme (CSRP) has recently completed a considerable consolidation of the finance IT estate bringing together multiple products into a single solution and providing new BAC’s and Invoicing capability. Discovery work is now complete to harmonise all the entities within Business Central and develop improvements and work on Alpha has commenced. The other projects are at various levels of maturity and delivery, ranging from Discovery through to Live. Existing services are in a state of continuous improvement with an ongoing pipeline of Agile releases already planned.
Existing team
The supplier will receive Statements of Work (SOW), they will engage with a coherent delivery team. They will engage with other managed services and Suppliers. The wider DfE's finance community will actively define scope of the pipeline. We are looking for a range of standard GDS roles to deliver the Departments Digital requirements to improve and develop the financial systems/interfaces. The work will be defined by a SOW detailing either an outsourced managed service or resources. A high proportion of the requirements is expected to be a managed service. The supplier will need the capacity to meet both scenarios.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The Supplier will need to be able to deliver managed services virtually conducting home working during the pandemic.

Usually the primary location of the deliverables will be at Cheylesmore House Coventry. It is expected that most of the daily work will be completed on site, with travel to other DfE sites to support business facing workshops and meeting as required to support digital deliverables and requirement gathering. However, Managed Service can deliver work where they see appropriate. During the pandemic it is expected that the delivery partners are able to deliver capabilities by working at home.
Working arrangements
Due to the importance of the service, the Delivery Partner will be issued a Statement of Work detailing the digital work commitment. Delivery progress will be governed via and existing Governance Board and Steering Group chaired by the SRO. The oversight of the work will be the responsible Deputy Director (SRO) and any role the Department supersedes this with during the life of the Contract. The supplier will be required to provide weekly progress/performance updates to the Head of Financial Systems and any role that the Department moves these responsibilities to.
Security clearance
The successful supplier will need to be security cleared, or be willing to undertake SC level within 4 weeks of the Contract being awarded. This is due to access to sensitive material and occasional access to particularly sensitive material such as intelligence on national security threats.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE Travel and Subsistence Policy. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with DfE standard T&S policy. Primary work location stated in SoW will not attract expenses. No parking is available on site.

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
  • Significant experience in delivery of large-scale finance projects including ERP implementation
  • Experience of delivering / developing software that complies to Government security guidelines or equivalent
  • Experience of delivering and continually improving services that utilise Microsoft Azure hosting and API Management
  • Ability to easily scale resources up or down based on project needs and work effectively and collaboratively with other delivery teams to achieve shared goals and objectives
  • Experience in Agile Business Analysis and product backlog creation and management
  • Strong understanding of technical and business use of Dynamics Business Central, EInvoicing and Bacs technology. Knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central Enhancement developments required to move to SaaS
  • Experience of using GDS Design Principles and Digital Service Standard or equivalent deliver public facing digital services, outlining the principles applied, methods adopted and ability to deliver successful outcomes
  • Experience of working with a Microsoft Gold Partner
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working in partnership with technical delivery teams
  • Experience in designing services that meet both user needs and business objectives
  • Experience of complex database management
  • Experience of managing and proactively engaging internal stakeholders and building relationships to support digital/business transformation

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrable experience of technical competence in the identified technologies / processes and delivery practices
  • Demonstrable experience of understanding/ability to deliver finance products/services
  • Demonstrate approach to knowledge and skills transfer and experience of doing this
  • Demonstrate a transparent financial structure and fair pricing for the Service
  • Demonstrate experience in the identification of key assumptions, dependencies, risks and issues, with robust mitigation plans
  • Evidence of your ability and approach to deploying multiple high quality resources remotely and at customer locations
Cultural fit criteria
  • Approach to developing a "One Team" approach and experience of implementing
  • Demonstration of a proactive approach, taking responsibility for work and resolving issues quickly, without an over-reliance on the client team. Please provide an example of when this has taken place.
  • Demonstration of working collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary team and experience of doing so
  • Demonstrate your experience focusing on delivery and achievement of goals whilst taking responsibility and owning your own outcomes
  • Social Value Provide evidence of your company's approach to diversity and inclusion and your ability to manage the wellbeing of your team (10% of the overall marks).
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who’s in the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
The incumbent Supplier is Agile Management Solutions this supplier has been in place since June 2019.
2. Who’s on the panel?
The Civil Servants on the panel are the:

Head of Financial Systems
Head of MI Development
Service Improvement Manager
Category Manager
3. Does this require any amount of providing operational support for live systems ?
We assume the question is referring to whether the contract will provide Support and Break fix provision for the live systems, if this is what this question is relating to the answer is no, this Contract will not provide operational support for the live system. Please note that live systems are out of scope in DOS.
4. What is expected in Presentation?
The presentation requirement will be released to those that successfully transition in the next round of the Procurement to demonstrates the key skills and requirements identified for the scope of digital delivery.
5. Can you please confirm what different types of resources are required? Also share total number of resources required under each type.
The estimated roles for this programme are listed below, the deliverables will be defined quarterly in a statement of work:
• Delivery Management
• Programme Management
• Project Management
• Business Analysis / User Researcher
• Data Architecture
• Microsoft Dynamics developments
• Communications Management
• Project Support
• API development
• Technical Architecture
• Software Testing
6. Can you clarify what you mean by “Experience of working with a Microsoft Gold Partner”?
The successful Delivery Partner will be working directly with a Microsoft Gold Partner to support delivery, you must understand the ways of working and requirements of a Microsoft Gold Partner.
7. We are a Gold partner. Will we be working with other suppliers/partners?
8. Are you open to two suppliers delivering this in partnership?
The delivery partner must be able to fulfil all our requirements, we are looking for one delivery partner to manage this requirement.
9. Can you clarify your question ‘Experience of working in partnership with technical delivery teams’.
We will be providing a technical delivery team, so who will we be partnering with (eg. in a blended team, other DfE teams, other 3rd party/supplier teams)?
You will work with some internal resources as follows SRO, Subject Matter Expert, Change Management and internal teams when requirement gathering and testing associated to the Projects. You will also work with Contracted Suppliers to support delivery. The expectation is that you will be given a statement of work and have to be able to deliver the key deliverables defined.
10. Can you please clarify the working relationship with your other Gold Partner. For example, will we be jointly delivering the same solutions? Delivery independent but related solutions? Working in blended teams?
The Gold Partner will develop the code within the financial systems. The Delivery Partner will provide the digital expertise clearly articulating the requirement and leading delivery.
11. Will one of the Gold Partners be the lead?
You will work collaboratively to deliver the Project requirements, ensuring the delivery is scoped and delivered as required.