Awarded to Opencast Software Europe Ltd

Start date: Friday 12 November 2021
Value: £0.01
Company size: SME
H M Revenue and Customs

Digital Delivery Centre support for new HMRC services

14 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 5 large

20 Completed applications

9 SME, 11 large

Important dates

Wednesday 28 April 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 5 May 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 12 May 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
HM Revenue and Customs is looking for a supplier who can bring a wide range DDaT skills, knowledge and experience to help meet delivery demand for new customer-facing digital services, bringing new public facing user journeys from Discovery to Live service.
Latest start date
Monday 2 August 2021
Expected contract length
24 months, with an optional 6 month extension
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
H M Revenue and Customs
Budget range
Estimated to be in the range of £40m - £70m over 2 years

About the work

Why the work is being done
HMRC is the UK’s tax and customs authority. It collects the money that pays for the UK’s public services and gives financial support to people.

HMRC is a high-volume business with almost every UK individual and business is a direct customer.

Our network of state-of-the-art digital delivery centres (DDCs) enable HMRC's customers to self-serve their tax affairs using multi-disciplinary, agile teams to create and build new digital services.

Our services reduce the tax gap through making it easier for users to do the right thing, and reduce contact costs through automating the interaction.

To build on previous delivery success, HMRC is looking for a partner to help with new digital service development bringing a range of DDaT capability covering user-centred design and technical skills.
Problem to be solved
HMRC require a partner to deliver both the design and technical aspects of new front facing digital services developed in Scala using a micro-service architecture, meeting Government Digital Service standards.

This will include (but is not limited to) providing technical agile specialists incorporating work in scrum teams and delivering in phased sprints.

Specific delivery requirements will be managed through outcome based statements of work covering a variety of new service initiatives.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users of our digital services include a range of taxpayers, and their agents managing tax affairs online.

We build services that encourage and facilitate users to use digital channels, designing for accessibility and incorporating services to assist users unable to to use digital channels.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The contract will support new/greenfield service discovery/delivery.

Existing transitional contracts with suppliers will expire on 30th September 2021. We anticipate the new supplier will onboard prior to any contract transition.
Existing team
You will be expected to work alongside civil servants and contingent labour.

We will look to provide support from Product & Delivery roles where suitable, assigning a Product Manager responsible for acceptance of deliverables.

Our delivery centres also include suppliers supporting existing beta/live products and services, and co-working should be expected dependent on the service.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Delivery centres are in the following locations:
• Worthing,
• Newcastle,
• Leeds,
• Telford,
• Edinburgh
Working arrangements
All work will be completed in line with Covid-19 restrictions and our 3rd party access policies.

We expect a significant portion of work can be completed remotely/at supplier's office location, however resources will be expected to attend key agile ceremonies where a multi-supplier model is in place.

No additional expenses will be chargeable to HMRC for travel or accommodation in the agreed base office locations per Statement of Work. Travel expenses will be paid in line with HMRC Travel & Subsistence policy.
Security clearance
All must have BPSS as a minimum.

Preference is for contractors in certain roles to already hold SC clearance, however we would be willing to sponsor the SC clearance process at the supplier's expense.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The supplier will have had experience working to the UK Government’s Service Standards (

The supplier will provide HR management support to each individual resource. Any capability or behaviours concerns will be raised by HMRC to the supplier, who will then need to act on these. HMRC will have the right to move an individual off of the account if standards of capability or behaviour are breached.

All expenses must be pre-agreed between the parties and must comply with the HMRC Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy (

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
  • Experience holding a significant multi-team contract within a large organisation in last 2-years providing relevant skills, roles and resources against a variety of technologies required to form a delivery team.
  • Have demonstrable experience of successfully developing services using a variety of pragmatic and appropriate Agile approaches.
  • Proven expertise using Scala and the Play! Framework to develop cloud-based micro-service architecture services with both HTML web frontends and JSON APIs.
  • Competency with using Splunk, MongoDB, Oracle, Grafana, Jenkins, GitHub and familiarity with building and maintaining cloud-native applications.
  • Advocacy of test-driven development practices, writing quality unit tests/code and demonstrable experience devising / implementing automated testing capability, including testing at different levels (e.g., unit testing and UI-driven testing).
  • Demonstrable experience of using design and user research to develop services which adhere to the UK Government’s Service Standards (
  • Supplier will have demonstrable experience of creating end-to-end user journeys, using evidence and user research findings to create easy to use services from complex policy.
  • Experience completing user research working with seldom-heard groups, for example, people with access needs or low digital literacy.
  • Demonstrable experience of collaborative working with a client's ‘in-house’ teams, including coaching and mentoring, and knowledge sharing.
  • Demonstrable experience of providing additional and/or value added activities when acting in the role of a partner supplier to an organisation
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of working alongside and coordinating activities with other delivery partners as a part of larger IT deliveries, including participating in “joined up” testing activities.
  • Demonstrable Experience in designing to style guides and pattern libraries, in line with Government Service Standards
  • Demonstrate experience of designing systems for use across multiple services, identifying the simplest approach from a variety of approaches.
  • Demonstrate experience in carrying out evidence based iteration of deliveries
  • Demonstrate experience of creating journey maps and service blueprints and understanding the value these artefacts bring to a delivery.
  • Demonstrate experience of using Product vision, Product Roadmap and of Product backlog prioritisation management
  • Demonstrate a working understanding of accessibility considerations and standards that must be adhered to
  • Experience of presenting and explaining design decisions, with the ability to facilitate discussions within the team or with diverse senior stakeholders, to balancing stakeholder needs with those of the user.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
Technical capability as demonstrated in their written examples, and during the presentation.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Describe how you will create employment, re-training and other return to work opportunities for those left unemployed by COVID-19, this could include workplace schemes /opportunities for Digital apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • Describe how your organisation will create employment opportunities particularly for those who face barriers to employment and/or who are located in deprived areas.
  • Describe how your organisation will create opportunities for entrepreneurship and help new, small organisations to grow, supporting economic growth and business creation.
  • Describe how you have improved workplace conditions that support the COVID-19 recovery effort including effective social distancing, remote working, and sustainable travel solutions
  • Describe your plan to create a diverse supply chain to deliver the contract including new businesses and entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs, VCSEs and mutuals.
  • How will you demonstrate collaboration throughout the supply chain, and a fair and responsible approach to working with supply chain partners in delivery of the contract?
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
The evaluation team will be made up from suitability qualified representatives from a mix of the Commercial/Finance and Technical functions.
2. Who is the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
The DDCs currently utilise the following suppliers under DOS :
Equal Experts
We also have two prime suppliers Capgemini and Accenture who will continue to work in the DDC's alongside our new contracts under DOS and TS2.
3. 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?
Publish Requirements: 28/04/2021 - 12/05/2021 - Now live The Authority may change this timetable at any time. Suppliers will be informed if changes to this timetable are necessary. Evaluate/moderate: 13/05/2021 - 27/05/2021 Presentations/Case Study: 28/05/2021 - 11/06/2021 Evaluate/Moderate: 12/06/2021 - 26/06/2021 Internal and External Governance: 27/06/2021 Contract Award: end July 2021 TBC
4. We note that the scope of this work is the same as an ongoing Technology Services 2 procurement. Please provide more detail on how the two procurements relate and how DDC work will be allocated between the two contracts.
The DOS contract is for new build, TS2 covers transformation of existing services and the running of Live Services.
5. HMRC have in place multiple DOS contracts for DDC work, is this a single DOS procurement or the start of a series?
This is planned to be the single procurement for new build.
6. Could the Authority please share the key bid timelines like bid result date.
Please see response to Q3
7. Is the intention of this procurement to replace all the existing suppliers (Opencast, Equal Experts, Mercator, Capita and eSynergy) with one supplier or might you potentially divide the work up between a number of suppliers?
This procurement will replace all existing contracts with our incumbent DOS suppliers with one contract for new build work. We also have two TS2 contracts out to cover transformation of existing services and the running of Live Services.
8. Will the existing suppliers (Opencast, Equal Experts, Mercator, Capita and eSynergy) be able to bid for this opportunity?
9. The Payment Approach is listed as “fixed price”. Will this definitely be the case or could it potentially be delivered as either T&M, Capped T&M or blended T&M/Fixed price?
Use of fixed price for each Statement of Work is the preferred commercial model. Where it is difficult to define the scope of any delivery activity, we may commission work on a ‘Time and Materials’ basis, using rates agreed in the contract.
10. If the Payment Approach will indeed be fixed price can you please advise how this will work in practise given this will be an agile delivery? Additionally can you please advise at what stage we will need to commit to a price within the bid process and what information will be provided in order for us to cost the work properly?
We will provide a set of high level outcomes as part of the statement of work, the fixed price will be based on the statement of work at the time of writing however we understand that there may be change to the fixed price subject to variation based on the business/user needs or legislative changes.
11. . Will this definitely be the case or could it potentially be delivered as either T&M, Capped T&M or blended T&M/Fixed price?
See response to Q10
12. Are you intending to award this as a single contract to a single supplier? Is this a replacement for your previously awarded contracts for design and digital development support at your various DDCs? Alternatively, is this a replacement for one of your two Prime Contractor contracts which are due to expire this Summer?
See response to Q7
13. Will the scores of this shortlist stage be carried forward to ITT/Stage 2? If yes, what is the weightage for stage 1 out of the total score of 100% ?
We can confirm the scores at shortlist stage will be carried forward to Stage 2 the weight being 10 % of the overall 55% Technical Competence on Essential and NTH criteria - Split 75% on Essential and 25% on Nice to Have Criteria. The minimum pass mark of 2 across the board 2='Met' across the board so minimum is 200 on EC and 160 on NTH.
14. Are you looking for a sole supplier or is this going to be awarded to mutiple winning suppliers?
See response to Q7
15. Does HMRC expect a transfer of employees to take place?
If so, please can HMRC confirm
• when detailed TUPE data will be provided?
• and what level of data will provided?
We don't envisage a transfer of employees, therefore this is not a level of detail that can be provided at this stage.

16. Please can HMRC provide a definition of the term ‘New’ with respect to the New Services in the title of this procurement? Does it comprise new services resulting from policy / legislation change and new User Journeys to existing services?
In this context, 'New' relates to the build of new services resulting from policy / legislation change. New user journeys for existing services would be dealt with by our new TS2 providers.
17. Can the Authority confirm the anticipated level of requirement for SC cleared resources (e.g. by number of resources, frequency or duration of requirement)?
This is not a level of detail that can be provided at this stage, any requirement for SC cleared resources will be detailed in the individual SOW.
18. Please can you confirm if there is a minimum number of supply chain partners and/or SMEs required for this bid?
We have no set requirements for there to be any supply chain partners and/or SME's for this bid.
19. Please can you confirm if there are any specific geographic locations the work would be undertaken in or would it be spread across all the HMRC DDCs? Or will the resources be located at Supplier premises with travel to client site?
The Digital Delivery Centres are in Worthing, Newcastle, Leeds, Telford and Edinburgh, however there is an expectation that DDaT services may be required at other locations across the HMRC Estate. The expectation is that suppliers will work offsite, where attendance at an HMRC location is required this would highlighted in the SOW
20. Please can you confirm what the relationship / hand-off is between digital services developed in the TS2 lots (Lots 1 and 2) which are currently in progress?
Once the new build services have been created and delivered under DOS these would be handed across to the Live Service Team (Lot 2 of TS2). If a major change was required to be made to the service (i.e. more than 2 sprints worth of work, which equates to approx 4 weeks) then the Live Service Team would hand this is to Transform (Lot 1 of TS2) for the work to be completed.
21. Is it permissable to provide HMRC examples as part of our responses?
22. Is HMRC open to offshoring of resources as part of this procurement?
23. How will the client assess and score the evidence submitted against the Essential and Nice-to-have skills and experience, in order to shortlist suppliers for the next stage?
We will look at evidence supplied in relation to the Essential and Nice-to-have skills to determine whether the supplier has met each of the specified requirements, allocating a score between 0 where the requirement has not met and 3 where the requirement has been exceeded.
24. Could you provide a copy of the scoring matrix and confirm if there is a minimum pass score, varied score weighting across the skills and experience requirements, etc.
The Scoring Matrix as defined by DOS sets the Scores as 0 = Not met or no evidence, 1 = Partially Met,2 = Met and 3= Exceeded. The minimum pass score is 2 for each criteria and for essential skills ( 7.5%) of technical score the weightings are as below;
1 Experience… 10
2 Have… 10
3 Proven expertise.. .15
4 Competency.. .10
5 Advocacy… 15
6 Demonstrable)… 10
7 Supplier... 10
8 Experience… 5
9 Demonstrable ... 10
10 Demonstrable.. 5

The Nice to have criteria has no weightings and will form 2.5% of the technical competence score
25. One of the Nice-to-have skills and experience is “Demonstrate experience of designing systems for use across multiple services, identifying the simplest approach from a variety of approaches.”Please confirm, is this experience of designing systems from a UR/UX perspective, technical perspective, or both?
26. What percentage of time will supplier teams be expected to be working in HMRC offices, versus working remotely?
See response to Q19
27. What percentage of time will supplier teams be expected to be working in HMRC offices, versus working remotely?
Repeated question
28. Is there the same ‘Prime’ plus ‘SME’ supplier arrangement as with the other TSP digtial delivery contracts? If so, does a minium % of revenue need to be passed on SMEs by prime suppliers?
No. See response to Q18
29. After the award of the contract, what would happen to ‘new’ services that are mid-delivery? Would they be transitioned from existing teams?
We expect to transition any new service that are mid-delivery to the new DOS Supplier.
30. From a resourcing point of view, how will these DOS contracts for ‘new’ HMRC services work alongside other digital delivery contractual frameworks? Eg. Other TS2 contracts for support / development, plus the existing non-DOS contracts that run until 2022?
Once the new build services have been created and delivered under DOS these would be handed across to the TS2 Run Team. If a major change was required to be made to the service (i.e. more than 2 sprints worth of work, which equates to approx 4 weeks) then the TS2 Run Team would hand this is to the TS2 Transform Team for the work to be completed. The current existing non-DOS 'Prime' contracts will continue to be used alongside the new contracts to support Build, Transform and Run until the contract expires at the end of June 2022.
31. What will the interaction and hand-off between delivery teams for ‘new’ services and teams for support / development (other TS2 contracts) typically look like?
See response to Q20, there will be a documented hand over process that you will need to follow.
32. How will outcome based statements of work be scoped, and outcomes measured? Eg. aligned delivery of certain functionality, sprint goals, GDS phases of agile delivery, or other?
The Statement of Work will cover a description of the requirement and the deliverables including acceptance criteria - detailing outputs and outcomes expected. Our HMRC Lead Product Managers will be responsible for agreeing that the deliverables within the SoW have been met.
33. Will different suppliers be appointed for specific DDC locations, or will one successful supplier span all DDCs? If so, is there any limit on the number of DDC locations that can be awarded to one supplier?
One supplier will span all DDC locations
34. Do you anticipate working in single supplier teams?
Ideally yes, although the teams will also include HMRC resource (civil servants). The teams could potentially also include either contingent labour or other Service Providers where the Supplier is unable to provide all of the capacity or capability needed.