This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 9 April 2021
Home Office, DDaT, BICS Technology Portfolio

FBIS - Sponsorship Organisation Services Development

12 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 1 large

28 Completed applications

18 SME, 10 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 26 March 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 2 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 9 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Home Office Digital, Data and Technology (HODDaT), Borders Immigration and Citizenship Systems (BICS) need agile development teams to deliver organisation-centric caseworking services to support the UK visa sponsorship transformation.
Latest start date
Monday 17 May 2021
Expected contract length
2 Years
Location
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Home Office, DDaT, BICS Technology Portfolio
Budget range
Up to £4.9m

About the work

Why the work is being done
As part of the Future Borders and Immigration System (FBIS), the Home Office is transforming the UK Visa Sponsorship Service, building on our existing architecture to improve the service for users and allowing it to be run more efficiently. The transformed service will replace the legacy system currently in use.
Problem to be solved
Sponsors are organisations such as businesses or education institutions. We need to enable organisation-centric case working, to fit with our existing person-centric model for other services. Caseworkers will need to be able to see and work with details of organisations and the people linked to them.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a sponsorship caseworker, I need to be able to access and work with details of sponsoring organisations, and the people linked to them, so that I can complete sponsorship cases.
As a visa caseworker, I need to be able to check details of sponsoring organisations so that I can process visa applications.
Early market engagement
None
Any work that’s already been done
High level discovery work on the overall sponsorship project is in progress. Person-centric products are already in use and may provide patterns and learning that will be useful for this work.
Existing team
The successful supplier will be working with other supplier teams to deliver a supportable end to end service. Demonstrable track record of collaboration in a similar environment is essential.
Current phase
Discovery

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Metro Point, Croydon but Working from Home during Covid-19 Lockdown rules
Working arrangements
The team is expected to be available during standard Home Office working hours. Expenses will conform to Home Office internal policies and will not be payable within the M25.
Security clearance
CTC as a minimum. Those working with production environments or data must have SC clearance. The department will support the application process.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
None

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
  • Provide evidence of expert understanding of iterative, user-centred design and delivery and how this will be applied to deliver services, working within an evolutionary architecture among other interconnected products.
  • Provide evidence of working with data and extending data models to support new use cases.
  • Provide evidence of delivering a best-in-class product-centric approach, demonstrating successful delivery, deployment and adoption focused on end user value and experience.
  • Provide evidence showing your ability to deliver products/services within government with a focus on NFRs, service resiliency and engineering excellence.
  • Provide Evidence of experience in delivering containerised applications, manage delivery pipelines, and containerised deployments of large-scale projects in the cloud environment.
  • Provide Evidence of experience of strong and rapid continuous delivery practices approach to service continuity.
  • Provide evidence showing your ability to provide suitably skilled resource, rapidly mobilise and scale up a full team, flex resource or pause, when required.
  • Provide evidence of transparent financial structures and fair pricing, showing how value for money will be achieved for the duration of the contract.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide evidence of resources that have existing SC clearance that will support the speeding up of on-boarding teams.
  • Provide evidence of experience of handing over a service to another team, including service transition.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Identify named team members including CVs and relevant experience
  • Ability to mobilise the team quickly and approach to service continuity
  • Ability to flex up and down resources, whilst ensuring quality and consistency
  • Approach and methodology for delivering successful outcomes for the requirements outlined
  • Approach to ensuring value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Provide evidence detailing the ability to function effectively and collaborate in a multi-supplier environment.
  • Provide evidence of working successfully in complex public sector organisations.
  • Provide evidence of their approach to proactive issue management, problem resolution and improving ways of working.
  • Provide evidence of transparency in decision-making.
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Are you planning on moving to or is there an existing deployment of Kubernetes?
This is a new service and will be built in a pre-existing containerised cloud-based environment.
2. What technologies are being used and which cloud service is preferable for deployment?
The solution will be deployed to internally managed AWS-based cloud platform with the pipeline using Kubernetes, Docker, Terraform, Jenkins, Helm, Maven.
3. Please provide details of the existing tech stack
This is a new service that will be built using the selected and approved tech stack, mainly comprising: AWS, Kafka/MSK, RedHat, Java, Spring, Elasticsearch, PostgreSQL, various industry standard open-source libraries, with testing (among other things) using Junit, Mockito, Selenium.
4. Is there an incumbent supplier working on this service?
No
5. Do you have a preferred technology stack for this service?
The service will be built using the selected and approved tech stack, which mainly comprises AWS, Kafka/MSK, RedHat, Java, Spring, Elasticsearch, PostgreSQL, various industry standard open-source libraries, with testing (among other things) using Junit, Mockito, Selenium.
6. Will you be applying a rate cap for roles under this contract? If yes, can you please tell us what these rate caps are?
Yes - Home Office Optimus Programme Rate Caps will be applied to this procurement. Full details will be supplied as part for the specification document to the shortlisted bidders.
7. Thank you for providing a overall budget. Please can you specify what the maximum day rates will be for suppliers
Home Office Optimus Programme Rate Caps will be applied to this procurement. Full details will be supplied as part for the specification document to the shortlisted bidders.
8. Would you consider nearshoring services?
No
9. Kindly let us know if there is preference for any Technology stack or is the selected vendor expected to suggest technology choices based on work that will be done in next phases? If decision has been made on technology choices, can you share those please.
We have an approved tech stack with which this service should be built. Tech Stack mainly comprises: AWS, Kafka/MSK, RedHat, Java, Spring, Elasticsearch, PostgreSQL, various industry standard open-source libraries, with testing (among other things) using Junit, Mockito, Selenium.
10. Can you please elaborate what ‘engineering excellence’ means to HODDaT?
Provide a technology solution that is innovative, performant, resilient, secure, reusable, easy to change/update, conforms with best practice architecture and engineering principles, uses of Dev Ops and SRE thinking.
11. Can you advise which “person-centric” products are already in use and what an example likely product or output would be?
The existing person-centric products record and allow management of people, their details, and relevant immigration-related events. They present caseworkers with a summary of the details held about a person, and allow the outcomes of checks to be recorded against that person as part of making a casework decision. The organisation-centric services will enable the equivalent activities to be carried out for sponsoring organisations, and will need to integrate with the rest of the BICS architecture.
12. If the intention is a new build, what is your preferred architecture for the future solution?
The future architecture is outlined already, and it is based on combined event-driven and micro-service-based modular architecture.
13. Please advise if this will be a new build or is the development of existing architecture.
This will be a new service, but it will be built to interact and integrate with the existing set of services in the architectural landscape.
14. Could you please let us know what the existing technology architecture is made up of to help us identify the technical skills required to work in this environment.
The solution is based on the Event-Driven and Micro-Service based architecture. Application services are exposed using interfaces exchanging JSON data payloads using APIs and Events. The main tech stack comprises: AWS, Kafka/MSK, RedHat, Java, Spring, Elasticsearch, PostgreSQL, various industry standard open-source libraries, with testing (among other things) using Junit, Mockito, Selenium.
15. We note that the deadline provides only 8 working days to complete this response, please could we extend the submission deadline to 13th April given the Easter break?
We are unable to extend the current deadline.
16. Can you advise who the service owner will be please?
There will be a DDaT product manager.
17. You mention that the high level discovery work is underway can you let us know who the current provider is please?
The high-level discovery in progress is being carried out by a mixed team of civil servants and supplier resources.
18. Given the switch to distributed working over the past year and the value for money that that offers. Would the Home Office be open to distributed working with regular on-site meetings throughout the duration of the contract?
Yes.
19. High level discovery work on the overall sponsorship is in progress” – is there a timescale on this work, when could we expect it to be completed? Will this discovery work impact the requirements?
The high-level discovery will continue, to support delivery teams in technical discoveries throughout the overall project. We do not expect the high-level discovery to impact the requirements for the organisation services, although we expect that the supplier will carry out a technical discovery to clarify the details.
20. Does the Home Office anticipate that this work will be carried out by an initial team that will grow into a full delivery over a period of a few months?
The scale of teams over time will dependend on the lower level designs and the timelines required to meet overall programme deadlines. The high level scope is already agreed.
21. Can you be more explicit on containerized apps – are you using specific products for containerization already and if so which ones?
This is a new service, but it will be built and deployed onto existing internally managed AWS-based platform. Predominantly Java/Spring-based applications are built and deployed using Kubernetes, Docker, Terraform, Jenkins, Helm, Maven.