Awarded to BJSS Limited

Start date: Monday 5 July 2021
Value: £4,000,000
Company size: large
Department for Work and Pensions

Transforming Universal Credit and Working Age (UCWA) citizens experience when accessing DWP support

19 Incomplete applications

15 SME, 4 large

18 Completed applications

10 SME, 8 large

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 30 March 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 6 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 13 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
DWP are transforming the journeys that working-age citizens experience when they access support. We are looking for a supplier(s) to work on time-constrained Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) projects to develop and deliver packages of work to build our digital product set that will improve claimant journeys (schedule 2.4 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/digital-outcomes-and-specialists-5-legal-documents)
Latest start date
Monday 21 June 2021
Expected contract length
Initial term 12 months; extension term up to an additional 3 months, subject to governance
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Department for Work and Pensions
Budget range
The budget is up to a maximum ceiling value of £4m ex VAT. This is not a commitment to spend up to this value and the Authority reserves the right to consume at its discretion.

About the work

Why the work is being done
To achieve better outcomes for citizens, our objective is to transform the digital journey and claimant experience by designing and delivering user-centric services which provide clear information and a consistent and joined up user journey.

The Department require a flexible supplier(s) to respond to urgent digital projects, where an individual or squad of individuals are required to work alongside Buyer staff in “multi-disciplinary agile teams”, within 10 days of engagement of each SOW
Problem to be solved
The Department is unable to scale at a sufficient speed to respond to the transformation agenda for citizens and is looking to the supplier(s) to assist us in doing this
The Department therefore needs access at short notice to resources that can design, build, and deliver digital services. We are looking at placing teams within two weeks to deliver digital outcomes.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. Our products and services are used every day by citizens. Our citizens need to be able to access and understand what help and support can be provided and enable a simple responsive service. They need to be able to find the right service, progress their claims, and provide a minimum amount of information for DWP to make timely decisions that are easily understood.
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
Projects will be at various stages and suppliers will be briefed relative to specific statements of work
Existing team
DWP operates in a multi-disciplinary environment for digital solutions. Teams consist of various digital agile roles with a combination of permanent and external supplier resources. Preferred bidders will be required to collaborate across multiple teams and multiple disciplines.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Primary Hub locations; London, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester but expectation of significant remote working
Working arrangements
Suppliers will deploy resources at short notice within DWP, to deliver discovery or development outcomes. The majority of work will be hub based or remote working – the hub and working arrangements for a particular project will be specified in each Statement of Work.

We anticipate concurrent Statements of Work, not likely to exceed 5 at any one time.
A single statement of work may require multiple teams.
Security clearance
Minimum BPSS, some Security Check (SC) or above. If SC not currently held and required, the resource must meet the criteria including a 5-year continuous residency in the UK and NI and be willing to go through the process. DWP will sponsor supplier staff through the clearance process.
Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/united-kingdom-security-vetting-clearance-levels/national-security-vetting-clearance-levels

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
This requirement is likely to be a mix of a supply of resource and outsourced managed services, therefore off-payroll working rules (IR35) may/may not apply. DWP will determine if off-payroll working rules apply, prior to each individual statement of work.
All vendors are obliged to provide sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of GDPR and ensures the protection of the rights of data subjects.
For further information please see the Information Commissioner's Office website:https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

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
  • Describe your experience within the last 3 years of delivery across large, complex, multi-functional programmes, utilising the full range of DDaT roles particularly at intermediate and senior levels
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of working within an AWS/Azure cloud infrastructure environment with Continuous Integration /Continuous Delivery (Gitlab, Jenkins, Docker, Hashicorp suite of infrastructure products)
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of breadth of understanding across a range of technical domains including, Microservices/event driven architecture/database administration (MongoDB and Postgres).
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of skills in Software Engineering (full stack and or front/back), HTML5 and associated front end frameworks, Java, JavaScript, API Gateways.
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of skills in Test Automation and associated frameworks i.e. Selenium, Cucumber, JMeter.
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of delivering product/services that meet user needs and delivers value, feature prioritization and stakeholder engagement
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of skills in user-centered content design-understanding user needs and designing content around those needs.
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of skills in interaction design, understanding user journeys and use prototypes to deliver services and products.
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of skills in planning and conducting user research, including utilisation of analytics to develop an understanding of user need.
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of skills in end to end delivery management using agile (Kanban/Scrum), coaching and team development.
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of developing and implementing outcomes that meet accessibility requirements - WCAG 2.1 AA
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of utilising and implementing Government Digital Service Design Standards (GDS) and GDS assessments.
  • Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of designing-in security controls, and managing enterprise risk / security assurance and IT Heath Check activities.
  • Using at least one example, illustrate your process for understanding client-requirements and deploying multi-disciplinary team(s) into established or blended teams for a digital project within 10-working days of engagement.
  • Demonstrate how you have successfully embedded multi-disciplinary teams (full or partial), with the right cultural fit, into established project teams to deliver successful outcomes within a constrained timeframe.
  • Explain how one of your teams developed work requiring data & process to be handled with elevated security measures. How did you ensure delivery against organisational data security standards?
  • Describe how will you manage DDaT resources to meet demands of concurrent Statements of Work from this contract alongside your existing contractual obligations?
  • Describe how will you help DWP ensure delivery confidence, affordability and value for money whilst delivering outcomes on time sensitive projects?
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of working within DWP or a comparable organisations (in terms of size and complexity - public or private sector within the last 3-5 years).
  • Describe your expertise in open–source technologies /Python/SQL/R programming and using these to deal with complex unstructured data using a range of coding practices to build scalable data products.
  • Provide at least one example of developing rapid prototypes of data-driven tools, hypothesis testing with stakeholders and end users, and developing machine learning models.
  • Provide evidence of how you have been successful in working collaboratively as part of a blended team whilst meeting a service commitment

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • FOR INFORMATION ONLY: APPLICABLE TO 2nd STAGE RFP
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets our policy or goal
  • How risks and dependencies have been identified and approaches offered to manage them.
  • Team structure and estimated timeframes for the work
  • Value for money
  • Social values
Cultural fit criteria
  • • FOR INFORMATION ONLY: APPLICABLE TO 2nd STAGE RFP
  • Experience of outcome based delivery in an empowered multi-disciplinary environment sharing knowledge within and external to the team.
  • Evidence of user centered design developed with comprehensive citizen/agent user research to understand user needs
  • Ability to communicate effectively to express freedom of thought and innovation, positively challenge and act as an advocate for change
  • Ability to own problem statements and take accountability for driving and defining successful outcomes
  • Evidence of working in a transparent and visible way that drives performance, ownership, trust and eliminates surprise.
  • Evidence of a culture of continuous improvement where individuals learn from past mistakes and offer improvement opportunities
  • Evidence contribuation to Corporate Social Value
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there a rate card cap?
No
2. Who is the incumbent?
This is a brand new piece of work, therefore there is not an incumbent supplier.
3. What roles do you anticipate you need?
We are looking for supplier(s) to provide skilled capability with the full range of DDaT roles outlined in the DOS framework. We require a skill mix to ensure teams or work packages are not solely staffed with inexperienced people. Evidence that suppliers have the existing capability in these areas or the ability to source will be sufficient. As a guide the current skill mix of the teams is 10% awareness, 42% working, 37% Practitioner and 10% Expert.
4. What are the procurement timescales?
Indicative timelines:
Sift Scoring and moderation = 13 - 16 April 2021

Stage 1 notices issued with RFP Documentation to shortlisted suppliers = 21 April 2021

Stage 2 deadline for responses = 30 April 2021

Supplier presentations (optional) = 3 – 5 May 2021

Evaluation scoring and moderation = 6 – 10 May 2021

Contract drafting / internal governance = 12 May – 4 June 2021

Anticipated start date of contract = 7 June 2021
5. Who will be on the panel, and what are there roles?
This information is not available at the sift stage.
6. Will consortium bids be considered?
We welcome and encourage consortium bids, and there is no need to notify us in order to submit such a bid. The consortium will need to select one of its members to be the 'prime' who submits the bid, and then that supplier's bid should reflect where it relies on subcontractors to deliver core elements of the service, where appropriate.
7. Can suppliers use off-shore resource to deliver?
DWP will not be able to support off-shore resources as suppliers will need to work on our infrastructure using DWP hardware and kit. This cannot be done from offshore. Any supplier staff will need to be based in the UK and NI.
8. Is this procurement in scope of IR35?
This requirement is likely to be a mix of a supply of resource and outsourced managed services, therefore off-payroll working rules (IR35) may/may not apply. Check Employment Status for Tax (IR35) assessments will be carried out prior to each individual statements of work.
9. What is the delivery infrastructure?
Infrastructure has already been created and is hosted on Amazon Web Services. Successful bidder will build any solutions to problems using the DWP infrastructure on AWS, including CI/CD. Initial work packages will be AWS focused. Outcomes will be based on suppliers developing on top of DWP infrastructure. Skilled capability especially in the DevOps space for development through to test is required on AWS.
10. What stage is the procurement at?
There are several existing and future projects at various design and development stages from Discovery, Alpha, BETA through to Live stages. Projects are resourced and their service outcomes met from multiple DWP feature teams with combination of experienced Departmental staff, contingent labour and suppliers from other contract frameworks. The scale and extent of DWP change has however promoted the need to expand these teams and create new teams.
11. Are you able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research?
DWP can recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research. However, we welcome proposals from supplier(s) on their conduct and sourcing of users for research which we may take advantage of. Where applicable and for cost/efficiency, there may be opportunities to collaborate with DWP user research teams where similar research is being conducted and share/exploit so this should be seen as a collaboration with the existing DWP user research teams.
12. You ask for experience of GDS Service Design Standards and GDS Assessments. Will you accept Scottish Government Digital First Service Standards and Assessments as an equivalent?
We will accept both UK Cabinet Office Government Digital Service and Scottish Government Digital First Service Standards and Assessments as an equivalent.
13. As you have specifically asked for descriptions of ‘extensive’ experience can we assume that multiple examples at a lower level of detail would be preferred in each response rather than a single, more detailed, one?
Yes that is correct.
14. Can you provide some guidance on the scale and types of teams that you will be looking to deploy? will they be working As a dedicated team cross functional or used As part of ‘rainbow’ teams delivering services?
This will depend on the outcomes in each individual SOW, therefore it could be a dedicated team looking at one particular service or providing delivery as part of a DWP team.
15. Is Azure Cloud used in this Project and would you require a Microsoft Azure partner to accomplish the delivery?
Yes, Microsoft Azure may be utilised however being an Microsoft Azure partner is not a requirement.
16. Outside of GDS we have worked to a variety of very taxing and similar standards with commercial enterprise organisations in the UK :these standards have all been implemented and launched live : is it critical to have worked recently directly upholding the GDS standards and GDS assessments..please advise ?
Yes it is critical, therefore please demonstrate experience utilising GDS standards and assessments.
17. • “Can you confirm whether you are looking for a single supplier or multiple suppliers to fulfil the requirements over the period in question?
• “You mention this requirement is likely to be a mix of a ‘supply of resource’ and ‘outsourced managed services’. Are you able to provide further clarity on the likely split and/or scope of services?”
• “Where you reference multi-disciplinary teams, other than the DDaT professions can you clarify whether any other skillsets are likely to be required?”
1) This will be a single Lot, however we welcome and encourage consortium bids.
2) This will be dependent on each Statement of Work.
3) This is for DDaT roles only.
18. Can you please clarify how the commercial element will be evaluated? Will it be based on the capped price or a rate card (or a mix of both)?
Evaluation of the Commercial element will be available in the next stage of the competition.
19. For Q6 (Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of delivering product/services that meet user needs and delivers value, feature prioritization and stakeholder engagement) do you wish us to discuss a) where we built a service that itself provided prioritization and stakeholder engagement or b) services where we used prioritization and stakeholder to build a service?
We are looking for supplier(s) to provide extensive experience in where services have been built to meet user's needs and have delivered value and where that has been achieved through stakeholder engagement and prioritisation of features.
20. Please could you clarify what is meant by ‘service commitment’ in the question below
‘Provide evidence of how you have been successful in working collaboratively as part of a blended team whilst meeting a service commitment’
Service commitment refers to where a Supplier has been involved in delivering specific service outcomes and deliverables as part of a blended team.
21. In relation to the question below, would you accept experience with alternative technologies to MongoDB and Postgres?
‘Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of breadth of understanding across a range of technical domains including, Microservices/event driven architecture/database administration (MongoDB and Postgres).’
No. Suppliers can include technologies in addition to those listed but not instead of.
22. In relation to the question below, would you accept experience with alternative technologies to Gitlab, Jenkins, Docker and Hashicorp?
‘Describe your extensive experience within the last 3 years of working within an AWS/Azure cloud infrastructure environment with Continuous Integration /Continuous Delivery (Gitlab, Jenkins, Docker, Hashicorp suite of infrastructure products)’
No. Suppliers can include technologies in addition to those listed but not instead of.
23. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
They are used for shortlisting suppliers only. A separate RFP will be issued to successful shortlisted suppliers.
24. Will the supplier be able to subcontract work if needed?
Yes as long as the supply chain is clear, transparent and enables delivery.
25. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would you expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed ‘exceeding’ and score 3 marks?
For a score of 3 it would be expected the answer provided not only matched the exact requirement, but also provided additional relevant information needed to 'exceed' the requirement.
26. Is there expected to be any occasion where the new supplier will be working under the direction of another external supplier or vice versa?
No, only in the scenario where a joint bid was submitted.
27. Do you either require or prefer that public sector examples are cited rather than private sector examples? Or, if we have a relevant private sector example, will it be given equal consideration to a public sector example?
Public sector experience is preferable but relevant private sector examples will be given equal consideration as long as there is still demonstration of working to GDS standards within the examples.
28. For the first evaluation round (evidence), are you expecting suppliers to explain their approach and give an example of this working succesfully?
Yes
29. What is the process if the supplier had to turn down an SOW requested and how will this impact their opportunity for future work?
All SOWs will be agreed by both parties and as there is no minimum commitment if a SOW is rejected this will not have an impact on future opportunities
30. Are DWP able to confirm what is meant by the Government Digital Service Design Standards (GDS)? We are aware of the GDS Service Manual, the Service Standard, and the GOV.UK Design System.
The link below details the GDS Design Standards
https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/service-standard
31. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated? Specifically, you mention different types of work that may bring different day rates for individuals e.g adding capacity into a DWP-managed team vs a full supplier team delivering an outcome.
Price will be evaluated in the RFP stage
32. Are you only awarding one contract as part of this procurement?
Yes
33. Roughly when does the expected timeline of 10 working days start? E.g Once DWP notifies the supplier or once requirements are understood and agreed?
The 10 days timeline begins from the point in which the SOW is agreed.
34. Will the supplier have the opportunity to work with DWP to inform and help define requirements for pieces of work ahead of them being requested?
Yes
35. Is there a minimum expected amount of work that the new supplier would be offered under this contract? Obviously, there is a decent amount of presales work to put in for no guarantee at the moment.
No, there is no minimum commitment for this Agreement.
36. Are you able to please confirm what ‘elevated security measures’ refers to in the 16th skills and experience question?
This refers to security measures above BPSS.
37. Will there be potential for flexibility around deployment times if the supplier requires slightly longer than 10 days to start the new piece of work?
There will be flexibility but any need to take longer than the 10 days will need to be made clear when SOW's are agreed. However Suppliers must demonstrate the 10 days could be met and provide scenarios as to when longer timescales may be necessary.
38. What will be the approach to designing pieces of work for the successful supplier to potentially take on?
DWP and Supplier will have continued engagement and all SOW's will be created and agreed together.
39. Would you prefer (and therefore score better) an organisation with experience of managing outcomes and providing a proven approach to assuring delivery, or would a recruitment-style agency with a history of providing individuals into roles score as highly?
The preference would be for the supplier(s) to themselves have experience of managing and delivering. However if a recruitment-style supplier can clearly demonstrate delivery then this will also be considered.