Awarded to Kainos Software Ltd

Start date: Friday 25 June 2021
Value: £4,500,000
Company size: large
Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO)

Delivery partner for development of a digital death registration service

31 Incomplete applications

28 SME, 3 large

65 Completed applications

42 SME, 23 large

Important dates

Tuesday 6 April 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 13 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 20 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Delivery partner to develop a digital death registration service from Discovery through to Private Beta.
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 June 2021
Expected contract length
30th September 2022. With extension options
Organisation the work is for
Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO)
Budget range
£3m - £4.5m

About the work

Why the work is being done
HMPO, working with Cabinet Office, has the goal to develop a digital registration service to support the registration of deaths in England and Wales by April 2022 . The expectation is to deliver a working private beta service in order to demonstrate benefits in year one and potential benefits at scale following further expansion.

The current service, a combination of manual operations and legacy technology, handles 1.25 million registrations annually, of which 500k are deaths. There is an opportunity to significantly improve the service we offer to users, as well as improve the efficiency of existing data sharing across government.
Problem to be solved
HMPO require a delivery partner to support development of a service to replace outdated legacy technology, manual processes and improve a user journey that can be fragmented and confusing.

Expected new service outcomes;
• Online registration for a death informant
• Notification and status tracking capability
• Integration to digital inputs from NHS
• Online data capture and case-working for Registrars
• Integration to consuming legacy and new services

There is an expectation the new service will be built iteratively and operate alongside legacy services which will continue to be the system of use for all registrations outside of the private beta.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The main users are citizens registering a death and Local Registration Service officials, in particular Registrars who are legally responsible for creating a registration record.

Registration is part of a wider user journey that involves the NHS, Medical Examiners, Coroners, Local Registration Services, Funeral Directors, support groups and others. Citizens are often navigating several parallel journeys at what is typically a very sensitive time. Citizens need a service that is informative, sensitive, straightforward and as seamless as possible as they navigate between organisations. Registrars need the requisite information in order to be able to create a registration and assure it.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
A large amount of pre-discovery work has been completed, this includes an understanding of the current processes, constraints, pain points, user needs and opportunities. This work is part of a larger programme to transform the service lines of life event registration and products from registration, and so befitting that there has been significant organisational strategy and vision work completed. This request is to start detailed discovery, design and delivery work.

The department has an established digital services design, delivery and live running function so the supplier will be expected to build on this foundation and bring innovation where appropriate.
Existing team
There is no existing team or incumbent for this request. However, there is a core team of HMPO colleagues who have been leading the pre-discovery work to date. These include the Digital Service Manager, Business Architects, Technical Architects and business subject matter experts. The supplier will be expected to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders and in particular work closely with the civil registration digital service teams responsible for these services within HMPO.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Westminster, London with possibility to be based at other sites in Croydon, Sheffield,Manchester, Southport and Glasgow.
However, due to Covid-19 restrictions remote working is currently in place.

Once restrictions are eased the supplier will be required to work from a HMPO office the majority of the time, expected to be 3-4 days a week. The client requires the team delivering this outcome to be co-located. Discussion on this and where can be had following capacity considerations and working arrangement discussions.

Whilst remote working is in place, all team members provided must be located within the UK to access HMPO systems.
Working arrangements
A Statement of Work will outline the base location, working arrangements, outcomes and deliverables for the service and delivery phase.

HMPO expects all suppliers to work with and in some cases as part of mixed teams, as such we may require other team members to be embedded as part of the team delivering this outcome.

HMPO will have teams contributing to other civil registration outcomes based in London, Southport, Manchester and Croydon. There will be a requirement from time to time for travel to these or other client sites, further details concerning expenses will be communicated in the subsequent round.
Security clearance
SC is required for all individuals working on this project. Once clearance is obtained, details shall be passed onto the Authority's Contractor Team to be confirmed and complete on-boarding.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
HMPO's current digital services use event driven architecture, are hosted on Amazon Web Services using Docker & Kubernetes on Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), microservices are in Node.js and Java. The supplier will be expected to work within the current infrastructure to ensure that services can be hosted and supported within HMPO's long-term strategy. We want and encourage technical innovation from our partners however, any new technologies need to be able to fit into this infrastructure and support model.

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
  • Demonstrable experience of designing and delivering digital services according to GDS service standards (found here or equivalent standards
  • Demonstrable experience of user-centered design and delivery approaches
  • Demonstrable experience of using agile and iterative principles and methodologies
  • Experience of collaboration in order to achieve successful outcomes for users and the client organisation
  • Experience of or ability to work with the technical stack described
  • Experience of making evidence based decisions using qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Experience of designing and delivering services that cater for users with access and assisted digital needs
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of designing and delivering services within central government or other public sector
  • Experience of preparing for and passing GDS service assessments or equivalent

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach: how the supplier would approach the problem space to ensure the outcome meets user and business needs within the timescale
  • Capability: what roles, skills and knowledge would the supplier propose to deliver the private beta. What is their availability, flexibility and ability to meet the security clearance required
  • Structure and methodology: how will the team be structured, what methodologies and tools will they use in order to deliver
  • Technical stack: how will the supplier deliver the service within the technical stack described. What innovation could they potentially bring
  • Collaboration: how will the supplier achieve a collaborative way of working as part of a wider team made up of civil servants and other suppliers, and across other HMPO teams
  • Stakeholder engagement: how will the supplier approach managing across the disparate interests of internal and external stakeholders in a complex, cross-organisational environment, and operate within the client's governance
  • Knowledge sharing, upskilling and handover: approach to ensuring that knowledge is shared, how they support and upskill new team members and client permanent employees, approach to transition and handover
Cultural fit criteria
  • Evidence of collaborative working across multiple teams made up of client staff and other suppliers to achieve successful outcomes
  • Evidence of ability to operate in an agile context, take a flexible approach, work with ambiguity and adapt to emerging needs and priorities
  • Experience of upskilling and transferring knowledge to permanent employees within a client organisation
  • Evidence of being transparent, having a no blame culture and encouraging people to learn from mistakes
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there an HMPO/Home Office rate card we will need to adhere to in provision of our services?
Below is a full list of the capped day rates that apply across DDaT clusters:
- Architecture: £600(SFIA 3); £750(SFIA 4); £950(SFIA 5)
- Data: £550(SFIA 3); £650(SFIA 4); £900(SFIA 5)
- Delivery: £500(SFIA 3); £700(SFIA 4); £850(SFIA 5)
- Engineering: £450(SFIA 3); £650(SFIA 4); £800(SFIA 5)
- IP Ops: £450(SFIA 3); £650(SFIA 4); £800(SFIA 5)
- Product: £540(SFIA 3); £680(SFIA 4); £800(SFIA 5)
- QAT: £460(SFIA 3); £575(SFIA 4); £800(SFIA 5)
- UCD: £425(SFIA 3); £575(SFIA 4); £625(SFIA 5)
2. Can you please elaborate on GDS service assessments or equivalent?
There is a requirement for all government services of this scale to adhere to the Government Digital Service Standards, this applies whether developed inhouse or by an external company. This service will be required to pass assessments based on this Standard therefore must meet them. There are 14 standards, the link explaining each has been provided in the notice. Suppliers need to evidence how they can adhere to the standard (or similar) by providing examples.
3. Please confirm whether this opportunity falls inside or outside IR35
This opportunity falls outside of IR35.
4. Was any pre-Discovery work completed with an external partner, and if so who? Will the pre-Discovery work be made available to bidders at any stage?
The majority of pre-discovery work has been completed inhouse with some research worked conducted by a research agency on our behalf. This will all be shared with the successful supplier at the point the contract is signed.
5. Have you decided on a particular tech stack yet? if so, what is it?
A summary of the current tech stack is shown within the additional terms and conditions. Further information will be provided to shortlisted suppliers.
6. Is there a day rate cap?
Yes, see response to question 1.
7. What roles are you expecting suppliers to provide? In addition, are you expecting all roles to have the ability to be full time for the duration of the project?
Expected roles include Product Manager, Delivery Manager, Business Analyst, User Researcher, Content and Interaction Designers, Service Designer, full stack Developers, Testers, Devops, Performance Analyst (part time). Some roles may be provided by the client, specific capability requirements will be agreed for each Statement of Work. All roles are expected to be full time unless indicated, reasonable adjustments for individuals will be taken into account.
8. 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?
Scores from the first stage of the evaluation shall be carried over to the second stage and form part of the final evaluation.
9. Will your Product Owner be allocated full time to this project?
The Product Manager may come from the client or the supplier pending discussions. If from the client they will be dedicated to this team full time.
10. Are you able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of any additional user research?
Yes, HMPO has recruitment routes for external users, commercial arrangements for labs etc and access to internal users to support user research. The supplier will be required to conduct and support ongoing user research activities throughout the lifetime of the contract. This is a clear requirement of the GDS Service Standards.
11. Will you be able to organise access to users and other stakeholders throughout the project?
Yes, as above. All necessary stakeholders are engaged and access will be provided. The supplier will be expected to support ongoing engagement with stakeholders.
12. 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?
An exceeding/ 3 score answer would be; comprehensive evidence provided to support that the response exceeds the requirement, leading to the conclusion of a high level of confidence that the Supplier can meet the requirement.
13. Do you have any preference between public sector or private sector examples? Or will both be treated equally as long as they are relevant to the question?
Both will be treated equally as long as they are relevant.
14. Is it permissible to provide more than one example where required to fully address the question?
15. Please can you share a procurement timetable outlining steps from receipt of initial submissions by midnight 20th Apr to work commencement on 1st Jun (typically including evidence response evaluation, shortlisting/informing suppliers, preparation of supplier proposals, evaluation of supplier proposals, announcement of successful supplier, contract completion, contract signatures, commence work)?
06/04/2021 Publish Digital Death Registration
20/04/2021 Deadline for submission of Tender
21/04/2021 Tender submissions issued to evaluators
22/04/2021 – 30/04/2021 Evaluation Period starts
04/05/2021 Moderation meeting
04/05/2021 Shortlist suppliers for stage 2
05/05/2021 Notify successful and unsuccessful suppliers
06/05/2021 – 20/05/2021 Shortlisted suppliers work on written responses and presentation of stage 2
24/05/21 – 26/05/21 Presentations from top 3 suppliers
27/05/21 Selection of winning supplier
28/05/21 Notify bidders
02/06/21 Kick off meeting with successful supplier
w/c 07/06/21 Contract Signing
16. SC is required for all individuals working on this project”: will HMPO sponsor SC clearance where appropriately skilled staff do not yet have it?
17. Within suppliers’ individual responses, are you looking for multiple examples at a lower level of detail or a single, more detailed, one?
This is at the Bidder's discretion, however more detailed responses are likely to give more confidence to evaluators.
18. Can you please share a procurement timetable for this opportunity?
See response to Q15.
19. Does HMPO have maximum day rates that apply to this service delivery? If so please can you provide them so that we can qualify this opportunity.
See response to Q1.
20. Can new SMEs with limited experience of working with the government (but who have significant experience of cybersecurity) apply to become a subcontractor of whomever wins the contract (without knowing who the other applicants are).
This may be permissible but shall be assessed on a case by case basis. For the avoidance of doubt, the Authority shall not be looking to facilitate these discussions to ensure fairness to all bidders.
21. Are suppliers permitted to reference multiple examples per requirement (e.g. to cover the tech stack required under point 5)?
This is acceptable.
22. How are GRO looking to construct this commercially?
The work shall be commissioned through Statements of Work that outline key deliverables for the given period. This will mainly be done on a Capped Time and Materials basis, however milestone payments and other payment mechanisms may be used if appropriate.
23. Would you be willing to sponsor SC clearance for staff that are SC eligible but do not currently hold SC?
24. Do you expect the workers to be determined inside or outside IR35?
Outside IR35.
25. Do you have any preference between public sector or private sector examples? Or will both be treated equally as long as they are relevant to the question?
Both will be treated equally as long as they are relevant.
26. Can you please confirm that there will be opportunity for shortlisted suppliers to ask further clarification questions at Stage 2?
Yes, there will be an opportunity for clarification questions to be asked at Stage 2.
27. Can you provide timescales for the next round and up to winning the bid?
See response to Q15.
28. Will you be applying a cap on rates for roles under this contract? If yes, can you please tell us what they are?
See response to Q1.
29. Can you please outline the expected timelines for this procurement, following shortlisting?
See response to Q15.
30. Which roles will be represented on the evaluation panel?
The evaluation panel has experience across product management, digital delivery, software engineering and business architecture.
31. In which HMPO office the existing HMPO team for this work was based (pre-COVID), and if they will continue to be involved from this location?
There is no incumbent team for the delivery of this service. The pre-discovery team are based at multiple HMPO locations. The location for the supplier team is as described in "Address where the work will take place". The pre-discovery team will continue to be involved throughout this piece of work.
32. Can the buyer clarify: will suppliers be required to provide co-located teams in ANY HMPO office (post-COVID), regardless of where the existing HMPO team is based, or are suppliers only required to work on-site at whichever HMPO office has seating capacity?
Suppliers will be required to be co-located at one HMPO site the majority of the week post Covid-19. The available HMPO sites include London, Croydon, Sheffield, Manchester, Southport and Glasgow. Discussion on which site will take into account the supplier's preference and capability as well as HMPO capacity.
33. Are all team members required to have SC clearance before they start, or can they start work pending clearance?
Team members meeting certain criteria are able to get a waiver to start work pending clearance. This is based on individual circumstances.
34. Are all team members required to have SC clearance or only those with access to real data or production systems?
All team members working in HMPO offices and with access to any HMPO system are expected to have SC. A waiver whilst clearance is in progress is possible if individuals meet certain criteria.
35. "For the question copied below, please clarify what you mean by “delivery approaches”.

Demonstrable experience of user-centered design and delivery approaches"
An end-to-end design and delivery approach that puts users at the heart of the process. A user centered approach is the main focus of the criteria.
36. "Experience of making evidence-based decisions using qualitative and quantitative methods.
In regards to the above question. Are you asking about the ability to make decisions base on qual and quant methods that you have already carried out or does this relate to making decision based on the work we will carry out."
Both. The criteria is looking for an evidence and data driven approach agnostic of source. Some information will be secondary, some will be primary. Suppliers will need to be able to work with both.
37. So that we can make our response as relevant as possible, is the HMPO able to provide any further background information regarding the broader ‘life event registration’ services landscape that this service will be part of and the transformation outcomes that the programme is seeking to achieve?
Life event registration covers multiple events including birth, marriage, death, adoption, gender change and others. Background information on this is too sizeable to realistically share here. The broader transformation outcomes are to digitise and unify the registration process, enable streamlined sharing of data with other government departments and citizens, the latter enabled by further digitisation of existing records.
38. Besides the GOV.UK Technology Code of Practice, will the successful supplier be required to follow a defined set of Cabinet Office and/or HMPO enterprise architecture and/or technical standards? For example, must HMPO services follow a Reference Architecture that specifies particular design patterns for implementing the event driven architecture mentioned in the requirement (e.g. such as the use of serverless event driven technologies such as AWS Lambda etc)?
Yes, there will be a reference architecture provided. Suppliers are expected to work within this framework but are also allowed to innovate where they see benefits and this fits the support model.
39. Please can the HMPO indicate the approximate number of integration points that it expects will be needed with third-party systems? Of these, roughly what percentage are expected to be integrations with legacy services versus new services?
There are expected to be four integrations to this service, one will be third-party and the other three legacy, so 25/75%.
40. What engagements have already taken place with NHS?
HMPO is working extensively with NHS and DHSC regarding changes in the end-to-end death registration process. Further details will be furnished to the winning supplier.
41. Do GRO have a future Digital Roadmap outlined? If so, please can this be shared at a high level?
Yes, this will be shared at a high-level with the shortlisted suppliers.
42. Architecture & Design: Whilst this bid focuses on Death Registration, what end to end integration of processes are GRO anticipating?
GRO is anticipating integration with the NHS and with organisations required to consume life event data.
43. Are there any particular privacy regulations which need to be considered for this solution? Has a data privacy and impact assessment been carried out (DPIA), can this be shared?
Yes as data will be collected, stored and shared in order to administer the service. Further details will be provided to the winning supplier. A DPIA will be completed in parallel to the development, this is required before any go-live.
44. Does GRO envisage any existing contractors/sub-contractors involved in the delivery of the new solution? If so, could a list of the sub-contractors be provided giving high level details at this stage what they are/ will be responsible for?
As part of the group required to deliver a service of this scale there are many parties involved in the delivery as core, collaborators and supporters. Some collaborator and supporter roles are occupied by contractors. All suppliers are expected to work in a collaborative nature with permanent employees and contractors alike.
45. Does the organisation have a risk policy e.g what is the organisation’s risk appetite and tolerance levels?
We expect suppliers to meet all relevant HMPO and Home Office professional standards and meet The Civil Service Code
46. Can the GRO and HMPO long term strategy be shared?
Not at this stage.
47. Is there an as-is and to-be infrastructure/ architecture which could be shared?
Not at this stage.
48. What security assessments (including any accreditation) will be required from the delivery partner for this solution?
Security assessment will be performed on an ongoing basis by our internal security teams for the solution.
49. Who is responsible for providing a protective monitoring solution and related tools for this solution?
Protective monitoring is provided by our internal security teams for this solution.
50. Can any of the pre-discovery work (processes, analysis or outcome report of the pre-discovery work) be shared?
Not at this stage.
51. Do you have any Entity Relationship Diagrams that you can share?
Not at this stage
52. Do you have any high-level architecture diagrams you can share?
Not at this stage
53. Do you have any API/Swagger documentation you can share also?
Not at this stage
54. When you refer to Java – do you mean Java or Javascript?
We are referring to Java.
55. You state that the infrastructure cannot change (meaning AWS) but you also mention node.js and Java. Are these languages (especially Java) non-negotiable or would you consider other software languages to be built in the same infrastructure and event driven/micro services architecture.
These languages are non-negotiable for the support and strategy reasons stated.
56. SC is a requirement however can we use offshore resources who do not see or use the data?
No offshore resources are possible as security policy means they cannot access any HMPO systems abroad.
57. Please can you describe how this service would interact with the Digital Services Product Families in HMPO and in particular the Customer Facing Services Family?
This service will sit within a new product family, with the same governance and leadership structure as the others and a shared infrastructure. As such it is expected to make use of shared capabilities to achieve economies of scale where applicable, such as those within the Customer Facing Product Family.
58. Is there a paper available to view on pre-discovery work completed to date and could HMPO provide access to this?
Not at this stage.
59. Are there any protocols/decisions on how partners access data and is all the data owned by the department?
Partners will access data in accordance with existing policies. All data and intellectual property is owned by the department.
60. Will the resources currently deployed by the department continue on this programme until completion and have any assumptions been made to increase HMPO’s resources?
Required resources and stakeholders will continue on this programme as applicable and are sized appropriately to meet the needs of the programme for its duration.
61. Are there any milestones in place that have been committed to and cannot be changed easily?
As stated the goal is to create a Private Beta death registration service by April 2022.
62. Several possible locations are mentioned. Are all equally acceptable as a base for co-location? Or is there a preferred site? If so, which site is this?
Yes, all are equally acceptable.
63. Is the digital death registration service a replacement for the existing Tell Us Once service or something that will work in conjunction with that service?
The remit of this service is to create a death registration, Tell Us Once will continue to work in conjunction. We are working with DWP and TUO.
64. Has the pre-discovery work included any input from a Service Designer?
Not at this stage but Service Design input is required at the next stage.
65. This is a delivery partner opportunity – can you clarify if this is for delivery specialists only or for the supplier to provide multiple roles/teams of people to deliver specific packages of work?
This is for the supplier to provide multiple roles to deliver specific packages of work. Please see answer to question 7.
66. How many teams would you anticipate the supplier will need to resource or provide additional specialist support for at the start of the contract?
One multi-disciplinary team, with the possibility of further individual roles required in other teams.
67. Is it likely that the supplier will be providing roles to fill skill gaps in existing or planned teams, or will you be expecting full teams to be supplied?
Expecting one full multi-disciplinary team to be supplied with the possibility of further individual roles to fill skill gaps in other existing teams.
68. Will you be able to organise access to users and stakeholders throughout the entire project eg. NHS, Medical Examiners, Coroners, Local Registration Services, Funeral Directors etc. ?
69. Are you planning to consume and expose APIs with other government departments (aside from NHS which is mentioned)
Not for this service
70. Have the benefits in Year One been quantified – and if so what are those benefit metrics?
Yes. This cannot be shared at this stage.
71. What legacy systems are in use that you want to transform?
Local Registration Services and the General Register Office use a national system that started in 2005 for civil registration in England and Wales.
72. Have you created any service blueprints to capture the fragmented user journey?
73. A fragmented and confusing user journey is mentioned – the assumption is that this has been identified in pre-discovery as well as documentation of current processes, constraints, pain points, user needs and opportunities- will this be shared at some point in round 2 ?
Yes, detail will be shared in round 2.
74. Will the organisational strategy and vision from the larger programme be available for round 2?
Yes, detail will be shared in round 2.
75. Will HMPO sponsor supplier team members for SC Clearance?
76. Will the scores from the 100-word stage be used to calculate the overall evaluation score? If yes, could you please tell us what this weighting will be?
Scores from the first stage of the evaluation shall be carried over to the second stage and form part of the final evaluation. The weighting for round 1 will be 20% for essential skills and experience and nice to have skills weighted at 5%.
77. Can you provide more information on the current legacy service/technologies that must be replaced? Are there licence fees payable? Are there any deadlines/business drivers for decommissioning legacy tech?
More information will be provided at the second stage. There are no licence fees or deadlines, business drivers are the main factors.
78. Do the digital inputs from the NHS already exist, or will they be under parallel development?
No, they are a parallel development currently underway and we are engaged with the NHS.
79. Are there well-understood, mature API interfaces in place for any required systems integration, whether NHS, HMPO or other external systems?
All will be new interfaces and the supplier will have to work with other teams and stakeholders to develop and understand the requirements alongside HMPO.
80. Will this service be hosted on EBSA or other strategic HO platform?
New services will be hosted on EBSA.
81. The opportunity states that the ‘Registration is part of a wider user journey that involves’ multiple stakeholders and support groups. How will the other stakeholders and support groups contribute to the development and delivery of this solution?
We have well established relationships with stakeholders and routes to others. As a delivery partner suppliers will be expected to support and develop these relationships alongside HMPO.
82. Will there be a requirement to migrate the existing data from the legacy system to the cloud based solution if it has not been performed already? – As the new service is expected to operate alongside the legacy service.
Yes this will be necessary in the future but is not part of this work package.
83. Are the rates published in previous clarification questions targets or caps?
The rates previously published are target rates that all supplier should ideally work towards. The capped rates that suppliers must adhere to are:
Architecture: £759(SFIA 3); £886(SFIA 4); £1,012(SFIA 5)
- Data: £797(SFIA 3); £981(SFIA 4); £1,207(SFIA 5)
- Delivery: £728(SFIA 3); £981(SFIA 4); £1,075(SFIA 5)
- Engineering: £696(SFIA 3); £822(SFIA 4); £949(SFIA 5)
- IP Ops: £696(SFIA 3); £822(SFIA 4); £949(SFIA 5)
- Product: £633(SFIA 3); £759(SFIA 4); £886(SFIA 5)
- QAT: £575(SFIA 3); £697(SFIA 4); £841(SFIA 5)
- UCD: £683(SFIA 3); £848(SFIA 4); £974(SFIA 5)