This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Thursday 15 April 2021
Home Office (Asylum Operations)

Proc 627 - Appointment Booking Tool

14 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 1 large

17 Completed applications

11 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Thursday 1 April 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 8 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 15 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
To develop a scheduling tool to assist the Asylum Operations function schedule over 25,000 asylum interviews each year. Each interview involves the scheduling of several resources, and significant administration effort is required to maintain this process at the required level of quality.
Latest start date
Monday 24 May 2021
Expected contract length
12-18 months
Organisation the work is for
Home Office (Asylum Operations)
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Asylum Operations are transforming their operational processes and are developing more streamlined and automated methods to manage substantive interviews.

This work is being done to;
• Reduce administration overhead so that decision-makers can focus on progressing cases.
• Optimise the allocation of resources required for a successful substantive interview.
• Provide a platform that enables centralised management of interview scheduling.
• Provide a user-friendly interface for booking appointments that aligns with existing user interface and accessibility standards.
• Provide a platform that can be extended to other use cases (interview types) within Asylum and other areas within the Home Office.
• Standardise processes for Asylum staff.
Problem to be solved
The core requirement for the application is to provide a scheduling tool for the substantive asylum interview. This is the key interview that most asylum-seekers have to attend in order to provide details of their claim so that the caseworker can make a decision. This is a critical point in the asylum process as it is pivotal to the decision-making process and life-changing for the applicant, so the quality of the event and reliability in its execution are critical. The substantive interview is complex in that is requires several resources to be available in order for it to take place.
Interviews are often cancelled, moved or have to be rebooked if there is an applicant no-show. This is time-consuming and must be tracked and managed.
The system will be built as a set of services so that it can be used through a user interface or through other systems requesting automated booking of slots based on an agreed set of criteria.
Fuller details of this and of the maximum SFIA rates payable are available on application to
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users for this product will predominantly be Asylum administration staff across the UK who will manage the scheduling process. In addition, a wider group of caseworkers will want to view/check diaries, set constraints and accept interviews.

The Interpreter Operations Unit will consume and provide data inputs relating to interpreter requests and conformations.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The project team have completed Discovery and Alpha phases for the design of the system.
Existing team
The team consists of civil servants and specialist contractors.
The project is being managed through the AOT (Asylum Operations Transformation) programme.

The successful bidder will be required to engage and collaborate with multiple (internal and external) delivery partners delivering and maintaining services for the Home Office.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Croydon; London
Working arrangements
The successful bidder will be required for 5 days a week and will attend meetings using digital channels initially but should expect to transition to occasional attendance at the Croydon office as the project progresses and COVID 19 guidance allows.
All expenses incurred for travel and subsistence outside the M25 will be chargeable in line with the Home Office Travel and Subsistence policy.
Security clearance
Individuals must be cleared to SC level in order to work on this project
The Home Office will sponsor SC clearance as required.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

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 in with opensource BPM technology in public sector.
  • Having experience in building browser-based application using opensource technology and UI composition or similar patterns across microservices.
  • Demonstrable experience in CI/CD pipelines, cloud native application and dockerisation platforms.
  • Be able to provide specific and relevant examples of previous work.
  • Demonstrable experience working collaboratively in a multi-vendor environment.
  • Have experience delivering projects using an Agile approach.
  • Experience of working collaboratively with an in-house team, building skills and capabilities to support a smooth handover.
  • Demonstrate understanding of service-led/microservice architecture.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience in building services to meet the UK government Digital Service Standard or appropriate similar standards within complex digital programmes across government.
  • Evidence of successfully delivering Minimum Viable Product solutions within compressed timelines
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Home Office approach to technology, data and platforms.
  • Knowledge of GDS Service Standards and web content accessibility guidelines.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Evidence of experience defining and implementing new services in a cloud environment. (10%)
  • Approach and methodology with particular attention to agile and collaborative delivery (5%)
  • Technical competence in the identified technologies/processes and delivery practices (17%)
  • Demonstrable experience of working alongside clients and other delivery partners in co-located and integrated teams (8%)
  • Demonstrate understanding of the challenges and critical success factors of implementing in a government agile / hybrid environment (7%)
  • Risk: demonstrate experience in the identification of key assumptions, dependencies, risks and issues, with robust mitigation plans (8%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Ability to collaborate and communicate with personnel at all levels of the organisation in a diverse environment, including with other suppliers.
  • Ability to be innovative and achieve value for money in all activities.
  • Your experience of successful collaborative working as part of a blended team sharing knowledge within the team.
  • Evidence how you actively promote diversity, inclusion and remote working.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. What is the anticipated budget range for the Beta phase?
This competition includes a price competition element. As such, it is for the bidder to decide on their proposed budget.
2. Can you please highlight which Opensource BPM tool you’re currently using and in what capacity
'Activiti' and 'Camunda' are currently used for BPM development using BPMN 2.0 notation.
3. Was Home Office supported by an external supplier during the Discovery and Alpha stages and if so please confirm who that was.
The Discovery and Alpha stages were undertaken by Home Office staff, supported by some individuals from external partners. The work was not contracted out and so there is no incumbent.
4. Who delivered the discovery and the alpha phase?
Answered in the previous question.
5. Does Home Office have any particular opensource BPM tool in mind or it expects suppliers to suggest?
General experience in any BPM tool would suffice. Some examples were provided in the previous answer.
6. Hi, with regards to SC clearance, you imply that The Home Office will sponsor SC clearance as required. Does this mean if we do not current have employees with SC clearance, the Home Office will act as the suppliers Sponsor throughout the required steps for clearance? Many thanks,
The Home Office will sponsor SC clearance as required.
7. Can you advise if a cloud platform been selected?
The solution will be deployed to internally managed AWS-based cloud platform with the pipeline using Kubernetes, Docker, Terraform, Jenkins, Helm, Maven and/or other similar tools. Part of the solution may require integration with hosted/SaaS services running outside of Home Office managed AWS based cloud platform via REST APIs.
8. Are you expecting the chosen supplier to design, build and support the tool that meet the requirements you’ve articulated? If so, over what time period and within what budget envelope?
Content and UI design will be done by the HO. We would expect the supplier to deliver the detailed technical design of the system building on the approved solution architecture provided by HO Architects. The supplier will build the solution, integrate with existing systems, and provide L3 support. The length of the delivery to go-live is expected to be around 12 months, but 2-3 releases will go into live operation during this period. The budget will form part of the price competition aspect of this procurement.
9. We have delivered award winning BPMS projects for public sector and open source BPMS projects in private sector.
We have not delivered open source BPMS for a public sector customer. Is this a mandatory requirement?
As per the published criteria, experience in open source BPM technology in the public sector is essential.