Awarded to Valtech Ltd.

Start date: Friday 9 July 2021
Value: £1,000,000
Company size: SME
Highways England

Free-Flow Charging (FFC) Management Information (MI) Data Hub

11 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 2 large

22 Completed applications

9 SME, 13 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
Development of Highways England Free-Flow Charging (FFC) Management Information (MI) Data Hub
Latest start date
Monday 28 June 2021
Expected contract length
16 Months
West Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Highways England
Budget range
£800,000 - £1,000,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
The first generation of the Dartford Crossing road-user charging service will transition to the second generation by November 2022. In doing so, new service providers will be implemented within the three packages below, with each to be delivered as a complete managed service:

Package A - Road-User Charging Services
Package B - UK Enforcement Services
Package C - Non-UK Enforcement Services

More information on the main FFC service packages can be found below:

In support of the above, there is a need for a new Highways England capability to produce end-to-end management information for the organisation from across the three new service providers. This new capability will be delivered by the FFC MI Data Hub which will provide one-view reporting of management information, in addition to the below:

1. Adherence to strategic architecture, security and support requirements;

2. Flexibility, responsiveness and scalability to meet new and growing demand;

3. Collection and re-use of data across Highways England and partners, to maximise value for decision making.
Problem to be solved
Management Information is currently accessed in an environment provided by the incumbent (1st Generation) service provider. After the transition of the service to the new disaggregated service model, this facility will no longer be available.

We are therefore looking for a supplier to build and develop the new Free Flow Charging MI Data Hub which will provide one-view reporting across all service delivery packages and will serve as the repository for management information from the first-generation Dart Charge service.

The FFC MI Data Hub will allow Highways England to:

1. Manage and improve the service to required performance levels;

2. Manage the performance of service package providers;

3. Validate the MI service of each package provider through an end-to-end reconciled view;

4. Provide an effective MI service to support compliance and regulatory reporting;

5. Automate and streamline the effort required to produce one-view reporting
Who the users are and what they need to do
Within the Highways England Dart Charge (FFC) Team, we need to be able to produce the following functional MI from the data hub:

Summary MI:

One-view (operational, financial and customer);
Transaction Processing;
Ad-hoc report queries

Pre-Enforcement MI:

Crossings During Charging Hours by Vehicle Class;
Low Confidence Image Review;
Revenue & Account Payments;
Calls Summary;
Complaints Summary;
Registered Account Balances;
Ad-hoc report queries;

Enforcement MI:

Enforcement Documentation & Actions;
Ready for Progression;
Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) Cancellations – by Cancellation Data;
PCN Cancellations – by Crossing Date;
PCN Payments;
Ad-hoc report queries
Early market engagement
Existing team
The winning bidder will need to work alongside the Highways England Data Architecture and Engineering team, the Dart Charge project team, as well as with a range of stakeholders from across Highways England.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Highways England
The Cube
199 Wharfside Street
B1 1RN
Working arrangements
Our business is located across the whole of England and so are our teams and suppliers. We would expect our supplier to work flexibly and be mobile when required, but also to support remote working and the utilisation of collaboration tools when necessary.
Security clearance
We expect all our suppliers to have BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) as a minimum.

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
  • have technical capability in designing and building complex data platforms
  • have technical capacity to cater for changing demands
  • have experience of data standards and data modelling
  • have experience of performance monitoring and continuous improvement
  • have experience of stakeholder engagement and working with multiple suppliers
  • have experience and skills in information security management
  • have experience of management information system governance
  • have delivered scalable solutions with future proof designs
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • have experience of Azure Business Intelligence (BI)
  • have experience of Highways England Data as a Service (DaaS) platform
  • have experience of similar high volume transactional systems
  • have experience of combining data from multiple sources

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Where have you successfully delivered a cloud management information system elsewhere? - 20%
  • How will you start your first step of developing FFC MI Data Hub? - 10%
  • How will you quickly work with project team to identify use cases? - 20%
  • How will you measure the performance of FFC MI Data Hub? - 10%
  • How will you make sure data is transferred and stored in a secure environment? - 10%
  • How will you govern the data hub development process? - 10%
  • How will you ensure the solution is scalable and future proof? - 20%
Cultural fit criteria
  • How do you excite and engage IT staff? (e.g. solution architects, enterprise architects, service delivery managers, etc.) - 25%
  • Please demonstrate how you will act with responsibility (e.g. act like a leader, provide solutions to problems, seek the best for the organisation beyond your team) - 15%
  • Please demonstrate, with reference to experience, how you are respectful of different opinions and constructive in feedback. - 15%
  • How do you excite and engage non-technical staff as the subject matter expert? - 20%
  • Please demonstrate your experience of stakeholder management and negotiation. - 25%
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. I am unable to access the HLD via the link provided. Can this be emailed?
To request a copy of the HLD, please send an email to the buyer via the address below:
2. 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?
Following the closing date of the advert (12th May), shortlisting of suppliers is expected to take one week. Shortlisted suppliers will be notified and the Invitation to Tender will then be issued on 19th May, with a deadline for proposal submission of the 4th June. The estimated contract award date is Friday 18th June.

Suppliers will have the opportunity to present to the HE project team, with dates and times to be stated in the ITT document.

To confirm, the secondary part of the tender process involving shortlisted suppliers will be managed via the Highways England eTendering portal (Bravo).
3. Who is the incumbent(s) on FFC and how long they have been the incumbent?
The service is currently operated by Emovis Operations Leeds Limited, following a contract award in 2013.
4. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
The evaluation team will be made up of members from a multi-disciplinary team working on the project. The team evaluating responses will consist of the following (roles / department):

Project Workstream Lead (DartCharge)
Principal Data Architect (IT)
Management Information Analyst (DartCharge)
IT Commercial Category Manager (Procurement)
5. Could the Authority share the procurement timeline for shortlist, evaluation, presentation and award?
Please refer to the response to question 2. Exact times and dates for presentations from shortlisted suppliers will be stated in the Invitation to Tender documents, however these are currently anticipated to be during the week commencing 14th June.
6. Is there an incumbent supplier who has supported previous phases?
As per the response to question 3, MI data is currently provided by the incumbent FFC service provider - Emovis Operations Leeds Limited.

Support during the first ('Discovery') phase for this project has been provided by Intelligent Transformation Ltd. This followed a DOS5 procurement exercise earlier this year. More information can be found below:
7. Would the team be open to a short extension to submission 11.59pm Friday 7th, to give teams more time to respond around a period of annual leave/bank holiday?
Unfortunately we are unable to amend the submission deadlines (for questions and proposals) as these are set by the framework.
8. Does the Budget include all cloud infrastructure and any licence costs and is there potential for using licenced software with a recurring cost if it can provide lower TCO?
The budget only relates to the capital cost of developing and building the system, there will be an additional operational expenditure budget to cover ongoing license costs.

As the FFC MI Data Hub will be built on our central data hosting / DaaS platform (Azure Data Warehouse), we are not expecting to need other third-party software for this purpose.
9. Please could you advise if question “have experience of Highways England Data as a Service (DaaS) platform” is scored, or if it is for information only? It would appear to put incumbent suppliers to Highways England at an advantage and we would like to seek reassurances that there is a fair/level playing field.
I can confirm that this particular question is for information purposes only and will not be scored as part of the shortlisting process.
10. On ‘Highways England Data as a Service (DaaS) platform’, what kind of experience is expected and what % is allocated for this skill ?
Please also elaborate the Technology stack behind DaaS platform ?
As per question 9, answers to this question will be for information purposes only and will not be scored in the same way as others when shortlisting. Please reference either your prior experience or knowledge of Highways England's DaaS platform (if applicable), or your experience of DaaS platforms in general if not.

Regarding the technical question, further information on supporting technology and architecture will be made available to shortlisted suppliers along with the Invitation to Tender document.
11. Are you content for supplies to respond with multiple examples to evidence response questions? There are some questions, for example, “have experience of similar high volume transactional systems” where supplier experience may be best demonstrated by citing multiple examples.
Yes, please feel free to quote multiple examples in your responses.
12. Are there any further outputs from Discovery available in addition to the HLD?
Further supporting documentation will be made available to shortlisted suppliers as part of the ITT process. These include a Data Protection Impact Assessment, Service Support Document, and a HLD for our DaaS platform.
13. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated?
It is likely that price evaluation will be based on average day rate across multiple SFIA day rate categories. The lowest average day rate will attract a full 30% score for price. Tenders with higher average day rates will be awarded scores calculated as a percentage using the lowest tender submission as a baseline. Example calculations will be provided in the tender documentation.
14. 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?
The 'essential' and 'nice-to-have' skills and experiences will only be used for the purpose of shortlisting. Final evaluation will be based on a range of technical and cultural fit questions, along with price, as outlined in the advert.
15. One of the essential skills and experience questions states “have experience of stakeholder engagement and working with multiple suppliers”. Please confirm whether you mean where we have worked with multiple stakeholders and suppliers who are upstream or downstream of the change and are required to understand how their journey will be impacted as a result of delivery, or where we have worked with multiple stakeholders and suppliers in a blended portfolio or delivery programme environment to ensure smooth delivery across the supplier landscape?
The latter part of your question is correct. The chosen supplier will need to work primarily with the following stakeholders:

- our third-party service providers to ingest source data,
- our IT colleagues to go through the service readiness review process,
- our Data Architecture and Engineering team to deliver this project,
- our DaaS managed service provider to ensure the data hub is fit for purpose,
- our project teams to understand use cases and to produce a BI solution which is fit for purpose.
16. On the demonstration of “have experience of performance monitoring and continuous improvement” – are you looking for experience around business & operational performance improvement, or that of platforms/data hubs?
We are looking for experience relating to data hubs specifically. For example how would you monitor the health level of a data warehouse? What tools you would use? What is your plan to ensure there are opportunities for continuous improvement of the data hub?
17. On the essential skill “have experience of similar high volume transactional systems” – can you confirm what types of transaction system you had in mind?
Examples could include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Oracle
- Salesforce
- Dynamics CRM
18. What roles are you expecting suppliers to provide as part of their team?
We will not specify which roles should be provided, rather we will allow suppliers to propose which roles they intend to make available to deliver the required outcomes.
19. Are you able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user engagement/research/testing as needed by the project?
Yes, we will provide access to users as required by the project.
20. For question “have technical capacity to cater for changing demands”, please could you elaborate on the sorts of changing demands that you might anticipate during the course of this project?
The main changing demands will come from our project team. For example, a re-design of the Power BI reports or a change to the type of data categorisation.

Also our DaaS managed service provider assures data, therefore the design of the data hub needs to meet the requirements from DaaS, some changes might arise during the configuration process.
21. "1.   On p9 of the HLD it says: “Live FFC MI Data Hub operations by November 2020” is a delivery success metric; should this be read as November 2021, November 2022 or another date?

2. The timeline on p13 of the HLD implies Package A and Package B will need to be integrated to the data hub simultaneously, with Package C a month later. Is this illustrative or is this the sequencing and timing that will be realised?"
1. Correct, this should be November 2022.

2. The roadmap is based on our current understandings and assumptions, these timings represent our plan however these might vary when the three packages are procured and start to mobilise.
22. 1. Additionally, the timeline on p13 of the HLD shows a GDS Design/Alpha/Beta sequencing; is this illustrative or the approach to be followed?

2. What are the expected data volumes for the 1st gen data to be loaded – i.e. how big is the 1-2 years’ worth, one-off historic load and how big are the periodic/daily loads?
1. This is the approach we intend to follow however this might vary when we have a clearer idea of what the three service packages look like.

2. There is 6.2TB of historic data and roughly 4.3TB will be used for reporting (one-off load), new data will be loaded on a daily basis (roughly 10MB or less) until the three service packages are configured to output to the data hub.
23. The HLD implies that payment card data is part of the 1st gen data. Please confirm that this will not form part of the 1st gen data loads into the data hub and that 2nd gen providers will similarly not be pushing payment card data to the MI data hub?
No payment card information or personally identifiable information will be imported to data hub, either from the first-generation data load or the second-generation service providers.
24. 1. In regard to experience of performance monitoring and continuous improvement – is this in reference to the performance of the suppliers and/or the Datahub?

2. In regard to experience and skills in information security management does this pertain to information security expertise to build a Datahub or wider cyber security expertise?
1. This question refers to performance monitoring and continuous improvement of the Data Hub itself.

2. The Data Hub design has already been approved by our cyber security team. Therefore the experience and skills referred to in this question are those relating to expertise in building data hubs with information security management at the forefront of the process, and the need to ensure data flows are managed securely in accordance with any applicable security rules.
25. Is Highways England set on each of the components being used for specific areas (as in the HLD) or is their scope to rationalise and realign tools to reduce cost and increase efficiencies – e.g. with Synapse?
DaaS is the Highways England central data hosting platform, with pre-defined architecture. The scope is therefore to realign Data Hub tools to DaaS so as to reduce cost, improve governance and increase efficiencies.
26. What is the Governance tool?
Governance tools vary within different parts of Highways England:

- For data conditioning and information security, our data governance team has developed an Information Management System for governance,
- For the Data Hub low level design and configuration, our Enterprise Architecture team have approved the design documents,
- For data and coding assurance, the DaaS managed service provider performs the governance function.