Awarded to Sopra Steria Ltd

Start date: Monday 20 September 2021
Value: £2,634,617
Company size: large
Highways England

ITEP0124 - Digital by Default – Toolset – Common Data Model – Data Integrator

16 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 3 large

21 Completed applications

7 SME, 14 large

Important dates

Wednesday 5 May 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 12 May 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 19 May 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Title: Digital by Default – Toolset – Common Data Model – Data Integrator

Design, development, assurance, and deployment of a Common Data Model (and associated artefacts and ways of working) for Highways England’s Major Projects Directorate as part of the wider Digital by Default programme.
Latest start date
Sunday 1 August 2021
Expected contract length
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Highways England
Budget range
Maximum spend £2.327mil. exc. VAT.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Digital by Default (DbyD) programme is a key enabler for the digital transformation of MPs delivery capability and is a workstream within Major Projects Directorate Transformation (MPDT).

Although effective digital solutions are already being rolled out across MP, this effort is federated by specific programmes, resulting in duplicative functionality, inconsistent use of data, inaccuracy and potential for duplicative investment.

The DbyD Programme has been developed to introduce shared standards and approaches, and to focus on structured change management, embedment and digital upskilling across MP.

DbyD will work closely with HE IT to deliver a digital toolset, including a Common Data Environment (CDE) and common data model to improve the way we connect with the supply chain, reduce the level of waste and inefficiency in how we capture, exploit and manage data.
Problem to be solved
The component parts of this workstream are as follows:

Common Data Model: A full picture of the data that Major Projects and their supply chain manage, how is it structured and disseminated. The Common Data Model should:

Represent and achievable target state for the Major Projects Directorate, recognising and resolving any existing duplication of definition or usage back to consistent conceptual (ontology) and logical data models;

Avoid 're-inventing the wheel' by making use of existing practice from within and beyond Highways England;

Incorporate updates from other parties working on data modelling within HE;

Deliver an effective means for users of different maturity levels;

Definitions Repo: An HE-owned repository of machine-readable schema documents that is accessible internally and externally to HE and can drive interoperable data standards and process automation.

Secure Interfaces: Working with the ‘Digital by Default – Toolset’ System Integrator to standardise and enforce data management between MP and suppliers, and between MP and other parts of HE, using the MP CDE (designed and deployed by the system integrator) and in accordance with the common data model and definitions repo described above.

Further details here (email for access):
Who the users are and what they need to do
This workstream should fulfil the following use cases:

As an HE or supply chain employee I need to be able to view data definitions and relationships that are meaningful to my work using HE’s Ontology and Visualisation tools.

As an HE or supply chain data or system manager I need to be able to understand the logical structure of the data I use by reference to accessible standardised logical data models.

As an HE data manager or project manager I need to be able to easily search the Common Data Model for definitions that can be incorporated into and/or used to inform project data requirements.

As an HE or supply chain solution developer I need to be able to access machine readable data definitions from a common location (repository).

As an HE IT Data Architect I need to be able to easily access and assure the development of the MP Common Data Model. I should be able to reconcile/merge the Model with the HE Corporate Ontology and provide access for other 3rd parties to suggest changes.

As an HE leader I should be able to interrogate, understand, share and provide feedback on the contents of the Common Data Model.
Early market engagement
Not applicable
Any work that’s already been done
There are several existing data management solutions in use within Highways England and Major Projects, both PaaS and IaaS within HE’s tenancies and SaaS solutions. The principal objective of Digital by Default toolset is to create a standard, HE-owned common data environment (MPCDE) that will use existing data pipelines, collate these, and use as the ‘single source of truth’ to provide data feeds to existing and future solutions.

To provide further context we have a bidder subsite:

For access to the subsite email

We are not responsible for supplier-side access issues to the SharePoint site (e.g. M365/AD issues).
Existing team
The winning bidder will need to work alongside existing Major Projects and IT stakeholders, particularly the MP Digital by Default, MP Data Hub, IT CDO, and IT Business Partner teams.

The winning bidder will need to work in collaboratively with the winner of the Digital by Default Data Integrator and IT Support contracts.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Nationwide, predominantly London, Bedford, and Birmingham.
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 support remote working and the utilisation of collaboration tools. Subject to prevailing COVID restrictions some co-location at the supplier’s offices would be helpful.
Security clearance
We expect all our suppliers to have BPSS as a minimum, access to our Production environment will require security clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Further info here:
(email: for access)

Technical = 60% (5% essential criteria, 55% proposal with individual weightings)
Cultural = 20% (with individual weightings)
Price = 20% (8% capped cost, 12% rate card)

Expected contract length

Creation and HE/SME assurance of the initial CommonDataModel to support the MP CDE and MP DEE Spring 2022 to that it can begin to be used by Digital by Default and Major Projects to inform the creation of project.

Creation and HE/SME assurance of the Definitions Repository Summer 2022;
On-going support and update of the CommonDataModel and Repository March2023.

3/5 suppliers

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
  • Representing complex organisations and processes using ontology / knowledge graphs. Visualising graphs to make these living artefacts accessible to non-technical staff. Driving SME engagement and review. Cite examples and outcomes.
  • Defining data requirements and interfaces for construction projects or between organisations to drive adoption. Application of industry standards for data associated with BIM, CAD, GIS, Asset Management, Digital Twins.
  • Designing, testing, and assuring logical and physical data models to inform business processes, interface specifications, and solution development. Cite example and outcomes.
  • Deploying, managing, and driving adoption of machine-readable data interface specifications using a repository such as GitHub or DevOps. Making data models accessible to non-technical staff.
  • Deploying effective document control, records management, document lifecycle management, including definition of workflows, meta-data, taxonomies, search & retrieval methods.
  • Please describe the most successful large scale digital and data transformation programmes/projects that your organisation has played a leading role in over the last three years.
  • All above essential are weighted 5%
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Transport / Infrastructure / Highways England sector experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How will you work with the DbyD and IT teams to agree a prioritised and deliverable backlog of work? How will you de-risk (cost/time/quality) the backlog? Please cite experience.
  • How will you approach the design and delivery of the Common Data Model? How will you create a complete, accessible, and meaningful whole from the component artefacts? Please cite experience.
  • How will you design the machine-readable data repository to maximise accessibility for developers and data managers and enable process automation, whilst working within our existing IT standards and guidance?
  • How will you drive delivery of Digital by Default’s stated benefits? How will you continuously improve your MVP? Where will you innovate? Where have you done so in the past?
  • How will you ensure that the Common Data Model is adopted by the business in creating and publishing data requirements for projects? Where have you done so in the past?
  • What will you hand back to Highways England? How will you help ensure that HE can support your solution in the long run? Where have you delivered lasting change?
  • Provide 2 case studies (1/2 A4 each) showcasing successful digital transformation delivery for an infrastructure organisation.
  • All above proposal are weighted 55%
Cultural fit criteria
  • How do you excite and engage construction and delivery-focused staff? IT staff? Supply chain? How/where have you made this work in the past?
  • How will you incorporate service design principles and design thinking into your work? How/where have you made this work in the past?
  • What will be different at Highways England following your work on this project?
  • How do you see this work fitting within the context of the wider infrastructure and transport sectors? How does this project align with the values of your own business?
  • Provide evidence/examples of how you successfully collaborated with different suppliers and stakeholders in multi-disciplined, cross-functional team to deliver results.
  • All above cultural are weighted 20%
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Not a question as such, but your questions don’t follow the DOS model. Each can only be 100 words (you can’t submit longer answers) and should ask people to evidence capability by asking what they have done in the past, not how they will achieve something on this contract
please clarify which questions you are referring to?
2. Are you procuring this via any other framework outside of DOS?
Only through DOS
3. Who is the current incumbent?
"There is no direct precedent for this project, and as such there is no incumbent.
There are a number of suppliers who have worked on related projects for HE, including BJSS/Experis/Hyperlearning (Corporate Ontology), PCSG (BIF Master Reference Data Manager), IBI (ADMM), Atkins/Jacobs (REM/Digital Products Catalogue).
We have listed related suppliers under 'Bidding Guidance' on the SharePoint."
4. You must publish the question with your answer on the ‘ITEP0124 – Digital by Default – Toolset – Common Data Model – Data Integrator’ page by Tuesday 18 May 2021 at:
Programme Director
Head of Data Architecture and Engineering
Head of Information and Knowledge Management
5. Is there an incumbent currently helping with the work that you state has been/is being done?
See response to item 3 above.
6. "I’ve requested access to the listed information site via email four days ago but have not received access.
Will access be given before the 12th of May so questions can be asked?
If access will not be given can you confirm that no bidders have preferential access to this information so that the process is fair and transparent?
(information site link and email address for access:
email: for access)
"We have granted access to all of the credible access requests that we have received.
If you are still having difficultly accessing the resources please email both and"
7. The seventh question “All above essential are weighted 5%”, how should this be answered? The prior six questions ask are for each of the essential criteria.
Apologies, this text is intended for guidance, not as an essential criteria. Please do not attempt to answer!
8. Is there an incumbent supplier or any pre-market engagement which has taken place for this opportunity?
"See response to item 3 above.
No pre-market engagement has taken place."
9. Who will be on the judging panel?
Programme Director
Head of Data Architecture and Engineering
Head of Information and Knowledge Management
10. Can you confirm that the purpose of the seven questions is to create a shortlist of suppliers who will then be invited to submit a proposal following the 19 May deadline? Or are the written and price proposals part of the submission due 19 May?
Yes, as per standard DOS process we are shortlisting based upon the criteria, and we will then invite the shortlisted suppliers to submit written and price proposals.
11. We understand there is a Digital by Default Delivery Transformation Programme on MCF 2. This is not mentioned within the sharepoint site nor other bids. Please can you clarify how this fits with the other Digital by Default programmes and what restrictions you envisage around conflicts of interest in awarding this should suppliers look to win multiple programmes?
"The MCF2 procurement exercise referenced is for a Business Change partner to support the Digital by Default programme more broadly.

In order to maintain a similar degree of separation, we would request that suppliers interested in bidding for the Business Change opportunity, consider refraining from bidding for the Data Integrator and Systems Integrator opportunities."
12. Is there an opportunity to accelerate the delivery timeframe i.e. can a supplier propose to complete the work in 10-12 months?
Yes, but we expect some baselines resourcing from the Data Integrator to support other parties and maintain the artefacts throughout the life of the programme (e.g. until 31st March 2023).
13. In delivery, would Highways England allow the use of automated tooling to assess data platforms?
"Yes, though it will not always be possible to arrange for the deployment of such tooling (e.g. for proprietary SaaS systems, etc.).
We are always interested in opportunities to use automation, but the focus of this work remains the data modelling."
14. Noting the requirement for personnel to be BPSS cleared, can you confirm it is also appropriate for foreign nationals with BPSS clearance to from part of a supplier’s delivery team?
"Yes, although there may be limitations on what they can do in terms of accessing production environments.
That said, we do not expect the Data Integrator to require the same level of access to existing Production environments relative to the System Integrator as the focus is on models and modelling."