Awarded to Made Tech Ltd

Start date: Friday 27 August 2021
Value: £202,400
Company size: SME
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

Digital capability for urgent MHCLG short-term requirements CPD4122038

10 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 1 large

20 Completed applications

18 SME, 2 large

Important dates

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


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
MHCLG requires a new supplier to work on time-constrained DDaT projects – providing teams, or individuals to supplement existing teams. An initial work package involves providing service design and business analysis for a service that collects data and makes payments to Local Authorities.
Latest start date
Wednesday 1 September 2021
Expected contract length
2 years
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
Budget range
Up to £260k excluding VAT for the Delta service design work package. Further work would be dependent on need and financial approval but has been estimated be up to £2m over 2 years.

About the work

Why the work is being done
There is a need for a flexible supplier to respond to urgent requests received by MHCLG Digital where digital skills are required within 5-10 working days.

We expect this contract to fulfil three types of need:

Resource to supplement teams on urgent projects
Agile Multidisciplinary Teams
Specialist services (e.g. Data Science, Content & Domain Knowledge)

Core capabilities for the proposed contract would be:

user experience and service design
business analysis
performance analysis and data
delivery management
software development
user research

This contract will allow time-critical work to commence for generally no longer than 3-6 months.
Problem to be solved
MHCLG needs access at short notice to digital skills so we can design, build, and deliver digital services. We are looking at placing people and teams within two weeks to deliver digital outcomes.

Some projects we expect to use the contract for include:

Technical Architect and Service mapping for Delta (data collection and grant administration service), looking to explore hypothesise including:

How might we minimise the number of support tickets being created for the service by users, ensuring efficiency for internal staff by reducing any delays in Data collections and grants?

How might we minimise long-term support, and hosting costs, to provide MHCLG with good value for money?

How might we help users to feel more confident that Delta is a reliable service by reducing downtime and bugs?

Improving the efficiency of MHCLG’s internal correspondence handling process, include possible integration between O365 and the case-working system

Service design for new funds

Designing and implementing quick automation of processes using Microsoft Power Automate, for example to enable quicker recruitment processes
Who the users are and what they need to do
MHCLG requires quick access to digital specialists to research, design, build and iterate its services. Requirements will vary from a full multidisciplinary team to individual(s) to complement an existing team for a short period.

Service mapping for Delta is likely to be the first requirement. Delta has internal and external users, whose needs include:

As a general user, I need to get issues with Delta resolved quickly, to perform within my role.

As a grant owner, I need to complete transactions through Delta so that I can ensure grants are paid on time.

As a treasurer, I need to see all the grant payments that have or are due to be received, so that I can think strategically about funding.

As a grant reviewer, I need to view grant-related reports, so that I can make sure the figures for payments are accurate.

As a collection manager, I need to ensure data providers are aware of collection deadlines, so that I can complete the data collection on time and use the data to publish stats.

As a data provider, I need a way of submitting data into Delta, so that I can save time manually entering or uploading information.
Early market engagement
There has not been any early market engagement undertaken for this specific opportunity, although it is based on a number of similar GDS opportunities, including:

The Stationary Office run and continue to develop Delta, working with in-house digital roles.
Any work that’s already been done
Over the past eighteen months, a number of iterative improvements have been made to Delta. These include:

Working towards WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility, starting with external user facing pages

Moving to a new helpdesk support supplier

Resolving bugs and issues within the system to reduce the support queue

Improving the interface, performance and form journeys to make the service more efficient for users

Adjusting the workflow in place for the service, to help more users fix problems themselves

Working towards the development of a Delta API, starting with the homelessness case level data collection
Existing team
The supplier will work with MHCLG staff from a range of disciplines, including architecture, security, policy, service and product management, finance, and delivery management.

Where required in the development cycle, collaboration with other suppliers may be necessary. This contract will not prevent us from using other commercial arrangements, to pull together a team from a range of suppliers.

On Delta, a Product Manager and Delivery Manager work full time on the team, a contract service designer will also be joining the team.

The supplier, will also be working with representatives from the business teams in MHCLG, including subject matter experts.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remotely, but also 2 Marsham Street, London where conditions allow for a couple of days a week.
Working arrangements
We want the supplier to work in an agile way with us. The team are used to remote working practices, but if Covid-19 workplace restrictions are reduced, we would like to co-locate with representatives of the successful supplier where possible at least 2 days a week to have the opportunity for face-to-face meetings.
Security clearance
If return to office happens during the contract, CTC level clearance will be required for access to 2 Marsham Street. If system administrator permissions are required for Delta, we would require SC level clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
1. All outputs will be owned by MHCLG and published openly where appropriate using a suitable open license that supports reuse.

2. All materials/outputs derived from the contract shall be the property of MHCLG.

3. GDPR requirements will be discussed and agreed once the successful supplier has been notified (as part of discussions to agree the wording of the call-off contract).

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
  • In your own words what are the key considerations for delivering on a capability and capacity contract such as this?
  • How do you allocate resources based on uncertain demand? Describe your business model/how do you resource teams
  • Describe your approach to building good technology that meets user needs whilst delivering at pace
  • What challenges have you faced when needing to delivery within tight time constraints; How did you overcome these challenges?
  • Knowledge and experience of Agile practices
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Knowledge of using Microsoft Power Automate or a similar product to automate repetitive workflow
  • Worked with GDS Service Standards and GOV.UK design system
  • Experience of working with live services

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology (the way your people work)
  • Your approach to rapidly deploying a team
  • Your approach to sourcing security cleared staff, and your approach to getting staff security clearance
  • Your understanding of the Digital Service Standard and Government Design Principles
  • Your approach to dealing with cross-department projects with collective outputs and blended delivery teams
  • Social value- Theme 2 - Tackling economic inequality Policy Outcome (10% of proposal criteria weighting)
Cultural fit criteria
  • work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • challenge status quo
  • ability to manage challenging and diverse stakeholder needs
  • share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Will all roles sit outside of the IR35 regulations?
Most roles are expected to sit outside of the IR35 regulations, but there may be some roles that are inside. All roles will be assessed prior to issuing a Statement of Work.
2. Please confirm your specific requirements for Microsoft Power Automate?
We don’t have specific requirements yet, but we have previously used Power Automate to triage and distribute applications for funding (submitted through MS tools) to application markers. We’re interested in how we can harness similar automations going forward.
3. Please can you confirm what you consider as a “typical” tight timeline/turnaround?
We would propose using the same model as GDS, so 10 days to understand, agree and sign a SoW, then 10 days for roles to be on site. 20 days in total.
4. Please can you confirm if you expect projects to run concurrently
It’s highly likely that projects will run concurrently.
5. Is the requirement to provide a core team with additional ad hoc support (i.e. burst capacity)?
No. We expect to discuss Statements of Work for projects lasting about 3-6 months, which will be largely independent. Some likely projects are detailed in the opportunity.
6. In terms of software development, what programming languages are required? What kind of software would a supplier be developing besides Delta?
We’ll run separate DOS procurements for large alphas/beta work. This contract is most likely to be used on Delta or light automations (ideally using Microsoft products or tools that are sustainable for us), but may involve work on other services. We try to follow for new services -our preferences are Ruby and Python. Our older services (such as Delta) are a mix of Java, Orbeon Forms, Node JS, MarkLogic NoSQL databases.
7. Is there an incumbent supplier? Or the Delta system has been developed in-house?
As stated in the brief, our internal team work with The Stationary Office (TSO) to develop and run Delta. TSO will continue to work on that service and any successful supplier will be expected to work with them. There is no incumbent for this urgent capability requirement.
8. In the case of SC clearance required, is this funded?
Yes. It would be beneficial for the supplier to already have SC-cleared staff, but if more are required, MHCLG will sponsor the clearance.
9. Would you accept more than one example, within 100 words, for the Essential and Nice to Have questions?
Yes. However, please focus on one primary example even if you refer to others.