This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Thursday 29 July 2021
Department for International Trade

DIT Digital Design Support Development Team

6 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 1 large

27 Completed applications

20 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Thursday 15 July 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 22 July 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 29 July 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
The Buyer's Digital, Data and Technology team requires a supplier’s support in designing the underlying services/products for DDaT's investment and export portfolio (focusing on discovery and alphas)
Latest start date
Wednesday 6 October 2021
Expected contract length
24 months with option to extend up to 3 months
Organisation the work is for
Department for International Trade
Budget range
£1,200,000 excluding VAT with optional £300,000 excluding VAT if extension utilised

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Buyer (DIT) is a global organisation with representatives in over 100 countries across the world. It operates across about 50 industrial sectors across every region in the UK. The Digital, Data and Technology team (DDaT) works to build new services, and develop those already in existence, to promote international trade. These services provide advice, support and end-to-end services for businesses in the UK and overseas looking to trade or invest.

DDaT is a growing function, and requires support to help it deliver its work during this time. Much of DDaT’s work is exploratory, and suited to outcome-based teams.
Problem to be solved
The Buyer has several products and services designed to support UK exports and investment. The Buyer has a directory of services-e.g Export Opportunities and Tariff Tool, examples can be found at
The Buyer would expect the successful supplier to design the underlying services/products for the Buyer's DDaT investment and export portfolio (focusing on discovery and alphas).

The supplier will-have expertise in the following areas:

User research

User Centred Design (including interaction design)

Service Delivery (including agile delivery, business analysis and product management

Software development

The chosen supplier will be expected to undertake the work in all cases according to:
- DIT content lifecycle, approvals and standards
- GDS service manual
- DIT approach to user needs and acceptance criteria
- GDS and DIT style guides
- Accessibility directive
- DIT security policy and procedures

The Supplier’s teams-will-sometimes-work-independently, led-by programme teams (in particular, service owner, portfolio delivery manager, service designer); and other teams will fit in as-part-of-established product teams. If a product-or-service progresses into beta, the Buyer will look to in-house a team and will expect-the-managed-service-team to support-transition-of-knowledge.

The supplier-will-be-required to:
• Support-delivery-of-new-projects-and-transformation-of-existing-services
• Identify gaps-and-build-capability-in-the-DDaT to support emerging skills-needed-in-the-future
• Ensure-a-successful-transition-of-knowledge-to-the-in-house-team

Who the users are and what they need to do
The Buyer is looking for a supplier to help its Digital, Data and Technology team deliver against its full range of departmental priorities for investment and export.
DDaT is a growing function, and it needs extra capacity to deliver new projects and transform existing services, identify gaps and build departmental capability as DDaT helps the Buyer to deliver against its priorities. DDaT has a number of planned exploratory projects that would suit outcome-based teams.

The Buyer’s services include both staff-facing and public-facing products. Staff-facing services are used by ~4,000 Buyer’s staff and partners around the world, enabling its teams to support UK exporters and overseas investors and to inform UK trade policy. The Buyer's public-facing digital services are used by those same UK exporters and overseas investors to support them in their international trade journey.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The Buyer’s DDAT team consists of a range of multi-disciplinary teams, working across all areas. It is a fast-growing team. The supplier will support DDaT during this phase to deliver departmental priorities either by supplementing existing product teams or by taking forward new Discoveries, Alphas and Betas independently, under the leadership of the programme team. Documenting the work and handing over is a critical part of the contract to ensure that DDaT owns and retains the knowledge created during the work.

There is no incumbent supplier for this work.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Department for International Trade
Old Admiralty Building
Admiralty Place
or remotely during current restrictions as a result of COVID-19.
Working arrangements
Typically, a substantial portion of the work will be performed on-site at the Buyer’s premises in Westminster, London, unless otherwise agreed.

However, at the time of publication, government measures to reduce Covid-19 are in operation and as such, work should be done remotely and in observance of social distancing and shielding guidance. The Buyer will continue to observe all government advice in the coming months aimed at reducing the spread of the disease.
Security clearance
All supplier staff will be required to have BPSS clearance before they start; exceptionally SC clearance may be required. A copy of the clearance from the supplier will be required. It is the responsibility of the Buyer’s contract manager to ensure clearance is received.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Additional terms and conditions

The initial SOW will be agreed with the successful supplier following award, however the Buyer’s underlying requirements will not change.

The Buyer reserves the right to treat any bid which is caveated by reference to the UK's relationship with the EU and / or COVID-19 as non-compliant and, as with any procurement exercise, a bidder in submitting its prices for evaluation does so in acceptance of all business risks and circumstances arising from time to time.

Although capped time and materials is the expected pricing mechanism for any SOW entered into under the contract, the-Buyer-will-reserve-the-right-in-the-contract-to-use-alternative-payment-mechanisms-e.g.-fixed-price-or-T&M-for-future SoWs.

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
  • Experience working on user-centred, agile projects, following the Government Service Standard and Technology Code of Practice. (4%)
  • Experience of taking a hypothesis-driven iterative & explorative approach to meeting user needs. (3%)
  • Experience delivering as part of a wider product team, under the leadership of a programme team, as part of a wider portfolio. (3%)
  • Experience in linking multiple loosely coupled systems, with different data models and data quality, as part of a production service. (3%)
  • Experience of developing digital services or staff-facing digital tools to support transnational business activity. (3%)
  • Experience working with another organisation as a strategic supplier to improve their use of data (3%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Experience designing investment and/or export services in alpha phase (1%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Please outline how much resource you will-be-able-to-provide to meet call-off requests under this contract, including the volume of parallel requests that you could meet (6%)
  • Explain your approach to onboarding and retaining key resources within changing market conditions (6%)
  • Explain how you'll meet the Buyer's need for appropriately-skilled-individuals - what internal tests/processing will-you- undertake-to-ensure these specialists-meet-our-requirements? How will-you-measure-and-manage the quality and speed-of-delivery? (6%)
  • Based on the initial requirements (deliverables in the SOW), please provide role profiles of immediately available BPSS resources (6%)
  • Explain how you will ensure the Buyer’s staff are ready to take on operational control and support upon completion of work. (6%)
  • Presentation-question: Demonstrate-how-you-will-deliver the SOW deliverables-with-reference to 3 client focused-case-studies, please identify team-members-that-were-part-of-the-delivery-team,-provide-1-example-where-you-operated-independently,1-example-where-you-were-part-of-a-wider-team(10%
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate your ability to work with multiple teams on the same platform, sharing components, reviewing each other's work and promoting a collaborative working environment. (5%)
  • Demonstrate your ability to deliver in an open, collaborative, agile way according to the principles outlined in the Government Service Design Manual (5%)
  • Different-organisations-may-have-insights-into-new-ways-of-working-that-we-are-looking-to-promote.-DIT-is-keen-to-ensure-that-its-supply-chain-includes-a-diverse-range-of-businesses-e.g.-new-businesses-and-entrepreneurs,-start-ups,-SME's,-VCSE's-&-mutuals.-Explain-how-you-will-support-this-goal-5%
  • Explain how your work in areas related to the scope of the procurement has helped organisations recover from the impact of COVID-19. (5%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who is the incumbent supplier?
There is no incumbent supplier
2. What are the overall procurement timelines including shortlisting, ITT, presentation and award?
Issue R2 Invitations - 06/08/2021  
Deadline for R2 Proposal submission - 18/08/2021
Presentations - 23/08/2021  
Issue decision letters to Bidders - 22-23/09/2021  
Contract award / Order form finalised and issued - 24/09-05/10/2021
Contract Start date / Commencement Date - 06/10/2021
3. "What is the relationship between this opportunity and the previously published opportunity:
Does this one supersede the other one?"
This is a new requirement and does not supersede the other requirement.
4. What technologies and coding languages/frameworks are used within DIT? I.e. Azure, AWS. NET?
Our Technology stack comprises the following:
- Language: python (django)
- Hosting: PaaS
- Database: postgresql
- Sessions: redis
- Search: elasticsearch
- Tools: github, circle-ci, jenkins
5. What is the key software engineering stack in DIT?
Our Technology stack comprises the following:
- Language: python (django)
- Hosting: PaaS
- Database: postgresql
- Sessions: redis
- Search: elasticsearch
- Tools: github, circle-ci, jenkins
6. in terms of concurrent demand, how many parallel teams do you envisage working on the programme?
DIT would expect the successful supplier to have sufficient resource availability to deliver a number of outcomes in parallel. Exact requirements depend on business needs.
7. Are there any technical constraints or preferences for the software development/delivery aspect?
We would expect the supplier to work within the existing DIT technology stack:
- Language: python (django)
- Hosting: PaaS
- Database: postgresql
- Sessions: redis
- Search: elasticsearch
- Tools: github, circle-ci, jenkins
8. Phase 1 – Application clarification questions: 1. What does “production service” mean in the context of question 4?
A 'production service' is referring to a product with live users.
9. Phase 2 – Proposal phase clarification questions:
1. Regarding question 1 – Is there an indication of the volume of potential call off requests under this contract?
DIT would expect the supplier to help deliver against multiple priorities relating to investment and export across the Digital, Data and Technology team's various projects and portfolios. However, exact requirements will depend on business needs. DIT would therefore expect the successful supplier to have sufficient resource availability to deliver a number of outcomes in parallel.
10. 2. Does question 6 need to be answered within the proposal submission or will it form part of the presentation only? If the latter is relevant, does the presentation need to be submitted at the same time as the proposal?
No the presentation doesn't need to submitted with the proposal. The question posted is what suppliers will be expected to present.
11. 3. Regarding question 9 – Does the scope of work include supporting DIT engage a diverse range of suppliers as part of their procurement process?
No this scope of work doesn't include this.
12. Please could you clarify what work has previously been done in the lead up to this requirement?