Awarded to Hippo Digital Limited

Start date: Saturday 18 September 2021
Value: £1,950,000
Company size: SME
Government Digital Service, part of Cabinet Office

WP1989.1: UX/product outcome for identity and authentication

11 Incomplete applications

10 SME, 1 large

23 Completed applications

13 SME, 10 large

Important dates

Tuesday 27 July 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 3 August 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 10 August 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Professional Services for Digital Identity Unit

Deliver the authentication and identity components of the Single Sign On service, and begin service migration in FY 22/23.

The supplier will be able to rapidly onboard a team to meet outcome deliverables for each statement of work within 5-10 days when required.
Latest start date
Wednesday 15 September 2021
Expected contract length
The initial term is 18 months, with a break clause at the 12 month point.
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Government Digital Service, part of Cabinet Office
Budget range
The budget for this outcome is up to £1.95m.

The supplier will be asked to deliver statements of work under this outcome, to be agreed throughout the contract.

We envisage this work to be done by a multi-disciplinary team comprised of roles such as: product manager, delivery manager, service designer, interaction designer, content designer, user researcher, business analyst, technical architect. However the supplier will choose the team based on the deliverables agreed for each statement of work.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Government Digital Service will be letting a series of contracts through the DOS Framework (digital outcomes). The contracts will support the delivery of a single sign-on service which will allow citizens to access any online central government service simply, safely and securely. You can read more about our plans in this recent GDS blog post.
Problem to be solved
People are still asked to sign in and prove their identity in different ways to access different services. From our own research we know that many users don't understand the differences between these logins, and are confused about which ones they already have.

Some services need to carry out digital identity checks to make sure the people wanting to access them are who they claim to be. However, people without easy access to official documents, like passports and driving licences, are too often excluded from these simple, online routes. As government services become increasingly digital and accessing in-person ones now often relies on some kind of online interaction (like booking an appointment), it's vital that access is as inclusive as possible.

At the same time, departments delivering government services currently have to build or buy their own sign-on and identity services, resulting in people having to enter the same information time and again when accessing multiple services. Running multiple systems in this way also leads to added cost to the taxpayer and, because it is hard for different services to share information with each other, reduced capability for government to tackle fraudulent access to its services in a joined-up way.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a citizen I need to create a single sign on account so that I can apply for and access government services without having to hold multiple credentials.
Early market engagement
An email was sent to suppliers on 15/7/21 to let suppliers know this requirement would be published shortly.
Any work that’s already been done
Our current team has completed the alpha phase of development, and is ready to move into private beta.
Existing team
The supplier will be expected to work collaboratively within a wider team of Civil Servants, contractors and suppliers throughout the contract term.

Knowledge transfer will be required to enable GDS to improve internal capability to build and support services.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote working okay
Working arrangements
To be agreed with the supplier.
Security clearance
Baseline Personnel Security Standard.
For the avoidance of doubt, if these roles are required, developers, SREs, and technical architects must have, or be able to achieve, SC clearance when requested.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
"All expenses must be pre-agreed with between the parties and must comply with the Cabinet Office (CO) Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy."

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 developing and iterating identity verification systems
  • Experience developing and iterating authentication systems
  • Experience in fast paced delivery enviornments, with a proven ability to rapidly iterate services based on user experience.
  • Experience managing digital tranformation, changing and migration projects across large and diverse organisations
  • Experience delivering maintainable, scaleable and secure operational live services for users
  • Experience working within government digital standards
  • Confident working in scaled agile delivery environments
  • Experienced and comfortable with forming and operating highly effective multidisciplinary teams
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Evidence of developing, launching and iterating identity and authentication services
  • The proposed approach to making informed decisions based on user needs/experience, available technology and value for money.
  • Evidence of working with users to understand their requirements, context and constraints, and iterating technical and design solutions to address what you have learned.
  • Describe how you ensure development aligns to the UK Government Design Principles, Service Standard and Service Manual.
  • Describe your organisational structure and capacity, and how well suited it is to meet the outcome
  • Outline your approach to managing the delivery of outcomes similar to this one
  • Your approach to rapidly deploying a team
  • Sample CVs scored as a set
Cultural fit criteria
  • Comfortable using AGILE delivery approach across a broad range of products and services.
  • Demonstrable experience of working within government digital standards
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Welcomes challenges and failure as an opportunity to learn how to do things better
  • Social value
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please share the link to the video used in the Q&A call
The link is here:
2. Please share the slides used in the Q&A call
The slides are here:
3. Will you be aligning to GPG45 standards?
Yes, we will
4. Is your solution being build in house of are you using COTS solutions?
We are building the solution in house, with some discrete components of the service being bought in.
5. How is this aligned to digital identity work being done by DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport)?
We are working closely with DCMS to ensure our product is aligned with their policy, standards and legislation.
6. You mentioned the two user groups being "Citizens" and "consumers of the service" is the intention to support organisations as well as private citizens?
Yes, for example our product will provide a solution for individuals acting on behalf of a business.
7. Are we right to assume this replaces Verify?
Yes, that is correct.
8. Are you considering the option of using a COTS solution instead? Or is the team set on developing the product in-house?
We have decided to build the product in house.
9. Who are the incumbents?
We are currently using existing GDS DOS contracts. Our suppliers are LA International and Engine.
10. Can we provide case studies from private sector as well? Or does this have to be public sector?
It isn't required to use case studies from the public sector, however the essential criteria for both outcomes asks that suppliers have experience working within government digital standards.
11. Can offshore / near shore resources be used to deliver the project?
No, this will not meet our security requirements.
12. Are there any other tech products we should be aware of?
All relevant technical products being used to deliver the solution are included in the requirement.
13. What is the expected scale of roll out in year 1?
This is being agreed with services at the time of writing, however we expect to migrate several services in FY22/23.
14. Please advise if identity proofing solution is also being built in house
Yes, the identity proofing solution is also being built in house.
15. Please will you share the outcome of the alpha service assessment?
Service assessment outcomes are routinely published at, however for the avoidance of doubt we will share the alpha service assessment report with shortlisted suppliers for completeness. Please note that only the authentication component of the service has been through its alpha assessment at this time.
16. Can you please share the outputs from the Q&A session held on 2 August?
Yes all questions asked during the session have been published (Questions 1 - 15). Please note it was a joint Q&A session for this requirement and WP1989.2.
17. Are suppliers permitted to use multiple examples in each 100-word answer?
Yes but we do need suppliers to stick to 100 words without any unnecessary dashes or dots.
18. The DOS advert makes reference to the current team having completed Alpha. Is this an internal team or an existing supplier? Is this work related to WP1964 for example?
There are incumbent suppliers. This procurement is being run as a fair and open competition. WP1964 is a separate contract for GOV.UK
19. Will you be confirming the evaluation scheme in detail when you publish the documents to shortlisted suppliers? Specifically, will you be using the CCS standard rules at Evaluation Stage, i.e. each individual Essential and Proposal Criteria (the 16 elements in the DOS advert) each be worth 3.75% of the 60% for Technical, and will each of the 5 Cultural Fit elements each be worth 4% of the 20% for Cultural Fit? You additionally list Case Studies, Work Histories and Presentation as evaluation methods – how will those be scored in light of the initial query?
When it comes to the second stage we will explain clearly to those shortlisted suppliers how we will evaluate and end up with one weighted score for Technical Competence (covering all applicable assessment methods), one weighted score for Cultural Fit (covering all applicable assessment methods) and one weighted score for price
20. Is the £1.95m budget for this WP1989.1 UX stream alone, or is the £1.95m the budget for the whole programme, i.e. including WP1989.2 (as both adverts mention the same budget)?
up to £1.95m each
21. For Evaluation Stage Cultural Fit, will there be a specific “Social Value” aspect that you will be looking for?
We will provide detail to shortlisted suppliers on the specific social value aspect
22. Will suppliers that can offer to deliver both WP1989.1 and WP1989.2, potentially with some cost savings, be looked upon more favourably?
Each requirement will be evaluated on its own merit.
23. One of the evaluation phase Proposal Criteria asks about “developing and launching” a service. Given this procurement is for UX/Product outcomes (as opposed to WP1989.2 that we understand would cover the technical development side), does this just mean developing the UX elements, or that you will actually want evidence of the supplier also developing/delivering the whole service/solution?
Suppliers should provide evidence of developing and delivering the UX elements, as well as evidence of managing the delivery and launching of products.
24. For Q5, given that this procurement is for UX skills, are you looking for evidence of where the bidder has used a UX team to work on a secure, scalable service (directly used by public “users”) that the supplier also later went on to “deliver” (i.e. with development/delivery resources)?
Yes, with a focus on delivery resources in particular
25. Can you please clarify/expand on your expectations for this answer – Experience managing digital transformation, changing and migration projects across large and diverse organisations
We would expect to see evidence of experience managing programmes of work which have a digital transformation element for more than one large organisation, and managing the change process to realise the benefits of the transformation.
26. In question 4, what is meant by ‘changing’ projects?
This is a spelling mistake - it should say 'change' projects. Refer to above clarification question 25 for a complete answer.
27. Is the alpha phase development a 3rd party vendor solution (wholly or partly), and is the intention to proceed with a build or buy strategy?
No, the alpha phase development has been completed in house.
28. Please can you clarify the budget
The budget is up to £1.95m over the life of the whole contract - split over more than one FY. A PO will either be raised based on the value of the initial SOW (then topped up) or the likely value up to the end of this FY. Any spend in the next FY may be subject to further governance and approval.