Awarded to Parico Limited

Start date: Monday 11 October 2021
Value: £97,500
Company size: SME
The National Archives

Firewall and Switch specialist - Digital Archiving Infrastructure

4 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 0 large

19 Completed applications

19 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Thursday 26 August 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 2 September 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 9 September 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
Cyber security consultant
Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Supply of resource: the off-payroll rules will apply to any workers engaged through a qualifying intermediary, such as their own limited company
Summary of the work
Defining and agreeing the rules to be applied in the new firewall
Implementing the replacement firewall and switch, working with the supplier once selected
Assisting with any necessary configuration changes on the rest of the infrastructure, specifically on the department’s servers which are currently being migrated from RHEL6 to RHEL8
Latest start date
Friday 1 October 2021
Expected contract length
6 months with the possibility of up to 6 months' extension
Organisation the work is for
The National Archives
Maximum day rate
£800 + VAT per day

About the work

Early market engagement
Discussions have begun with existing suppliers with regard to suitable replacements for EOL firewall and switches.
Who the specialist will work with
The Cyber Security Specialist will work with technical colleagues across the department and The National Archives, and with Procurement and suppliers in evaluation and implementation of replacement firewall and switch.
What the specialist will work on
In collaboration with the wider team, support migration from the department’s existing Cisco firewall and core Ethernet switch to modern replacements which are currently being procured.
This will include:
Understanding the architecture of the current infrastructure, and the configuration of the existing firewall and switch
Defining and agreeing the firewall rules to be applied in the new firewall
Implementing the replacement firewall and switch
Assisting with any necessary network-related configuration changes on the rest of the infrastructure, specifically on departmental servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Supporting the implementation of approximately 24 new physical servers as part of the migration.

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The National Archives UK, Kew, TW9 4DU
Working arrangements
Full time 5 days a week.

The Digital Archiving Infrastructure team is located at The National Archives in Kew, Surrey. Whilst under pandemic restrictions, working arrangements are from home. It is expected that as pandemic restrictions are lifted work will be on a hybrid pattern of work at home and in the office as required, on a roughly 50/50 basis.

All expenses must be included in the quoted rate.
Security clearance
SC required

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
  • Demonstrable experience of the design, implementation and migration of firewall rules on Cisco and other manufacturers’ firewalls
  • Demonstrable experience of working on Cisco and other manufacturers’ Ethernet core switches
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working within GDS standards and best practice
  • Experience of working in the public sector

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a work history.

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and external partners / suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Can work with colleagues with less technical expertise
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Typo on latest start date
Should read 11 October 2021
2. Is there any incumbent?
3. Is there a current incumbent or preferred supplier?
4. Will National Archives sponsor the SC Security Clearance if the candidate doesn’t currently hold it?
In view of the risk associated with a chosen supplier failing to gain clearance in an acceptable timescale we would prefer candidates with current valid clearance. In theory we would be able to sponsor clearance, but this is an urgent requirement and the time taken to gain clearance could jeopardise timescales.
5. Could you please provide breakdown of further stages with dates? When exactly the final decision would be made?
Our anticipated timetable is as follows:
Scoring of all responses to produce shortlist for interview by 14 September 2021.
Interviews held week commencing 19 September 2021.
Award decision by end of day on 1 October 2021.
Contract negotiations to conclude in time for 11 October 2021 start.
6. Has a replacement firewall already been chosen, or is the selected supplier expected to provide advice on the procurement?
If a replacement has been chosen, which vendor is providing it?
We are currently speaking to suppliers about the best direct replacement for our existing firewall, and will move to procurement as soon as we are confident that we have the correct shopping list.

Ideally we would like the successful candidate to be on board as early in the process as possible, although whether that will be to advise, to verify the shopping list, or to participate in reviewing tenders will be driven by how soon we can appoint.

No final decision has yet been reached on the replacement.
7. What model is the current Cisco firewall?
ASA 5585 X
8. How many virtual servers and how many VLANs are in scope for migration?
TBA – that’s what we will want the appointed supplier to look at.