This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Wednesday 15 September 2021
Geospatial Commission

National Land Data Programme - Alpha Platform

6 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 0 large

19 Completed applications

12 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 1 September 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 8 September 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 15 September 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
The Geospatial Commission requires a team for the agile development of a distributed geospatial data platform, including ETL for processing of datasets. The National Land Data (NLD) Platform will support discovery, view, and download of data. Knowledge of land use management and work with regional test sites is required.
Latest start date
Tuesday 9 November 2021
Expected contract length
Until March 2023 with the option of a 1 month extension.
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Geospatial Commission
Budget range
Up to £1.65m (ex. VAT).

This budget includes funding for delivery of the core requirements and a retained contingency that will allow the Geospatial Commission to respond to future requirements as they emerge through the pilots on a case by case basis. Bidders should therefore price to deliver the core requirements of the contract with the requirement for contingency budget in mind.

The Geospatial Commission would welcome bidders to propose options to enhance project outcomes beyond the core requirements that could be met from within this contingency, any decision on which would be at the Geospatial Commission's sole discretion.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Since land is a finite resource, where and how it is used needs to be carefully considered to ensure competing priorities are taken into account and land is used in the most effective way possible. Simply put, this requires a joined-up approach to decisions about land use at national, regional, and local level. To ensure these decisions are based on evidence and stand up to public scrutiny, data about land is fundamentally important.

We will need to test the feasibility and value of an authoritative data platform as the single source for coherent data about land use in the UK. If scaled nationally, such a platform could enable joined up policy making and support the transition to low carbon uses of land while achieving other national priorities including housing development and improved biodiversity.

The work must be completed by February 2023.
Problem to be solved
Enable public sector land use decision makers to find and access land use data via an authoritative data platform with simplified licensing, enhanced navigation and filtering capabilities, a rich metadata store, data visualisation, and an online community of engaged data users and producers that fosters innovation to support policy development and delivery linked to infrastructure, housing, planning, the environment, and net zero.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The following example is for a user identified as a "local authority planner." This is an example of a typical user of the system, but similar user personas would apply in either a local authority, land use consultancy, or central government department.

As a planner in a local authority who is responsible for making land use decisions, I need to:
- Find appropriate land use datasets based on spatial search, through text in metadata or through intuitive navigation, so that I can use it in support of my local development plans;
- View the data I find so that I can appraise its relevance in support of my local development plans;
- Download the data so that I can use it in my local development plans;
- Download the data through an API so that I can use it in my planning tools; and
- Engage a wider community of land use professionals so I can ask questions about the data in the portal.
Early market engagement
N/A.
Any work that’s already been done
N/A.
Existing team
The NLD Programme Team consists of two Project Managers, one Data Product Owner, one Facilitator, one Data and Standards Lead, two Data Analysts, one Stakeholder Engagement Manager, one Strategic Consultant, and Senior Management.

The Supplier will be expected to provide a fully resourced team in addition to this as none of the above are expected to work on either the technical development or ongoing running and maintenance of the NLD Platform.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Geospatial Commission, Floor 6, 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4PU.
Working arrangements
The supplier will need to work in line with the Geospatial Commission's NLD Programme Team, working hours Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

The supplier is expected to meet (virtual or face to face, as appropriate) with the NLD Programme Team, regional pilot groups (all in the UK), and stakeholders, as required for meetings, workshops, and show and tells. Meetings may be more frequent initially as the plan, scope, and deliverables are agreed. Expenses should be covered within the project budget. The supplier is expected to lead on all Alpha tech activity, outputs, pilot area group facilitation, and engagement activity.
Security clearance
All supplier staff involved in the technical development and ongoing running or maintenance of the NLD Platform must at minimum have Baseline Personnel Security Standard clearance. Any staff not already cleared at the time of contract award must start the process of gaining clearance within 4 weeks of contract award.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The resulting outputs shall be the intellectual property of the Geospatial Commission. The analysis, information and data collected, interim and final outputs, shall also be the property of the Geospatial Commission. The Supplier shall not disclose the outputs (either in part or in full) to any third parties prior to any publication by the Geospatial Commission, unless the Geospatial Commission gives expressed written consent to do so.

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
  • Demonstrate recent, and at least 5 years' experience of managing complex projects according to Agile methodology and user-centred design principles.
  • Demonstrate recent, and at least 5 years’ experience of community and stakeholder engagement, including assisted digital users, through a range of methods, e.g. facilitated workshops.
  • Demonstrate recent, and at least 5 years’ experience of iterative development, including capturing and prioritising user stories and designing, facilitating, and analysing user acceptance testing.
  • Demonstrate substantive experience of analysing and interrogating land use data and providing recommendations in a highly regulated environment.
  • Demonstrate experience of effectively relaying insights back to the customer and producing high quality findings reports for a variety of audiences, including senior stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate recent, and at least 5 years' experience of deploying distributed geospatial systems supporting data ingestion, discovery, view, and download.
  • Demonstrate substantive experience of conceptual data modelling and geospatial database design.
  • Demonstrate substantive experience working with geospatial data products and OGC web services.
  • Demonstrate experience of product realisation using open standards and geospatial ETL techniques.
  • Demonstrate substantive experience of data ontologies, including using them to support discovery, intelligent browsing, navigation, and downloading of data sets based on open standards.
  • Potential Bidders must confirm they are already or will sign up to the CCS e-Sourcing Suite for the Evaluation Stage before the Shortlisting Stage submission deadline.
  • Potential Bidders must agree to abide by Crown Commercial Service’s Process for the Evaluation Stage.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of successfully taking a digital product or service through the GDS Service Assessment, Security Health Check, Penetration Testing, Service Readiness, and release reviews as part of acceptance testing.
  • Demonstrate substantive experience of developing automated testing procedures.
  • Demonstrate experience of delivering a minimal viable product/proof of concept through to delivering a robust product or service into a 'live' environment on behalf of a government department.
  • Demonstrate substantive experience of providing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) geospatial solutions (proprietary and/or open source) to a variety of Public Sector data suppliers in the UK.
  • Demonstrate experience of understanding data license terms and amalgamating datasets with different license terms into singular data products.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Outline how the requirements will be integrated into the project and provide an outline of outputs to be delivered.
  • Provide an overview of the proposed methodology and approach to project delivery and explain how this embraces a user-centric, agile way of working.
  • Provide a detailed resource plan and estimated timeframe for the project and explain how and when specific resource will be used throughout the duration of the project.
  • Outline the proposed team and explain the value each individual team member will add to the project, both in terms of their skillset and specific previous experience.
  • Demonstrate your experience in designing and developing end to end geospatial solutions (including front and back end) through a range of previous projects for customers on similar scales.
  • Demonstrate your experience in designing and implementing community and stakeholder engagement methods through a range of previous projects for customers on similar scales.
  • Demonstrate your experience of adding value for money to previous comparable projects and outline how you will ensure value for money for the Geospatial Commission on this project.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate experience of managing uncertainty and responding to change.
  • Demonstrate experience of working well in a collaborative agile team across multiple organisations in a transparent manner.
  • Demonstrate experience of proactively engaging with third party stakeholders to move a project forward.
  • Demonstrate experience of successfully influencing staff and suppliers throughout the delivery of a Project to support health and wellbeing, including physical and mental health.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you confirm who undertook the discovery phase for this opportunity?
No discovery phase has been undertaken for this opportunity.
2. Please could you provide the names of the pilot area partners in Devon, West Midlands and Northern Ireland?
We are currently in the process of finalising agreements with our preferred partners and will announce their names in due course.
3. For the last two ‘essential’ questions, how will these be scored?

‘Potential Bidders must confirm they are already or will sign up to the CCS e-Sourcing Suite for the Evaluation Stage before the Shortlisting Stage submission deadline.’

‘Potential Bidders must agree to abide by Crown Commercial Service’s Process for the Evaluation Stage.’
These are pass/fail questions and will not be scored.

They mainly serve as a reminder to Suppliers that we cannot progress their application, should they be shortlisted, if they aren’t already or aren’t willing to sign up to the CCS e-Sourcing Suite and if they aren’t willing to abide by Crown Commercial Service’s Process for the Evaluation Stage.
4. Can you please confirm that “Potential Bidders must confirm they are already or will sign up to the CCS e-Sourcing Suite for the Evaluation Stage before the Shortlisting Stage submission deadline.” will not be weighted and suppliers should put “Yes” for full marks?
Correct, this is a pass/fail question and will not be scored.

This mainly serves as a reminder to Suppliers that we cannot progress their application, should they be shortlisted, if they aren’t already or aren’t willing to sign up to the CCS e-Sourcing Suite.
5. Can you please confirm that “Potential Bidders must agree to abide by Crown Commercial Service’s Process for the Evaluation Stage.” will not be weighted and suppliers should put “Yes” for full marks?
Correct, this is a pass/fail question and will not be scored.

This mainly serves as a reminder to Suppliers that we cannot progress their application, should they be shortlisted, if they aren’t willing to abide by Crown Commercial Service’s Process for the Evaluation Stage.
6. What levels of protective marking are likely to apply to the platform data?
It is likely to be either not classified or OFFICIAL.
7. Which supplier helped with the National Land Data Platform business case?
The business case was developed internally by the Geospatial Commission.
8. Did you intend for four of the essential skills to require 5+ years experience of performing very specific work?
Yes. Please note that this can be made up from the experience of individual team members, rather than the company as a whole, e.g. in the case of start-ups.
9. Several questions ask suppliers to “Demonstrate recent, and at least 5 years’ experience”. DOS guidance states suppliers should respond with one example unless advised otherwise by buyers. For these questions, please confirm if you are seeking an overview of experience and one detailed example or several examples.
Please provide a brief overview of experience and include one detailed example.
10. Several questions ask suppliers to “Demonstrate substantive experience”. DOS guidance states suppliers should respond with one example unless advised otherwise by buyers. For these questions, please confirm you are seeking a single detailed example.
Please provide a brief overview of experience and include one detailed example.
11. We note the reference to “experience of providing COTS geospatial solutions”. Given the DOS is a services framework and not a COTS product framework, please confirm (a) that you are not expecting suppliers to provide COTS products and (b) if suppliers will be expected to work with any specific existing or planned COTS products at Alpha.
Suppliers are welcome to propose a COTS solution to address our requirements. Should they do this, the only COTS solution they'd be working with is the one they'd supply.

Please note this is nice-to-have, not essential.
12. We note several references in the published Digital Marketplace opportunity to development of a “platform” and “system”. What technology are you expecting suppliers to work with during Alpha?
We expect Suppliers to propose a technical solution that best addresses our requirements.
13. In the “Existing Team ” field of the opportunity, you state “The Supplier will be expected to provide a fully resourced team in addition to this [your team] as none of the above are expected to work on either the technical development or ongoing running and maintenance of the NLD Platform.” An Alpha stage would not involve extensive technical development or running or maintenance of the platform, so please clarify what this refers to.
We expect Suppliers to build and test a data platform and then maintain it for the duration of the Alpha Phase.
14. What are the reasons for starting this project at alpha stage, rather than at discovery? Or is a discovery being published separately?
Although no discovery phase has been undertaken for this opportunity, a variety of other work has preceded this which has made a formal discovery phase surplus to requirements.
15. With which departments, i.e. PAG – does the Authority anticipate sharing information in the National Land Data Platform?
We are currently in the process of finalising this and will share this information with the successful Supplier upon contract award.
16. Which supplier helped with the National Land Data Platform Stage 1 and Stage 2 DOS5 requirements?
The Geospatial Commission has been solely responsible for this DOS5 procurement.

If this relates to a discovery phase then please note that no discovery phase has been undertaken for this opportunity.

If this has not answered your question, please do resubmit your question with more detail.
17. Is there an existing infrastructure environment (dev, test, prod or legacy) that might be part of discovery?
No.

Please note this requirement is for an alpha phase, not a discovery phase.
18. What delivery approaches, i.e. Lean-Agile, SAFe, etc is the Authority using that are likely to apply to this assignment?
We expect shortlisted Suppliers to propose their delivery approach to fulfilling our requirement as part of their bid.
19. Please can you confirm if being chosen as the successful supplier for the Project Management Team will preclude that supplier from any future procurement concerning the technical build in any subsequent project phase?
The successful Supplier will not be precluded from bidding for any potential future phases of the National Land Data Programme.
20. Do you anticipate there will be a gap between Discovery and Build (phase 2)?
Not applicable.

Please note this requirement is for an alpha phase, not a discovery phase.
21. Can the Authority please confirm the overarching timescales for major procurement milestones for this current phase, i.e. evaluation period, down-select, stand-still, etc?
These will be confirmed to shortlisted Suppliers.
22. Can you please advise the timelines of this procurement (e.g. shortlisted companies notified, anticipated contract award)? Also, can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present?
These will be confirmed to shortlisted Suppliers.

Shortlisted Suppliers will not be expected to present.
23. Please confirm the primary interfaces and any adjacent projects or programmes with which the team will have to collaborate during the course of Discovery and Alpha delivery?
None.

We expect the Supplier's main lines of communication to be with the Geospatial Commission and our partners in the regional pilot sites.

Please note this requirement is for an alpha phase, not a discovery phase.
24. Is it possible for the Authority to share more information about the senior business user for the National Land Data Platform and their objectives for the assignment?
The aim of the NLD Programme is to test the feasibility and value of an authoritative data platform as the single source for coherent data about land use in the UK.

To achieve this we will carry out an Alpha Phase with three pilots in different geographic locations to:
-demonstrate how a joined-up approach to data could support more coordinated policy making and local delivery;
-engage the relevant data producers and work with them to incorporate the Q-FAIR principles and relevant standards into their dataset(s); and
-identify the datasets required to enable effective decisions concerning land use to be made.
25. In your cultural fit criteria, the Authority asks, “Demonstrate experience of successfully influencing staff and suppliers throughout the delivery of a Project to support health and wellbeing, including physical and mental health.” Can the Authority please explain how the ‘health and wellbeing’ requirement fits to the delivery of the National Land Data Platform?
We expect Suppliers to value the health and wellbeing, including physical and mental health, of both their staff and any suppliers.
26. Can the Authority confirm any interfaces that the National Land Data Platform is likely to have – notwithstanding the fact that discovery has yet to take place?
None.

We expect the Supplier's main lines of communication to be with the Geospatial Commission and our partners in the regional pilot sites.

Please note this requirement is for an alpha phase, not a discovery phase.
27. Under additional Ts & Cs it is stated that “The resulting outputs shall be the intellectual property of the Geospatial Commission. The analysis, information and data collected, interim and final outputs, shall also be the property of the Geospatial Commission.”

To confirm: The outputs (reports, data,etc) and analysis created *by* the Alpha Platform are IP of the Geospatial Commission, but the platform itself (and background IP) remain IP of the supplier?
Any and all work products created by the Supplier as part of the duration of the Alpha Phase will be the intellectual property of the Geospatial Commission.

Any proprietary data and associated background information will remain the intellectual property of the Supplier.
28. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
The evaluation panel will compose individuals from across government with expertise in geospatial information, digital infrastructure, and land use policy.
29. Does the NLD programme interface or interact in any way with the NUAR project currently in the build phase and if so to what extent (assuming that underground assets may impact above-ground land use suitability)?
We do not expect there to be a direct interaction between the NUAR and NLD Programmes. As such, they should be considered as distinct.

The NLD Programme is a prototype and as part of this work it may identify where such interactions are prudent, e.g. at the data model level.
30. Has a decision been made as to whether this would sit on Azure or AWS or another Public Cloud Service Provider?
No.
31. Can the Authority please confirm any geospatial tools that are currently being used that are expected to be carried forward in the planned Alpha Platform.
While no tools have previously been identified that we expect or wish to carry forward into the planned NLD Platform, there is a requirement for compliance with industry open standards.
32. 32. When you state ‘work with regional test sites is required’ are you indicating that previous work on the regional test sites is a mandatory requirement or are you merely stating the working with regional test sites will be required as part of this project?
Working with regional test sites will be required as part of this project.
33. Will the project be subject to formal Alpha and Beta Stage GDS assessments?
No, however, future work will be subject to GDS scrutiny.