Awarded to Objectivity Ltd

Start date: Monday 7 February 2022
Value: £250,000
Company size: large
Leeds City Council

ITS201169 Microsoft Access Database Replacement

18 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 7 large

16 Completed applications

9 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Friday 1 October 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 8 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 15 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Our programme vision is that using an agile approach incremental re-platforming of 514 Access Solutions will take place.

Access Solutions will be re-platformed into cloud native solutions for digital workplace preferring Microsoft 365 and Power Platform technologies.

We will award contracts to a maximum of four organisations.
Latest start date
Monday 22 November 2021
Expected contract length
24 months
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
Leeds City Council
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The work is being done to lower the cost of ownership of solutions, enhance business productivity through the use of Digital Workplace technologies and control legal and compliance risks to the organisation from having legacy and unsupported solutions supporting service delivery.
Problem to be solved
Re-platforming or retirement of 514 Access Solutions.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our users of access solutions are business stakeholders in business processes and service delivery that the Access solution supports.

Their motivation is to have solutions that automate and make their job easier or service delivery more efficient. In some cases users are also technical experts in one or more Access Solutions.

Early discovery suggests that our access databases exist as an application in their own right, to make a buisness process automated or plug gaps in reporting functions of the existing Line of Buisness Systems.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
In 2020 LCC completed conversion of 305 Access 2003 databases to Access 2010. This project also decommissioned Access databases.

Following conversion, a further discovery exercise has taken place. This exercise grouped our remaining databases into solutions (where one Access solution can contain multiple related databases) and identified 514 solutions made up of 1035 individual databases. All access solutions are in version 2010.

Some business analysis work has been undertaken for a subset of the Access Solutions. Business analysis information does not exist for every Access solution. The majority of the 514 solutions do not have this analysis.
Existing team
Leeds City Council will establish a team to support this programme of work which will include a programme manager, programme architect, area project leads (responsible for a maximum of 3 initiatives) and area product owners (responsible for a maximum of 3 initiatives)

The Council will make any necessary Council resource available to support agile teams as required including but not exclusive to business stakeholders, subject matter experts, business analysts.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
It is expected that work will take place flexibly between Leeds City Council Offices and remotely

Client facing resources (analysts, services designers, account managers, project managers, scrum masters) may be expected to travel and work from locations within Leeds, as required, however this will be at the expense of the supplier.

Implementation and development resources can be flexibly deployed and the council recognises companies may wish to use resources located internationally for development and back office roles.
Working arrangements
Flexible – both office based and remote as required. The Council operates a flexible working policy encouraging remote working to reduce travel and office space requirements. We expect the supplier to be available for meetings on site if required but also to be able to deliver the required outcomes through remote working.
Security clearance
Selected members of the supplier’s teams may have to undergo DBS checks when dealing with personal and sensitive data.

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
  • Microsoft Certified Silver Partner or Gold Partner.
  • Proven track record of managing agile design and development projects, moving quickly with prototypes and pilots to prove ideas in practice.
  • Familiarity with production and refinement of discovery products e.g. personas, user stories and needs.
  • Experience in creating functional proof of concepts; performing user testing; identifying technical and implementation challenges.
  • Experience in creating production ready solution using secure development practices addressing process or technical related challenges, coordinating user testing & iteration.
  • Experience in the management and organisation of agile developments.
  • Ability to organise developments from design and user requirements presenting agile sprint plans, ordering product development backlogs and reporting on development progress.
  • Experience in the handover and deployment of production ready solutions. Proven track record in projects requiring support handover for operation by customer.
  • Ability to communicate project progress and manage resources in a extended teams to achieve on-time delivery of minimal viable products.
  • Proven track record of delivery of development projects requiring interface with existing organisations design, technical, and project management teams.
  • Experience delivering products using Microsoft Power Platform (Power BI, Power Automate, Power Apps), Microsoft 365 Suite of apps (including extended apps such as Planner, Sharepoint Online).
  • Delivery of a quality coded products using a variety of Bespoke Development Stacks (LAMP, AWS, .net, Azure, Angular, React, Node.js, CSS3).
  • Exeprience delivering Application Management Lifecycle for Power Platform solutions using Microsoft ALM best practice.
  • Experience with developments requiring integration with existing back office systems. Extensive experience of Microsoft Azure integration Platform service.
  • Design, build and enhance Products in secure, ‘open’, loosely coupled ways so that they or their component parts can be shared and reused.
  • Experience working with automated regression test suites, Developing User Acceptance Test (UAT) Scripts and delivering UAT against agreed Test Scripts.
  • Ability to manage release including bug identification management and fix verification process.
  • Proven experience in transitioning support to an orgnaisations existing development and operations resources.
  • Experience in projects having required deployment to an oranisations existing development infrastructure.
  • Proven track record in creation of handover documentation and developer documentation.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience with delivering large projects in a remote working setup.
  • Experience with SCRUM methodology, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Application of SCRUM methodology in large programmes.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach: Agile and collobrative approach. Approach should be in line with GDS Service Manual for Agile Delivery
  • Method: Use of recognised agile methodologies in the delivery with deep familiarity with SCRUM agile methodology preferably in a large progarmmes or projects.
  • Timescale: Ability to quickly mobilse a variety of resources and deliver product incrementally over a 24 month timescale.
  • Team: Able to provide a large variety of team roles. Ability to work with existing Council team. Ability to work collaboratively with other suppliers/contractors awarded work on the programme.
  • Delivery Plan: Ability to curate both project and agile development delivery plan from requirements gathered.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work collaboratively and open in approach and opinions.
  • Be willing to share knowledge, intelligence and insights in an open and transparent way.
  • Be able to work alongside an established team and able to establish positive working relationships.
  • Be able to work remotely from the team whilst maintaining strong relationships.
  • Be willing to provide challenge and offer alternatives in a constructive manner.
  • Have a structured approach to planning and sharing knowledge.
  • Be willing to work with other partners, suppliers and contractors awarded work in this programme.
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. What is the expected value of the contract?
We are looking for the market to guide us on this. Per the DOS listing, the contract is offered on a time and materials basis for the contract duration 2 years.
We will award contracts to 4 suppliers.
We have organised work into 12 initiatives containing approx. 50 solutions per initiative. Per the agile approach of the programme clearly outcome of initial assessment of solutions will determine what investment we make in each solution. Each solution will require a different resource mix to be provided by successful suppliers to deliver. All solutions will require discovery resources.
2. Is there a list of the types of database?
There is a full list of 521 solutions composed of 1038 databases (where one solution is made up of multiple databases). We have further broken this list into 12 initiatives of approx. 50 solutions per initiative. For some initiatives we have logically grouped solutions by business area where this grouping was known/possible.
3. What is the split of database complexity eg 10% large, 20% medium, 70% small?
We do not have a definitive split, there are large, medium and small ones.
4. Is there currently a M365 tenant in place which will host the applications?
Yes. All solutions both development and production will use the Leeds City Council M365 Tenancy.
5. Would there be an expectation for the supplier to support tenant management?
There is an expectation that the supplier will have to consult and advise on best practice for tenant management as part of their collaborative role in establishing supportable architecture (i.e. ALM/division of power platform environments/knowledge transfer). There is no expectation for ongoing tenant management support. This will be transferred to internal teams already supporting Power Platform and M365 Platform Products.
6. Is BAU ongoing support for databases outside of current contract?
Outside of proposed contract. The Council will undertake this ourselves once transitioned to us.
7. What level of capacity is currently licensed?
All of our current capacity is currently licensed. We will licence new capacity as we require it.
8. Are these databases for internal users only and if not how many of them (%) are external facing?
To our knowledge none are externally facing.
9. Does existing data held in the databases need to be migrated?
This could be a requirement in some cases.
10. Is there a proposed roadmap of conversion already in place and if so what is it?
No. This will be established collaboratively through agile methods of working and governance during the programme delivery.
11. How many of the databases have business analysis information (complete, partial, none)?
Leeds City Council undertook a conversion of databases from Access 2003 to Access 2010 covering around 67% of our current estate in scope of this project. For these databases analysis is partially known but ALL need renewed analysis. The remaining 33% have none.
12. How many of the databases are documented (complete, partial, none)?
Very few/partial.
13. What is the level of documentation on the solutions (%) (complete, partial, none)?
Very few/partial.
14. Is there an incumbent delivering the work already?
15. Could you please give an indication of the budget for this piece of work and the commercial structure (fixed price or otherwise) that you’d like to employ?
Per the DOS listing, the contract is offered on a time and materials basis for the contract duration 2 years. We will award contracts to 4 suppliers.
16. Can you please advise the current licensing you have in place for Power Platform? Have you invested in premium upfront, or are you looking to utilise O365 E3/E5 only?
The authority has some ad-hoc low volume power platform licensing in place which has supported discovery and development for non-production initiatives.
The authority has E3/E5 licensing covering a large portion of its information worker workforce affected by this programme.
In relation to the requirements that are established by this programme, all licensing as required will be purchased from our Microsoft Enterprise Agreement through existing commercial arrangements, which includes a consideration for premium.
Reseller services as a Microsoft CSP are not required from suppliers for the delivery of this programme.
17. Microsoft Certified Silver Partner or Gold Partner? Is it mandatory to be a partner to enrol into this submission of application.
As per the published requirements, Mcrosoft Certified Silver Partner or Gold Partner is an Essential Skill and Experience.
18. You mentioned that ‘Early discovery suggests that our access databases exist as an application in their own right, to make a business process automated or plug gaps in reporting functions of the existing Line of Business Systems.’
Could you please confirm who did the early discovery?
The Council undertook this with our own resource.
Please refer to response to clarification question 11.
19. Could you please share the procurement timetable.
Please refer to the published information on the Digital Marketplace.
20. What are the required Roles?
We expect suppliers to provide this information.
21. Will you consider a carefully blended team, on-shore/off-shore, for this work?
Please refer to response to clarification question 20.
22. For the avoidance of doubt please can you confirm that for the 15th of October the council only requires responses to the essential and nice to have requirements (100 word answers) and that after down selection a further stage will involve submitting a written proposal,responding to the questions around proposal criteria and cultural fit for suppliers invited to the next stage of selection?
If this is correct, please can you confirm the anticipated timescale for this next stage.
That is correct. We will ask the shortlisted suppliers to submit the detailed proposals following the initial shortlisting stage, timescale to be confirmed.
23. Questions received as commercial in confidence.
We are unable to accept the question posed as commercial in confidence, but can provide a public response to the question if you wish - if so, please re-submit your question.
24. We are happy in principle to accept the DOS5 Core Terms, however, there are a few points we would like to discuss. In particular, we would ask that we include a definition of “wilful misconduct” in the Call Off Order Form to apply to the Core Terms.
The Council intend to contract under the standard digital outcomes terms and conditions and will not enter into negotiation.