Awarded to The Dextrous Web (trading as dxw)

Start date: Monday 20 December 2021
Value: £486,712.50
Company size: SME
Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service

HMPPS - Approved Premises

6 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 3 large

22 Completed applications

14 SME, 8 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 20 October 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 27 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 3 November 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 MoJ seeks a managed service provider to deliver a discovery and alpha to support improvements to the identification, referral and booking of Approved Premises through web-based solutions to be used by HMPPS staff.
Latest start date
Wednesday 15 December 2021
Expected contract length
Up to 31 March 2022
Location
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service
Budget range
up to £500,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
The MoJ seeks a managed service provider to deliver a discovery and alpha to support improvements to the identification, referral and booking of Approved Premises through web-based solutions to be used by HMPPS staff.
Problem to be solved
Existing processes are complex, time consuming and has the potential for a referral to need to be handled by a high number of staff before a final decision is reached.
Probation Practitioners are dependent on manual guidance for completing referrals forms with limited pre-populated information.
There is a large variation in the quality of screening with some CRU simply forwarding referrals to the first (or next) preferred AP, whereas in others there will be checks to ensure the referral is completed, supporting documents are available and screening checklists are completed.
There is no standardised method of assessing suitability for an AP placement resulting in inconsistency in decision making.
There are a range of methods utilised across the AP Estate to manage occupancy and allocate placements. This ranges from individual AP Managers having systems local to the AP without CRU involvement to large complex trackers in Excel updated by CRU staff.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users are:
• Probation Practitioners – making referrals
• CRU staff – screening/checking referrals, and managing bookings and occupancy
• Referral Assessors / AP Managers – Completing suitability assessments and viewing bookings and occupancy
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
N/A
Existing team
The supplier will be working with MoJ stakeholders across the prison and probation organisation. A subject matter expert will be available to work with the team but all other delivery roles are expected to be resourced by the managed service provider.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Working remotely although occasional travel may be required to either:
- MoJ Digital Studio, 32 Scotland Street, Sheffield, S3 7BS
- MoJ, 102 Petty France, London, SW1H 9AJ
Working arrangements
Most work can be completed remotely i.e. homeworking. However there will be a requirement to work with stakeholders who are predominantly based in London and Sheffield.
Security clearance
The successful provider will ideally have SC clearance or will require SC clearance to complete the contract.
A minimum of Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) standard is required. Where access to live production data is necessary, Security Clearance (SC) may also be required.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
N/A

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
  • Proven track record of design, development, and delivery of digital services to, and/or on behalf of, Government Agencies.
  • Experience of leading discovery research and analysis in an agile environment, and ability to apply agile methodologies to their work including service assessments.
  • Evidence of in-depth understanding and experience of presenting clear, compelling, evidence-based recommendations.
  • In-depth understanding of collaboratively delivering rapid/ iterative prototyping (low to high fidelity) using design systems and approaches.
  • Proven experience of communicating with a range of stakeholders, advocating for user needs and GDS principles, standard and working practices.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience with the probation and prison environment
  • Knowledge of technical and security standards aligned with the Technology Code of Practice, Digital Service Standard and HMPPS and MoJ requirements.
  • Experience of designing, delivering a referral and/or booking system

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Explain how your approach and methodology will ensure successful delivery of a discovery and alpha for the three digital tools.
  • Provide an example team structure including skills, experience, responsibilities in this approach and relevance of individuals, and explain how you will ensure the team deliver their responsibilities throughout this approach.
  • Provide a project plan for what your team would deliver during the timescales, how would you split the time between discovery and alpha.
  • Provide examples of how you have identified and taken ownership of risks, issues, and dependencies and how you have managed their mitigation and resolution.
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver value for money throughout this project
  • Demonstrate how you would document your work to ensure effective hand over to the business and a potential beta team.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work collaboratively with HMPPS Digital and staff in probation and prisons
  • Ability to work with a range of stakeholders with varying understanding of agile methodologies.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. How will HMPPS use the Nice to Have scores in the evaluation of responses?
Nice-to-Have responses will be used for shortlisting purposes, as per CCS guidance.
2. Can the authority confirm whether knowledge of technical and security requirements for all bar HMPPS will be sufficient to meet a ‘met’ criteria for the second Nice To Have question – “Knowledge of technical and security standards aligned with the Technology Code of Practice, Digital Service Standard and HMPPS and MoJ requirements”?
We would be content to consider the evidence presented to meet this criteria
3. Please can the authority clarify whether they will sponsor SC clearance?
Yes, if SC clearance is required we will support a supplier in achieving this.
4. Will the MOJ provide sponsorship for SC clearance when it is needed?
Yes, we will support SC clearance if it is required.
5. Can HMPPS confirm whether or not there is an incumbent supplier delivering work associated with this opportunity, or if a supplier supported its scoping?
No there is no incumbent supplier, nor any supplier supporting any scoping.
6. Can HMPPS confirm the delivery role types the managed service provider will be resourcing?
The successful supplier is expected to provide a multi-disciplinary team with the appropriate skills and experience to complete a discovery and alpha phase that meets the digital service standard and enables a decision to be made on proceeding to beta. It is up to the supplier to decide the roles needed but we would expect to see a Product Manager, Delivery Manager, User Researcher, Business Analyst.
7. Could you provide the names and/or roles of the evaluation panel?
The evaluation team includes individuals from a cross section of the business and digital &technology. They will be responsible for evaluating the responses to the evaluation questions in phase 1 and 2’
8. Are there any incumbent suppliers that have worked on this pre-discovery, or on digital development discoveries/alphas for HMPPS?
There is no incumbent supplier for this work, and no supplier has supported the pre-discovery stage
9. 1. Can you please provide an anticipated timeline for this procurement that includes dates for:
• Shortlisting Notification for Stage 2
• Submission Deadline for Stage 2
• Presentation
• Evaluation period
2. Award Notification
• Shortlisting Notification for Stage 2 - 15 November 2021
• Submission Deadline for Stage 2 - 19 November 2021
• Presentation - 23 November
• Evaluation period - 24 - 29 November
Award notification - early December
10. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
The evaluation team includes individuals from a cross section of the business and digital &technology with the appropriate knowledge and skills to evaluate responses in phase 1 and 2
11. Can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present?
Yes, short-listed suppliers will be notified of their progress into round two and will be sent an invite with a time slot to present how they will meet the proposal and cultural fit criteria
12. Have any external suppliers been involved in the scoping of this work? If so, who?
No external suppliers have been involved in scoping this work
13. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation or simply used for the purposes of down-selecting suppliers? If scores are carried forward into the proposal stage, then how will this weighting work?
No, they will solely to form a short list of supplier for phase two of the evaluation, the "Presentation Stage".
14. Is there an incumbent supplier
No, there is no incumbent supplier.
15. For the question “Experience with the probation and prison environment” where we have limited experience with probation/prison services are you interested in where we have worked in similar environments such as Asylum Reception Centres?
Experience with the probation and prison environment' is a nice to have criteria. We will consider the evidence you have provided and score it accordingly. A 'not met' or only 'partially met' does not necessarily mean you will be unsuccessful at phase 1, as we will look at which suppliers can meet the most of the nice to have skills and experience requirements in addition to the essential criteria.
16. Cultural fit is worth 20% of the proposal scoring. Will this be weighted equally between the two cultural fit questions?
Yes, They will.
17. Cultural fit is worth 20% of the proposal scoring. Will this be weighted equally between the two cultural fit questions?
Yes, they will.
18. Would HMPPS be willing to sponsor SC clearance?
Yes, if SC clearance is required we will support a supplier in achieving this.
19. Can the agency elaborate on how the 20% price component will be evaluated at proposal stage?
As per the CCS framework The lower the price, the higher the score.
Please see the guidance on the framwork "More about how to score".
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-score-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-suppliers
20. Can you please advise the preferred tech stack for this opportunity?
Where there are in-house components to be built, the standard HMPPS Digital tech stack is:
- front-end server-side applications in Typescript/Node.js using the GOV.UK Design System
- back-end services in kotlin/java
- database services in AWS RDS (typically postgresql)
- Github to store and manage our code and CircleCI to build our software
- Kubernetes and Docker to schedule and run our services hosted in MoJ Cloud platform (built on AWS)
21. Does the agency plan to share further information (e.g. further detail on the business process surrounding Approved Premises) with the down-selected suppliers?
The short-listed suppliers will be assessed against the proposal criteria and cultural fit criteria. The successful supplier will be provided with further information as required and a statement of works agreed for the discovery phase.
22. What are the “3 digital tools” referred to in the proposal criteria?
We have identified three key areas where improvements can be made:
- identification of suitable AP placements based on an offender's risk and need profile;
- the referral handling process; and
- booking/occupancy management on a national level allowing for changes in placement length and beds out of service.
These will be the focus of this work but the outcome (digital tools) will be determined through the user research and prototyping.
23. What are the roles you expect suppliers to provide
As an outcome based contact, we expect the supplier to provide the roles needed to successfully deliver a discovery and alpha by the end of March. This would normally include a Product Manager, Delivery Manager, User Researcher, Business Analyst as a minimum.
24. What timescales are you working to and when do you expect to need functionality for users
We are aiming to have a team in place prior to Christmas in order to complete a discovery and alpha by the end of March 2022. We expect to have a prototype as an outcome of the alpha which would enable a decision on proceeding to beta and a plan for potentially launching to users later in 2022.
25. Will the solution to be expected to support existing variation in assessing suitability for an AP placement, or will a standardised assessment process need to be defined?
This will be considered as part of this work to ensure the minimal viable product supports user needs, but the intention is to drive national consistency.
26. Will the delivery team receive any dedicated policy or ops support to help develop the standardised model, and any other policy decisions that may need to be made during the alpha
Yes, a subject matter expert will be dedicated to the team able to answer any policy or operational questions.
27. Is there an expectation that the delivered web-based solution will need to integrate with any existing systems? If so, which
The expectation is that this will be considered as part of this work, and the outcome will be dependent on defining a minimum viable product.
28. In relation to the Nice To Have question “Experience with the probation and prison environment”, would the department consider experience in the Enforcement area of other central government departments outside of probation and prison?
No this would not meet the nice to have criteria. This would not automatically exclude your proposal, unless you did not meet requirements within the essential skills section, you will need to have met the requirements in the essential skills section, to be further scored in the nice to have section”.
29. What timescale is the agency working towards for: (1) informing down-selected suppliers, (2) submission of proposals and (3) scheduling of presentations?
We are working to the following timelines:

Shortlisting Notification for Stage 2 - 15 November 2021
Submission Deadline for Stage 2 - 19 November 2021
Presentation - 23 November
Evaluation period - 24 - 29 November
Award notification - early December
30. Does the agency envisage a gap between the end of Discovery and the start of Alpha? If so, what might be the duration?
No, we do not envisage a gap between the end of discovery and start of alpha. This work must be completed this financial year, by end of March 2022.
31. Has the agency a preference for any commercial-off-the-shelf products upon which the service/tools should be built? If yes, which ones?
We have no preference for any off-the shelf products.
32. Can the agency explain the rationale for a start date so close to the festive holiday period?
This phase of work must be completed this financial year, by the end of March 2022. A start date prior to Christmas maximises the time the successful supplier will have to complete the discovery and alpha.
33. Does the agency have a preferred technology stack and hosting platform (e.g. Microsoft Azure, AWS etc) on which the service should be hosted?
Where there are in-house components to be built, the standard HMPPS Digital tech stack is:
- front-end server-side applications in Typescript/Node.js using the GOV.UK Design System
- back-end services in kotlin/java
- database services in AWS RDS (typically postgresql)
- Github to store and manage our code and CircleCI to build our software
- Kubernetes and Docker to schedule and run our services hosted in MoJ Cloud platform (built on AWS)
34. The notice states “Explain how your approach and methodology will ensure successful delivery of a discovery and alpha for the three digital tools”. Does “three digital tools” align to the “identification, referral and booking of Approved Premises”? Are there requirements driving the tools to remain separate?
There are three key areas identified to focus on - identification, referral, booking/occupancy. We envisage three digital tools but this will be decided by the research and prototyping during the discovery and alpha
35. Does the service need to maintain occupancy levels across the Approved Premises estate, or will occupancy data be maintained and supplied by third party systems?
Not as part of this work. A separate system provides occupancy data.
36. What is the volume of AP referrals per year, nationally
There are around 2,500 referrals per year, nationally.
37. What are the expected numbers of eventual users of the service (broken down by practitioners, CRU staff, referral assessors/AP managers)?
Currently there are around 89 AP managers; 30 CRU staff; and 100s of Probation Practitioners.
38. Are there pre-existing key performance indicators that the delivered solution will need to meet?
Key performance indicators will be agreed as part of this work.