This opportunity was withdrawn on Friday 5 November 2021

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Department for Education

Vulnerable Families and Children Portfolio – Service Delivery & Development.

7 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 4 large

0 Completed applications

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 2 November 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 9 November 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 16 November 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

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
DfE are looking for a supplier who can deliver the design and build of digital services that make a genuine difference to people’s lives. Working in blended teams to build and deliver high quality, user-centred and sustainable digital products and services from Inception through to Live.
Latest start date
Monday 13 December 2021
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
North West England
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Budget range
These capabilities are to be delivered over a contract period of 2 years and with an indicative contract value of £6.95M for the full 2-year contract.

Budget approval is subject to Cabinet Office spending controls, service assessments and DfE governance.

Each SOW will outline the work required, associated budget and payment approach, CTM, T&M etc. Suppliers will need to provide clear costs to enable tracking.

DfE does not commit to any minimum or maximum spend at this point.

A pricing template will be provided to shortlisted suppliers at proposal stage

About the work

Why the work is being done
DfE are looking for a supplier who can provide Service Delivery and Development capabilities and expertise to
deliver outcomes, working in blended teams across the department to build and deliver high quality, user-centred and sustainable digital products, and services within the Vulnerable Families and children portfolio. This involves building and iterating products to provide a consistent offer for users and deliver policy intent.

The mission of the portfolio is to drive the delivery of user-
centred policies and services that support the department’s
strategic priorities to:

• provide the best start in life through high-quality early education and childcare to raise standards and help parents to work.
• support the most disadvantaged and vulnerable through high quality local services so that no one is left behind.
• support social workers to develop in their careers and can do their best work with children and families.
• work with Local Authorities to make the most of the opportunities that digital and technology can offer to improve their services.

Capabilities across the Product and Delivery and Technical Job families are required.

This requirement is primarily within scope of IR35.
Problem to be solved
D&T are looking for a supplier who will work with blended teams to deliver outcomes to government digital service standards, from discovery through to live within this portfolio ensuring that good CI/CD pipelines, automated testing and disaster recovery best practices are used to achieve the below:

• Improve outcomes of vulnerable children and families by finding solutions to how professionals share information and how family’s access and use services. To work in partnership with 5 Local Authorities across 3 years to take a user-centred, cross-government approach to how we deliver services to children and families.

• Improve child and family social workforce practice through delivering a coherent career development offer to the sector.

• Improve how technology can help children’s social care outcomes through, for example improving case management systems in children’s social care.

DfE’s current digital stack and approach consists of the following elements:
Microservices architecture, with internal and public facing HTTP and JSON REST based APIs for business logic and data access.

User facing websites are built via Ruby on Rails, and deployed to the DfE Azure platform and GOV.UK PaaS. Code is hosted in the DfE Digital GitHub.
Further information can be found at https://dfe-digital.github.io/technical-guidance/
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our users are both external and internal to Department for Education. Users include, but are not limited to:

• Social Workers
• Local Authorities
• Families and young people
• People that deliver services for children and families
• DfE Staff

As a supplier you will work with our digital delivery teams and policy areas in developing and building new digital services and products in line with the DfE’s digital transformation journey, within the context of the Vulnerable Families and Children Portfolio. Examples of this include:

As a Social Worker, I want to spend more time directly supporting children and families so that I can offer an improved service

As a parent or carer, I need to access the right services at the right time for me

As a Senior Responsible Officer for a project, I need agile capability to provide delivery management, remove blockers to progress and monitor teams.
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
The Department has already started its digital transformation journey. As a result, digital techniques are being used to deliver services such as The National Skills Fund, Apprenticeships Service, Apply to be a Teacher (Apply is in Beta Build - https://www.apply-for-teacher-training.education.gov.uk/ and Teacher Vacancies is in Public Beta - https://teaching-vacancies.service.gov.uk/), Fostering and Adoption, School Performance Tables, and the Early Careers Framework.

In addition, Service Delivery has played a part in delivering https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/
Existing team
The successful supplier for this contract will deliver outcomes specifically in relation to the Product and Delivery and Technical job families in alignment with the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Profession Capability Framework.

Where necessary you will work with internal DfE staff from a range of disciplines including architecture, security, policy, user experience, service design, software development, finance and commercial colleagues to deliver the programmes/projects within this portfolio.

Where necessary in delivery of outcomes you will also be expected to collaborate with other suppliers who are delivering in areas such as service design, technical architecture, software development and user research.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote working.

All agreements for in-office working will comply with the relevant and prevailing Government guidance on restrictions to movement. When in-office working takes place, the location will be Sanctuary Buildings, London or Manchester Piccadilly.

The primary location will be detailed in each Statement of Work (SoW) and expenses will not form part of the cost unless the supplier is asked to work from a secondary location during the execution of the work e.g. If SoW primary base is in Manchester, then no expenses will be paid for Manchester.
Working arrangements
Detailed working arrangements will be contained within each Statement of Work.

Day to day delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery techniques, with appropriate ceremonies to be undertaken.

Scope and prioritisation of work is decided by the product owner with input from the Senior Responsible Owner and wider DfE governance. SOWs will be reviewed by relevant Heads of Profession.

Separate SOWs may include services that fall inside and outside of IR35 - with an expectation that a high proportion will be inside of IR35. We will be looking for a supplier that has the capacity to meet both scenarios.
Security clearance
DfE requires all supplier staff to have baseline personnel security standard clearance (BPSS) – any enhanced security requirements will be detailed in the Statement of Work. Suppliers will be required to complete a supplier security assurance form to ensure they meet the required standard for DfE e.g., cyber essentials

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off T&Cs apply. Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE Travel and Subsistence policy.

Primary work location stated in the SoW will not attract expenses.

Contract and Vendor Management will form a key part of governance. Suppliers will be expected to co-operate in a manner that fosters healthy working relationships and quality delivery.

Suppliers must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) May 2018; Data Protection Act 2018; Law Enforcement Directive and any subsequent amendments to date including providing sufficient guarantees to meet GDPR requirements in line with Procurement Policy Note 02/18 May 2018.

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 successful experience and responsibility of moving and managing a product through different lifecycle phases from Discovery through to Public Beta/Live as well as decommissioning.
  • Evidence of successfully developing products and services that adhere to robust standards when buying and building, such as the Technology Code of Practise and GDS Service Standards
  • Evidence of successfully applying agile development and delivery using Continuous Improvement/Continuous Development (CI/CD) techniques
  • Provide evidence of your business capability and capacity to successfully scale up and down concurrent projects at pace to meet business needs with both inside and outside IR35 working arrangements
  • Demonstrable ability to successfully develop software in Ruby, C#.NET using recent language and framework features, i.e. Ruby on Rails
  • Demonstrable ability to successfully develop software in C# using recent language and framework features and .NET packages
  • Experience of successfully working in agile teams, working to Test Driven Development, CI/CD and DevOps practices
  • Experience of successful delivery of Cloud first approach using infrastructure-as-code, automation and PaaS
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate and evidence successful experience in advocating for the importance of agile, iterative and user-focused delivery, as set out in the Government Service Manual.
  • Proven service development experience of accessibility, iterative delivery, “working in the open” aka. Open-source
  • Experience of delivering software successfully utilising the features of the Azure platform and GOV.UK PaaS
  • Experienced in developing distributed applications and an understanding of the associated technologies and an understanding of HTML & CSS and familiarity with JavaScript.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate and evidence ability and capability to successfully deliver outcomes using agile methodology in environments where digital maturity varies.
  • Demonstrate and evidence ability to promptly scale up, respond to fluctuating requirements, and be flexible in deploying to meet organisational needs without compromising adherence to service standards/tech code of practice
  • Provide evidence of successful approaches used to make complex and technical concepts and language simple and accessible for non-technical audiences
  • Demonstrate and evidence how your business model will propose to deliver value for money for a government organisation when delivering and developing digital products, services and outcomes
  • Evidence of experience in leading investigative work into problems and opportunities in existing and new services, driving analysis and collecting information to create recommendations for service improvements in digital settings
  • Prior experience of successfully deploying to and operating provision, production and pre-production environments
  • Evidence of implementing a sustainable and transferable operational model covering monitoring, alerting, high availability, disaster recovery and other appropriate measures
  • Evidence the scalability, flexibility, deployment, skills and strengths of Software Development capabilities
Cultural fit criteria
  • Evidence of experience of working successfully with an organisation at the beginning of an agile culture change and what you did to create real, meaningful, and lasting impact
  • Evidence of your approach to actively promote diversity and inclusion, encouraging increased representation of under-represented groups within the workforce e.g. Women, BAME, Disables, LGBTQ+ and how you monitor/measure this
  • Experience of working with multi-vendor teams across multiple projects
  • Describe how your organisation encourages diverse representation in the workforce, and how you monitor and measure this
  • Experience of collaboration with multiple organisational stakeholders with the aim to achieve a single objective
  • Evidence of supporting clients to assess levels of technical capability and develop the best approach to address any gaps
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

40%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

40%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. There appears to be a duplication across the following questions. Can you confirm if it is an error to have included “C#.NET” in the first question?
Q. Demonstrable ability to successfully develop software in Ruby, C#.NET using recent language and framework features, i.e. Ruby on Rails
Q. Demonstrable ability to successfully develop software in C# using recent language and framework features and.NET packages
For these two essential criteria, they are not duplicate questions.

Regarding criteria 'Demonstrable ability to successfully develop software in Ruby, C#.NET using recent language and framework features, i.e. Ruby on Rails', responses will need to demonstrate the ability to successfully develop Software in Ruby on Rails.

Regarding criteria 'Demonstrable ability to successfully develop software in C# using recent language and framework features and.NET packages' , responses will need to demonstrate the ability to successfully develop Software in C#.NET.

For clarity, we have re-published this requirement with the updated criteria. Please see https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/15964. This requirement will be withdrawn.
2. The essential criteria mention both Ruby on Rails and.net as a requirement, is that correct or can one of the two be used.
If so will this be republished clarifying the requirement or will the judging criteria be amended.
We want to ensure that we have the option of using either language therefore we are looking for separate responses for each criteria.

For clarity, we have re-published this requirement with the updated criteria. Please see https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/15964. This requirement will be withdrawn shortly.
3. Is there a preference to use the existing technology or can we propose any low code / workflow automation tools etc. ?
The preference is to work in the open where possible. We work to modern software development practices, which would favour code over low code solutions.

Please note, we have re-published this requirement, please see https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/15964. This requirement will be withdrawn shortly.
4. Please confirm who your evaluation panel will comprise (names and job titles please). Thank you
Applications will be evaluated by a panel of 3 individuals who work in the Digital and Technology Direcotorate with both appropriate technical knowledge and an in-depth knowledge of the requirement.

Please note, we have re-published this requirement, please see https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/15964. This requirement will be withdrawn shortly.
5. Is there an incumbent supplier? If so, who are they?
There is no incumbent. This is a new requirement.

Please note, we have re-published this requirement, please see https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/15964. This requirement will be withdrawn shortly.
6. Dear Sir/Madame,
hope you are well.
Could you please advise who is your current incumbent providing the service?
Best,
There is no incumbent. This is a new requirement.

Please note, we have re-published this requirement, please see https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/15964. This requirement will be withdrawn shortly.