Awarded to The Dextrous Web (trading as dxw)

Start date: Monday 17 January 2022
Value: £92,700
Company size: SME
The National Archives

Developing a public access service for Court Judgments with a publishing and editorial system

1 Incomplete application

0 SME, 1 large

6 Completed applications

5 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Tuesday 30 November 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 7 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 14 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


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
Public access service for Court Judgments. LegalDocML publishing and editorial system.
Latest start date
Monday 17 January 2022
Expected contract length
3 months with an option for a 3 month extension
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
The National Archives
Budget range
Up to £95,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
The National Archives is developing a new service to provide public access to Court Judgments and Tribunal Decisions. This needs to meet user’s needs, be ready to receive new documents from April 2022, and will be further developed thereafter.
See: Boost for open justice as court judgments get new home: Important court and tribunal judgments will be available via The National Archives for the first time, increasing transparency and securing free access for all.
Problem to be solved
To develop a service that provides public access to Court Judgments and Tribunal Decisions, in accessible HTML5, as part of The National Archives website. The service needs to be supported by a simple publishing and editorial system that helps manage the data and ensure the judgments are accessible to everyone.
The public service will provide users with easy access to new or recently published documents. It also needs to provide browse (by court and year), search and advanced search features. There should be an API, so data re-users can access the underlying data, and keep track of what documents have been recently published, changed or removed.
The publishing and editorial system needs to keep track of the publications. It should validate the documents, stored using LegalDocML, against a set of schematron validation rules. It needs to support publishing editors to assess the documents pre-publication. It needs to enable the publishing editors to correct the documents, adding mark-up and fixing validation issues. The publishing and editorial system needs to allow editors to check-out and check-in amended documents, or take-down the published documents. Every version of the document should be kept for audit purposes, with a log of the changes made.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The main users are likely to be legal professionals, law students, academics, other legal publishers and journalists. They need to quickly find and access new judgments that might change the law. Users also need access to older judgments in important cases, which set legal precedents that are now part of the law. Some users will use court judgments to understand the purpose and effect of provisions in legislation. Having found a judgment, the majority of users will make notes, extract some text (by copy-paste), or download a copy of the document, often to share it with someone else.
The service will also be used by data re-users such as other legal publishers, who need access to judgments as data, and need to know whenever there has been a change or an update to the text, or if the judgment has been taken down.
The users of the publishing and editorial system will be the publishing editors in The National Archives’ court judgments team. They need to check whether the judgments are suitable for publication, have been correctly converted into data, and manually improve the tagging of the document with additional information, for example to ensure accessibility requirements are met.
Early market engagement
This work is heavily informed by our many years’ experience operating We have regular conversations with other legal publishers, who have similar needs to ours. We are also undertaking other separate procurements, one to obtain digital copies of court judgments from the senior courts, the other to enriching court judgments and legislation documents, adding hyperlinks and creating Linked Data.
Any work that’s already been done
We are adapting our existing Transfer Digital Records service to receive new judgments from the courts. We have decided the core technologies for the public service. We have created a Marklogic database with 47,000 judgments in LegalDocML, which we can present in HTML5. The Alpha provides browse by court and year, and search and advanced search features. We have developed a parser for converting the source documents from Word to LegalDocML. This is based on the Microsoft Open XML SDK. We have mapped the user journey for the public service and are creating the front-end designs in HTML and CSS.
Existing team
The team for the public service includes a Service Owner, Product Manager, Senior User Researcher, Data Scientist and contractor who developed the parser from Word to LegalDocML. The front-end design, including the HTML and CSS, is being developed by our in-house User Experience team. We are recruiting a publishing manager and two editors, to manage new content as we receive it. There is a separate in-house team working on the Transfer Digital Records service, for receiving new judgments from the courts.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Mostly remote but some meetings as necessary onsite at The National Archives, Kew, Surrey TW9 4AD.
Working arrangements
The supplier will work in accordance with Agile methodologies to scope, plan, and deliver the work incrementally, with daily stand-ups, active communication, and will conduct regular ‘show and tell’ sessions to demonstrate progress. Online meetings will take place via Microsoft Teams with Slack available for quick communication.
The National Archives’ staff will be available during UK core hours (10am-4pm) each working day. The supplier will provide their own equipment and technology but will be given access to our organisational tracking app and Slack resources as appropriate.
Security clearance
Baseline clearance will be required (BPSS)

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
  • Experience of delivering content orientated services on the web
  • Experience of delivering services that meet highest standards of accessibility
  • Experience of delivering secure and scalable services
  • Experience of XML based publishing and editorial processes
  • Experience of delivering solutions using native XML databases
  • Experience of delivering services with RESTful APIs
  • Experience of cloud deployments, in particular AWS
  • Experience of documenting technical solutions so they can be maintained by others
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of the Legal Document Mark-up language
  • Experience of working with court judgments or tribunal decision documents

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Evidence of delivering content orientated public services that meet user’s needs
  • Evidence of delivering accessible services adhering to WCAG 2
  • Evidence of delivering XML based publishing and editorial solutions
  • Evidence of delivering secure and scalable publishing solutions
  • Evidence of familiarity the Government Service Standard and Service Manual
  • Team structure, including the relevance of the team members' skills and experience.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work in an open and transparent way, sharing work in progress and involving others as you go
  • Explain what methods you propose to use to engage; communicate, constructively challenge and work effectively with our team and other suppliers
  • Describe how you propose to support positive working relationships throughout the life of the contract.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Regarding Nice-to-Have skills in Court Judgement, can you please elaborate on the DOS 5 guidelines on discriminatory clause :
Extracts (page -8)
“It is discriminatory to suppliers to state that they must have previous experience working in the public sector or within your specific industry.
What is it about the public sector that requires specific skills or experience? Suppliers may have worked for complex commercial organisations which are highly regulated (eg financial or pharmaceutical) and could therefore demonstrate the required skills and experience within a different environment.”
These have been included as Nice-to-have purposely to prevent suppliers without such experience(s) being precluded from shortlisting, if their Essential scores are strong enough compared to other bids. We believe there are various opportunities for suppliers to have gained experience with court judgments/tribunal decisions and of the Legal Document Mark-up language, in the private/public/third sectors. Finally, the publishing of Court Judgments is a new service for us, and therefore is not our “specific industry”, hence our preference (only) for a supplier who already has some expertise. For these reasons we politely reject the assertion that either requirement is discriminatory.
2. Regarding Q&A 1 response, Can you please clarify if the listing is complaint with the DOS5 guidelines and still wish to proceed without alignment to Digital marketplace guidelines ?
We are proceeding with the procurement. We are satisfied that our requirements as stated are compliant and in alignment with the Framework guidance and principles. The guidance you refer to states "It is discriminatory to suppliers to state that they must have previous experience working in the public sector or within your specific industry". The key word is must; Nice-to-have criteria are not Essential criteria ('can have' but not 'must have'), as explained in our previous answer, and at no point is public sector or specific industry experience mandated.
3. Can you please confirm if the budget listed is inclusive or exclusive of VAT?
Excluding VAT.
4. Is the existing PoC available to view?
We will offer a short demonstration to the shortlisted suppliers.
5. Is there any expectation regarding the API output and data format? IE should there be an API so data re-users can access the underlying data, and keep track of what documents have been recently published, changed, or removed
Yes. The API needs to make the underlying LegalDocML XML data available as well as unadorned HTML5. There should be ATOM feeds listing what documents have been newly published, updated or removed. Browse and search result lists should also be available as ATOM feeds.
6. Will the website for this service be a part of the existing TNA website (assumed WordPress) or will it be a separate service?
It will be a separate service, probably with its own subdomain. For information, we are in the process of redeveloping the wider TNA website and will be using the Wagtail CMS.
7. Can you please outline your timeline for the written proposal and presentation, following shortlisting?
Our anticipated timetable is as follows:
Scoring of all responses to produce shortlist for interview by end of day on 15 December 2021.
Presentations and interviews on 22 December 2021.
NOTE: We anticipate asking shortlisted suppliers to submit presentation slide decks (to include contract price) by 12 noon on 21 December 2021, and these, taken with the presentation/interview content, will negate the need for a formal written proposal.
Award decision by end of day on 23rd December 2021.
8. Who will make up the evaluation panel? – Both for this stage and the next?
Our anticipated panel is made up as follows (names to be supplied to shortlisted suppliers):
Digital Director
Senior Project Manager
Service Owner - Access to Digital Records
Head of Digital Services
9. How much of the existing technology / code can be directly reused and built on? Should it be considered as a disposable alpha output, or is the intend to continue development on the same codebase(s)?
The parser, which converts the Word source documents to LegalDocML, is to be used in the beta, as are the transformed LegalDocML documents and HTML conversion routine. The other elements of the Alpha take advantage of the Marklogic native APIs, search indexes and search functions. There is no content management system in the Alpha, for example. As a result, the Alpha code base is lightweight. It could be re-used and further developed, or a new codebase put in its place.
10. What technology preferences or plans do you have for the project? What technologies are used in the existing code?
We have decided to use a Marklogic database to store the documents, manage metadata, and to provide the search functions. The parser is written in C#. There is some other code in XQueries and XSLTs. We imagine a content management system, that supports the development and maintenance of templates; as well as supplementary content. We are moving to using Wagtail for managing other parts of The National Archive’s website.
11. It looks like most of the team is in place except for developers; is this opportunity therefore just for developers to join the existing team, or do you have other roles in mind as well?
That’s correct. We need developers and potentially some user experience design, for the internally facing parts of the publishing/editorial system (the parts of the system that are used by TNA staff to publish new documents, and edit the mark-up of existing documents).