Awarded to BJSS Limited

Start date: Tuesday 1 March 2022
Value: £751,135
Company size: large
Department for Transport (DFT)

Provision of Grants as a Service discovery and alpha phases

7 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 4 large

9 Completed applications

6 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 3 December 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 10 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 17 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
DfT requires a flexible delivery partner with proven experience of delivering to Government Digital Service and Technology standards, using Google Cloud Platform, to complete the Discovery and Alpha phases of a new digital ‘Grants as a Service’ service platform.
Latest start date
Monday 24 January 2022
Expected contract length
12 months
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Department for Transport (DFT)
Budget range
Up to £1m for Discovery and Alpha.

About the work

Why the work is being done
DfT provides over 80 different grants per annum, ranging from tens of thousands to several billion GBP.
The core grants processes include:
1) Competition/Apply
2) Assess/Calculate
3) Award
4) Pay
5) Monitor/Renew
These are currently supported by manual processes and administrative teams with basic and limited technology capabilities.
A small but growing number of grants have a dedicated IT team but limited ongoing support once they are live.
Service teams now need to combine policy with technology to better maintain and improve services. Making grants scalable by using reusable components to enable a responsive and effective grant service across our portfolio of grants.
By improving our existing ways of working and technology, the grants process will provide a better user experience whilst also avoiding errors and potential fraud.
Problem to be solved
Problem to be solved? (Describe Problem) (200 words)
We are looking for an experienced Partner to deliver the Discovery and Alpha phases of the Programme adhering to GDS (Government Digital Service) Service Standards within an Agile project delivery model.
The Discovery is required to characterise existing and future grants in terms of cost per transaction, error rates, cycle times, size and composition the grants (e.g., value, volume of recipients, frequency of payments) and variations in process etc.
Potentially, this may lead to identifying an existing grant process / system that can be adapted for all Grant Services. This could be identified from within DfT or from another government department. Learning from other experts in this field, across Govt and best practice should be captured.
This will include engaging with the users to establish the requirements needed for development, providing prototyping and wireframing, testing potential solutions and, on successful delivery, an Alpha Grant as a Service (GaaS) platform.
Grants as a Service must provide scalable, reusable, flexible components to enable speed to market for new and existing Grant Services. It should do this through Driving automation and building services that drive better end user experience and efficiency.
Who the users are and what they need to do
For external users, we want to deliver more efficient, transparent digital processes.
For all users, we need modern tools and processes to enable them to do their work more efficiently, with improved data capture, data quality, management information, reporting and security.
The external users vary depending on the type of grant. The primary group of external users are Local Authorities, who apply for grant funding from DfT.
Some grants are also citizen facing. We expect the Discovery phase to draw out the user base and the type of interaction with DfT.
There are multiple groups of internal users across DfT. These are often small groups of dedicated staff who support the grants process for their area.
Early market engagement
No early market engagement has been undertaken.
Any work that’s already been done
DFT'c architectural principles will apply to this project;

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-technology-code-of-practice.
Existing team
The existing team consist of a project manager and sponsor.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Combination of working remotely and at DfT offices as/when required such as:
• DfT, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 4DR
Working arrangements
The supplier is expected to be available and contactable during core hours of 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
Security clearance
All must have BPSS as a minimum.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Pricing will be based on capped time & materials. Continuation into Alpha will be subject to a successful Discovery.
All expenses must be pre-agreed with between the parties and must comply with the DfT Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy.

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 leading a GDS Discovery and presenting clear, compelling, evidence-based recommendations.
  • Experience of communicating with technical and non-technical stakeholders.
  • Experience of collaboratively delivering rapid/iterative prototyping using the GDS Design System, in response to user needs solicited through User Research.
  • Recent experience of building services to a high-level of accessibility standards.
  • Experience of delivering technical and security standards in accordance with the GDS Technology Code of Practice (Service Manual) and Service Standards.
  • Experience in designing and delivering complex component-based platform solutions that aligns to DfTc’s established technical architecture and principles.
  • Experience of applying agile development processes and strategies to streamline path-to-live activities
  • Experience of deploying software development tools and techniques that enable fast-paced changes with evolving requirements.
  • Experience of Test-Driven Development (TDD) to enable automated testing across the application architecture, UI, API services and Data.
  • Experience of documenting, implementing, and testing complex and secure APIs for a central government department and its and arm's length bodies and third parties.
  • Experience of providing Management Information and ad-hoc reporting, for a Live Service.
  • Experience of developing services using .NET5, Cloud SQL and containerised environments using Cloud ECR.
  • Experience of developing hosted server environments using CloudBuild to deploy to App Engine.
  • Experience of integrating IAP with Azure AD.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of designing and delivering a grants application/calculation/award service for multiple grant schemes.
  • Experience of working within a PROSCI change management environment.
  • Experience of working within the Transport industry.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Outline your overall approach to deliver this Discovery and Alpha, with indicative timings along with key assumptions, risks, and dependencies.
  • Summarise your approach for Discovery and your methodology to develop an Alpha service.
  • Provide your proposed team structure including skills, experience, responsibilities, and key individuals.
  • Explain how you will provide knowledge transfer to ensure effective handover to the in-house / potential beta team.
  • Your proposed fees and how you will seek to deliver value for money throughout this project.
Cultural fit criteria
  • How will you work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers?
  • Outline how you will be transparent and collaborative when making decisions?
  • What provisions are undertaken to support and encourage in work progression/ development to acquire new skills relevant to the contract?
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. With regard to Q6, could you confirm what DfT’s ‘established technical architecture and principles’ are?
Please see below response regarding the question around technical architecture and principles;

DfTc’s technical architecture and principles for this project have been established:
Architecture:
· API driven architecture.
· Business domain coupled with Application domain.
· Standardised code style and pattern.
· Code/Language agnostic approach to object-orientated development.
Development:
· SOLID/DRY principles.
· Test-Driven Development (TDD).
· Serverless or Containerised approach to development.
· Database changes using migration files and tested as part of the QA process, within the CI/CD pipeline.
· Formal code review processes (GitHub PR).
· GDS Service Manual (Technology Code of Practice): https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-technology-code-of-practice.
2. Please can you provide details of what the next steps are following this initial application i.e. deadlines for the written proposal/if there will be an interview and when?
The closing date for submissions for stage 1 is 17/12/21, we will then review responses and move onto stage 2 around 10/01/22, presentations for stage 2 may begin around 17/01/22.

Please note that above are indicative timelines based on the Christmas period and availability and may be subject to change.
3. Q1
Are suppliers permitted to reference multiple work examples per requirement, to illustrate their experience in the required areas?

Q2
For requirement 14, is the Buyer looking for experience of integrating IAP, and our experience with Azure AD? Or specifically for experience integrating IAP with Azure AD?
Q1 - yes, but we find picking one best practice example per requirement is a better way of illustrating experience needed.

Q2 - IAP is a proxy to support security and access into applications. IAP integrated with identity and access management solutions for staff would be via azure AD. But IAP would also be used in managing access for citizens (Verify/GovID)) and other IDAM solutions. So experience in both would be helpful not just integrating IAP with AD
4. 1. What is the expected timeline for Stage 2, given that resources are unlikely to be available either in DfT or in potential supplier organisations over the Christmas holiday period? [A version of this may have been proposed / submitted already]

2. Are any existing suppliers working on DfT grant processes or solutions?

3. Has any pre-Discovery work been conducted and, if so, will that be provided to bidders in Stage 2?

4. Approximately how many DfT teams are currently involved in grants processes, or have been in the last 2 years?
1. Details around timelines for phase 2 have been published previously in a clarification response.

2. DfT currently process approximately 85 different grants, ranging from £100k-£9bn. There are a number of suppliers working across the department with different teams on specific grants.

3. No, not on Grants As A Service. Many grants are paid and some have some degree of digitisation, but there is no pre-discovery to share.

4. DfT currently process approximately 85 different grants, ranging from £100k-£9bn. These grants are spread across many teams in all directorates of DfTc.