Awarded to Version 1 Solutions Limited

Start date: Tuesday 22 March 2022
Value: £3,000,000
Company size: large
HMRC Chief Information Office - Enterprise Cloud Services (ECS)

HMRC Enterprise Cloud Services Support 2022-2023

6 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 2 large

15 Completed applications

4 SME, 11 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 5 January 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 12 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 19 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
ECS are seeking a supplier to partner with for the build and maintain the HMRC Cloud Platform and associated components.
Product Delivery Management
Cloud native products and features that are available to customers
Support key services such as Hashicorp, McAfee AV, Opsview, and CI/CD tools GitHub, Artifactory Support Financial Operations
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 March 2022
Expected contract length
2 Years with an optional 6 months extension
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
HMRC Chief Information Office - Enterprise Cloud Services (ECS)
Budget range
Estimated spend up to £3 million over 2 years.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Enterprise Cloud Services deliver and manage the HMRC Cloud Platforms, AWS, Microsoft Azure and VMWare based private Cloud (within Crown Hosting), providing the appropriate guardrails, products and features that will be consumed by Customer Groups to develop and deliver services. ECS vision is enable and empower HMRC to accelerate cloud adoption, we are seeking an organisation to support the development of the platform and supporting toolsets to implement the standards and enable maximising the delivery to the Cloud. The toolsets are the catalogued ECS tools that must be used, any new tools will need to go through the appropriate governance.
Problem to be solved
HMRC has a large and complex Hybrid Platform estate which needs to be maintained and managed to meet all the challenges the department now faces.
ECS design and build products and features to provide controlled (Guardrails) platforms on which to provision business services.
The main problem to be solved is around capacity and capability within the current team

ECS are seeking a supplier that will partner with us to support the build, transform and on-going support (potentially 24/7, 365) to our internal and Cloud Platforms (AWS and Azure), plus the associated components (such as but not limited to) Splunk, Hashicorp GitHub

The partnership will extend our technical resource capability and capacity to respond to Cloud products and features for HMRC.
Who the users are and what they need to do
All HMRC customer groups (Customer Compliance, Customer Services, Customer Strategy and Tax Design, Corporate, VOA, Borders and Trade) need container platform services that can be consumed by them, upon which they can build their specific line of business exploitation services.

HMRC Chief Data Office needs platform services which enable Cloud Services with associated Goverance and Platform Monitoring.

Other Government Departments rely on the Platform for receiving data for use within HMRC, and sharing HMRC data for their use.
Early market engagement
No Early Market Engagement has taken Place.
Any work that’s already been done
ECS have been working on the Hybrid Cloud Platforms (AWS and Azure) since 2017, in partnership with the Chief Technology and Delivery Office we continue to deliver products and features for key native-cloud services and improve the experience across HMRC platforms (AWS, Azure and Crown Hosting).
Significant work has started to deliver the platform roadmap and initial services on AWS and Azure, with great success recognised across government
The focus of the new arrangement will be to continue the roadmap delivery and the development of the cloud-native services with HMRC Platforms in partnership with current in-house teams (ECS-Development and ECS-Operations)
Existing team
The successful supplier will work in collaboration with the existing team for an appropriate hand over.
Services are currently delivered with a current supplier supported by the current in-house resources and leadership
Current phase
Live

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The Supplier will be expected to work off-site with occasional visits in to an HMRC office. ECS Primary Location of Telford, Shropshire
The supplier shall cover all Travel and Subsistence costs to the Primary Location.
Upon request by the Authority, supplier personnel shall expected to travel to other HMRC locations in the UK and the cost of this travel will be covered by HMRC's Travel and Subsistence Expenses policy.
Working arrangements
The Supplier will:
Be expected to work off-site using own devices or, where required on HMRC equipment
Adhere to HMRC’s security policies when using supplier-devices
Travel to other HMRC sites where required. No additional expenses chargeable to HMRC for travel/accommodation in agreed base office locations per SOW.
Provide upskilling to permanent staff to increase internal capability.
Select/supply suitably qualified personnel.
Manage their personnel/providing replacement staff of equal experience/expertise.
Deliver requirements/outcomes specified by HMRC Product
Meet Standard hours 8am-6pm
Out of hours support or enhanced 24/7 including evenings/bank holidays/weekends where required for some products/services and for teams to support the platform.
Security clearance
"The Supplier will:
ensure all staff achieve Security-Clearance (SC), to ensure appropriate controls are managed at the Platform level
adhere to HMRC vetting policy and require SC before individuals engage on the contract
No offshoring permitted for both resource and data, work delivered must be aligned with HMRC’s Offshoring Policy."

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Additional HMRC Mandatory Terms and Conditions will apply. Will be provided to shortlisted suppliers.

Scoring Methodology:

0-Poor answer, fails to meet criteria
1-Limited Evidence does not meet criteria
2-Satisfactorily meets response to criteria
3-Good response to criteria
4-Excellent response to criteria

The supplier will provide HR management support to each individual resource. Any capability/behaviour concerns will be raised by HMRC to the supplier, to act on. HMRC will have the right to remove individuals off the account if standards of capability/behaviour are breached.

All expenses must be pre-agreed between parties, complying with HMRC Travel and Subsistence 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
  • Confirm at least 3-years experience in architecting, transforming and maintaining native features and Products deployed in multiple public cloud platforms including Amazon-Web-Services(AWS) and Microsoft Azure(Pass/Fail-Please provide Y/N with supportive narrative)
  • Confirm prior experience in competently handling 24/7, 365-live support on high profile services, and developing robust live service support arrangements using Agile and DevOps approaches(Pass/Fail-Please provide Y/N with supportive narrative)
  • Please provide evidence that supports your financial capability to deliver a contract of this size. (Pass/Fail-Please provide Y/N with supportive narrative)
  • Experience of successful service transition from incumbent supplier and management of exit handover activities. 1.67%
  • Experience Building and Operating and Maintaining Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery pipelines including use of the following tools and skills (Terraform, Jenkins, Ansible, Artifactory) 1.67%
  • Demonstrate proven expertise and competency of using key services such as Hasihcorp Vault, GitHub and familiarity with building and maintaining cloud-native services support for challenging SLA’s. 1.67%
  • Build approach creating secure re-usable and scalable components including their continuous improvement and refinement in ongoing operation, including use of performance and logging software. 1.67%
  • General Cloud Environment and VM backup and restoration. 1.67%
  • Vulnerability and Patch Management across Public and Private Cloud environments. 1,67%
  • Producing and maintaining technical documentation and a Knowledgebase. 1.67%
  • Providing accurate and timely information to maintain a Configuration Management Database. 1.67%
  • Working safely within a UK based secure engineering environment at Security Clearance level. 1.67%
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience working with scripting and implementation of Automation within a Public Cloud Platform
  • Managing work allocation through Jira Service Desk
  • Prior successes in implementing CI/CD and frequent deployments in an organisation operating tightly controlled ITIL (or similar ITSM) practices
  • Security architecture - in particular, example(s) of implementing a ‘DevSecOps’ way of working within teams.d

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Provide details of how you would mobilise/maintain resources for the delivery and management of the platform and how you would increase capacity in areas of skill-shortages to meet urgent demand.
  • Describe some of the techniques used to develop the repeatable consumption of native Cloud Container services across AWS and Microsoft Azure
  • How would you ensure value for money is achieved when developing a new deployment platform on public cloud?
  • Describe how you would ensure user needs are considered at every stage of the development cycle of a service.
  • Describe how you would approach a Cloud Adoption in a large organisation. Consider how you would influence the culture, bring new skills, measure success and give clients lasting capability.
  • Describe how you would get a service ready to be supported 24/7, 365 days a year, and maintain the same level of responsiveness during working hours.
  • Explain how the resources supplied would work with ECS / incumbent suppliers to transition a complex live service/platform; the transition process and artefacts/documentation you would expect to be provided.
  • Describe your experience in contract exit plans and handovers to incoming suppliers and/or internal resource in previous engagements.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Describe how you will collaborate and partner with HMRC staff and other suppliers, potentially in the same team. 1%
  • Describe how you will demonstrate proactivity in sharing knowledge and experiences with members of the team, especially with less skilled HMRC resources. 1%
  • Describe how you will promote ideas and demonstrate innovative ideas and value-added initiatives. 1%
  • Describe how you will respond when your members of staff make mistakes. 1%
  • Describe how you will work with other suppliers present in HMRC. 1%
  • Inclusive and accessible recruitment practices, development-practices and retention-focussed activities including those provided in the Guide for line managers on recruiting,managing and developing people with a disability or health condition-MAC7.1 -5%.
  • Influence staff, suppliers, customers and communities through the delivery of the contract to support health and wellbeing, including physical and mental health. MAC7.2 -5%
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

45%

Cultural fit

15%

Price

40%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Supplier Briefing Session - To explain scoring, social value, criteria and requirement.
HMRC will be holding a one-off briefing session to discuss the scoring methodology, the requirement and the criteria on Monday 10th January 2022-1pm-2pm for any potential suppliers. This will be an information session to explain the scoring, social value and the requirement. We will not be answering questions during this session, instead please post questions on the Digital-Marketplace and answers will be posted so all suppliers can view. Please email Waseem Rana at waseem.rana@hmrc.gov.uk by Monday 9am 10th January with details of no more than 2 participants per organisation. We will require attendee names and email addresses. Thank you HMRC
2. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
3 members of HMRC staff that currently work on the ECS. There job roles are: Deputy Director Enterprise Cloud Services (ECS)
Head of Operations - ECS and Head of Development - ECS. This may be subject to change if there are unexpected absences.
3. Who is the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
The incumbent is Capgemini and they have been incumbent for 2 years.
4. Can you please provide an anticipated timeline for this procurement that includes dates for: 1) Shortlisting Notification for Stage 2 2) Submission Deadline for Stage 2 3) Presentation 4) Evaluation period 5) Award Notification
"1)Shortlisting Notification for stage 2 26/01/22,
2) Submission Deadline - 08/02/22
3) N/A
4) Evaluation Period - 09/02/22 - 14/02/22
5) Award Notification 25/02/22

Please note these are anticipated timelines and HMRC reserve the right to amend these timelines if required.
"
5. Can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present?
Shortlisted Suppliers will not have the opportunity to present for this proposal.
6. Can you please advise the preferred tech stack for this opportunity?
ECS consume services from AWS and Azure and use additional technology to support the services within HMRC.
The key technologies in the ECS portfolio, within this opportunity include:
AWS
Azure
Hashicorp Vault
McAfee Anti Virus
OpsView
GitLab
Artifactory
Jfrog X-Ray
Confluence
Jira
Desirable - PowerDNS
7. For the Pass/Fail questions (in particular the financial assessment question), can you advise how suppliers can score full marks (i.e. a 3) for Stage 1?
Pass/ Fail Questions will be scored as either pass or fail and not using the the traditional DOS Scoring of 0-3. All other questions will be scored as 0-4 as described in the published requirement. Suppliers need to provide in their answers a narrative which ensures they meet the requirement. In terms of financial assessment, need to demonstrate you have the capacity to deliver the contract value. This can be done by stating turnover, examples of other contracts and other information which demonstrates financial capacity.
8. The scoring methodology (Scores 0-4) outlined in the Additional Information section does not align with the guidance published on the gov.​uk site (Scores 0-3) – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-score-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-suppliers#the-scoring-process. Can you please advise which is correct?
The scoring methodology for this requirement will be 0-4 as outlined in the Additional Information. This does not align with with the standard DOS scoring but is permissible for HMRC to do on the DOS5 framework. Pass/ Fail responses will be scored pass/fail and need to be passed .
9. Where an ‘Essential Skills and Experience’ question is marked (Pass/Fail-Please provide Y/N with supporting narrative), can you please provide confirm how this is scored? Does a pass receive full marks, and a fail receive 0(Zero)? This approach does not seem to be covered in the DOS scoring guidance.
Pass/ Fail Questions will be scored as Pass or Fail and not using the the traditional DOS Scoring of 0-3. All other questions will be scored as 0-4 as described in the published requirement. This is not standard DOS scoring but is permissable for HMRC to alter scoring using the DOS5 framework. Pass/Fail questions need to be passed to proceed to the shortlist stage
10. Can you please provide an updated timeline for this republished procurement that includes dates for: 1) Shortlisting Notification for Stage 2 2) Submission Deadline for Stage 2 3) Evaluation period 4) Award Notification.
Please see Question and Answer 4.
11. Can you please provide detail on exactly what is meant by “management of exit handover activities”? Specifically, what is your expectation of these management activities and what are you trying to achieve?
Exit Handover activities are for the end of the agreement. The expectation is for the suppliers to provided details around what they would do for handover and knowledge transfer to a new provider
12. The invitation for the supplier briefing on 10/1 includes an agenda item for feedback on HMRC requirements. How will this feedback be captured, will there be open dialogue between HMRC and suppliers during the briefing?
The supplier briefing will mainly be HMRC explaining the process, scoring etc. Any questions that arise we request be asked on the Digital Marketplace after the session to ensure fairness with Suppliers that may not attend. Regarding the feedback aspect this is a voluntary ask of any Suppliers to provide general feedback on the call(or by email) regarding HMRC DOS procurements in general, what we can improve on for future procurements etc. This part will be more of an open dialogue with suppliers. However you are not required to participate or can email me directly if you prefer.
13. Will the scores achieved in Stage 1 be carried forwards into the evaluation of Stage 2 responses? If so, how will this be implemented?
The essential criteria scores will be carried forward. On the eesential criteria there are percentage weightings against some criteria (adding to 15%). The scores achieved will be carried forward to the second stage. The essential criteria will account for 15%, Proposal Criteria (Stage 2) 30%, Cultural Fit (Stage 2) 15% (Social Value is included in this 10%) and Price 40% at stage 2.
14. “Experience working with scripting and implementation of Automation within a Public Cloud Platform.” Would it be possible to give us more insight into examples of scripting and automation you’re looking for?
Using industry standards for the Cloud Platforms such as Go, Terraform, Python and Powershell. Being able to run the platforms as Infrastructure as Code
15. If a supplier or their subcontractor does not have SC clearance for required staff for this project, will HMRC provide sponsorship for SC clearance vetting applications? If yes, will HMRC allow the suppliers staff who are in the process of obtaining SC clearance to commence work at the beginning of the contract?
HMRC will sponsor people to obtain SC as part of the agreement, however resources will not be able to engage with the production services until SC Clearance is obtained
16. Essential Skills and Experience point 6 asks for proven expertise and competency of using GitHub. In HMRC’s response to a previous supplier question (Supplier Q6) on preferred tech stack, GitLab is described. Please can HMRC confirm whether the requirement is for GitHub or GitLab
HMRC currently consume GitLab, apologies for the confusion
17. How many applications/users will the cloud platform support?
"HMRCs approach to Cloud Services and Platforms is to be able to scale in a flexible manner to support the strategic direction for HMRC.
HMRC have a Cloud First strategy and a drive to increase cloud adoption, it is not possible to quantify in applications or users for the cloud platform
ECS deliver products and features that the customers use to deliver applications and services"
18. What are the expectations on feature releases provided e.g. If there’s 10 systems to support, is it expected an update/release is provided every week?
ECS manage and own the product catalogue for the Cloud Platforms and the associated Roadmaps for the products. There are no defined expectations on how often features releases take place, this is owned by the Product Owner
19. Please clarify whether TUPE is in scope or out of scope.
TUPE does not apply for this requirement
20. Considering the contract start date can HMRC share the timeframe for transition activities?
The timeframes are very tight, we are looking for the partner to immobilise as quick as possible and allow for short transition of approximately 1 month, however there may be a possibility to extend this
21. Are suppliers able to use other tools and accelerators, not currently on HMRC’s estate, to support the service?
"ECS have a catalogue and a roadmap for the products and features, any additional components will need to be discussed and agreed through appropriate governance. Though all tooling and license will need to be owned by HMRC
"
22. What are the volumes of incidents by priority over the last 12 months?
"ECS Incidents past 12 months
Priority Count
Priority 5 - 1,623
Priority 4 - 303
Priority 3 -71
Priority 2 - 3
Total 2,000