Awarded to Capgemini UK plc

Start date: Monday 28 March 2022
Value: £5,000,000
Company size: large
HMRC Chief Information Office - Enterprise Cloud Services (ECS)

HMRC Container Platform Delivery and Support 2022 - 2023

2 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 0 large

14 Completed applications

5 SME, 9 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 build and maintain the HMRC Container Platform and associated components.
Product Delivery Management
Impacting & Design for HMRC Container Platform (HCP) Service Products
Product Catalogue
Integration to the Enterprise Cloud Services CI/CD tools
Service Management (ITIL)
Evergreening and Patch Management
Capacity and performance management"
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 £5 million over 2 years.

About the work

Why the work is being done
"At a high level the centralised Container Product team will support the delivery of repeatable Container Clusters and associate platform management enabling Application DevOps teams to deliver services without the need to worry about the container Platform that they will consume. Supporting the strategic deliverables of making HMRC a Great Place to Work and Collect the right tax and pay out the right financial support – through the innovative delivered processes.
The care deliverables are to support the reduction of duplication of effort, resources and platforms which incur significant costs not only immediately but will continue to grow and cause future issues and expenditure.

It is difficult to quantify the overall financial benefits but the positive would be the reduce effort through standardisation and enabling development teams to deliver services and solutions at pace"
Problem to be solved
"The problem(s) that are being overcome are both business and technically in manner

Business Problems to overcome, some activity already underway:

Business Challenge around disparate and ways of working or engaging, which is leading to additional costs and timeframes in delivery of solutions
Confusing and cumbersome processes to engage with the IT Strategy and solutions
Inability to influence the design and service architecture is driving poor customer and colleague experience, complex delivery model.
Risk of technical debt proliferating around the business with no central ownership or drive to new ways of working

Technical Problem to overcome, some activity already underway:

Complex model of Architecture and delivery
Repeated skills and knowledge leading to increased technical and resource costs
Ensure that HMRC resource have effective technology tools, reducing duplication, to run the HMRC business, and to do their job
Support the design of digital tax processes which make it easier to get tax right, repeatable technical components and improving experience of delivering services
Improve developer experience, delivering compliance inline with industry good practice
Reduce the growing cost to support IT systems, replacing with resilient, future-proof, flexible solutions "
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 Container 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 Container Platform (HCP) since 2018, with a new strategy, in partnership with the Chief Technology and Delivery Office designed to deliver container services and improved developer experience across HMRC core platforms (AWS, Azure and Crown Hosting).
Significant work has started to deliver the platform roadmap and initial services on AWS and Azure.
The focus of the new arrangement will be to continue the roadmap delivery and the development of the HCP services with HMRC Platforms"
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 No evidence of 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 container clusters and toolsets 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)
  • Confirm experience working with Red-Hat-Enterprise-Linux as the default service OS and Windows as part of implementing containerisation and container orchestration technology (AKS/ELS) at scale. (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 -2.5%
  • 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.- 2.5%
  • Demonstrate proven expertise and competency of using key services to maintain cloud-native services support on Kubernetes in achieving challenging SLA’s, greater that 99.9% - 2.5%
  • Producing and maintaining technical documentation and a Knowledgebase. - 2.5%
  • Providing accurate and timely information to maintain a Configuration Management Database 2.5%
  • Working safely within a UK based secure engineering environment at Security Clearance level. 2.5%
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience working with VMWare based Private Cloud platforms
  • 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.

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 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?
  • What technologies would you consider and why, when developing a new Managed Container Platform solution using Native and OpenSource capabilities?
  • 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 Microservice/Container 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 within ECS. Their 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 the incumbent for approximately 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 for it's container services support by open source tooling.
The key technologies in the ECS portfolio, within this opportunity include:
AWS
Azure
Elastic Kubernetes Service
Azure Kubernetes Service
Prometheus
Kafka
OpenSearch
Calico Networking
NGINX
Grafana
Elasticsearch
Logstash
Fluentd
Plus additional tooling to support the Cluster
7. Can you please advise if one supplier could be awarded both Container Platform Delivery and Support and also the Cloud support opps?
HMRC can confirm one supplier or several suppliers can be awarded the Container Platform Delivery and Support and also the Cloud support opps based on their proposals.
8. With regards to the question on using Red-Hat and Windows as the default service OS. Are you describing using those OS as the worker nodes in Kubernetes (EKS/AKS) or as the OS used in tooling (CI/CD), monitoring etc. to provision Kubernetes services/clusters/tooling?
HMRC use RedHat and Windows to deliver work nodes in AWS for EKS, within Azure the design pattern is to consume Managed Nodes
We also use RedHat and Windows as operating systems to support tooling
9. 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. Suppliers will need to score a pass on these criteria. 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.
10. 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 permissable for HMRC to do on the DOS5 framework. Pass/ Fail responses will be scored pass/fail and need to be passed.
11. 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 permissible for HMRC to alter scoring using the DOS5 framework. Pass/Fail questions need to be passed to proceed to the shortlist stage
12. Is it appropriate for offshore or central European base EU citizens to be part of the service delivery model, or only UK citizens located in UK ?
Is there a requirement for SC cleared staff across some or all of the roles ?
This is appropriate for UK citizens and people approved to work in the UK only.
The requirement for SC cleared staff is across all of the roles.
13. Can small business bid for this project with prior private sector experience ?
Small businesses can bid for this project with private sector experience provided they are able to meet all the criteria, including the financial capacity to deliver the contract.
14. Regarding response for Q13, can you please elaborate what is the ‘financial capacity’ expected from small business to bid for the project ?
We expect to see details relating to turnover, other income streams, the size and type of contracts previously delivered and any relationships that will form part of your stage 2 bid should you be shortlisted at stage 2. This opportunity is open to all suppliers on the DOS Framework. HMRC is committed to the Government's support of SME's and encourages participation in procurements and the delivery of goods and services wherever possible.
15. Regarding response for Q13, can you please elaborate what is the ‘financial capacity’ expected from small business to bid for the project ?

CONTINUED
CONTINUED

This particular opportunity is part of a larger project which has been disaggregated to encourage participation from a wider market. HMRC are not looking to exclude suppliers purely due to turnover value as per Procurement Policy Note 8/16 which indicates that turnover is part of a wider assessment of financial suitability.
16. Please also elaborate how does this requirement align with government SME target for HMRC with no criteria for financial standing ?
HMRC encourage SME’s to participate for all requirements they believe they can deliver. However HMRC also need to ensure that any supplier that is awarded a contract has the financial capacity to deliver the requirement as part of the due diligence.
17. 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
18. Can you please share any use cases on how the container platform will be consumed?
The plan and roadmap is for the Container Platform and the Clusters used by each service to be consumed by automation with the customer able to self-serve the core components
19. What is the anticipated scale for the container platform?
"The current design is for independent clusters for each service / project the framework will allow the customers to decide on how they consume the clusters.
The anticipated scale is based on the consumption from customers and projects, you should include assumptions around the scale your proposition can support"
20. Can you please detail the VMware components that are currently being used by HMRC e.g. vSphere, vCloud, Tenzu?
The current Vmware service is based around vSphere and on-premise clusters, a current review is underway around additional Vmware toolsets
21. Please clarify whether TUPE is in scope or out of scope.
TUPE does not apply for this requirement
22. 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
23. Could you give an indication of volumes of the services to use the containerisation service?
HMRC strategy is to develop more services using microservices upported by container technology, it is not possible to provide the volumes, bidders should provide assumptions on the number of clusters they will support and manage
24. 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
25. What are the volumes of incidents by priority over the last 12 months?
HCP Incidents past 12 months
Priority Count
Priority 5 - 87
Priority 3 - 25
Priority 4 - 6
Total 118