Awarded to Equal Experts UK Limited

Start date: Monday 16 May 2022
Value: £4,000,000
Company size: large
Ministry of Justice Digital & Technology Team (MOJ)

Improving Operational Reporting in Prisons

10 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 3 large

48 Completed applications

23 SME, 25 large

Important dates

Published
Thursday 13 January 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 20 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 27 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
Improving Operational Reporting in Prisons.
Latest start date
Monday 2 May 2022
Expected contract length
Up to 24 months.
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Justice Digital & Technology Team (MOJ)
Budget range
Up to £4m including VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
The MOJ has a bold strategic vision for the delivery of digital, data & technology in Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) which includes:
● replacing prison legacy systems with simpler, clearer, faster digital services by 2024
● capturing, storing and sharing high quality data across services leading to better and faster decision-making
The replacement of legacy reporting systems provides a requirement and an opportunity to improve reporting within prisons.
Problem to be solved
Accurate, responsive reporting in prisons is essential to running day to day operations in prison, Reporting ranges from producing a list of prisoners to unlock each day to providing detailed management information that provides insight into what works in reducing reoffending and informs policies and practice.
Prison reporting is inefficient, complicated and time consuming. The standard reports do not meet end to end information needs and data is extracted from different reports & systems and manually joined and transformed in spreadsheets at a local level. These practices and processes differ from prison to prison making it difficult to combine/ analyse reports at a local and national level. Reporting is open to errors, work is duplicated, data is questioned and trust in reporting and data is low.
Improving, rationalising and standardising reporting in prisons could significantly improve the quality of reporting.

The MoJ is seeking to procure a supplier to deliver future strategic reporting services for prisons. This will start with a discovery to understand user needs at all levels, the technical landscape and constraints, current reporting processes and policy intent and opportunities to improve. Based on outcomes/recommendations from the discovery we expect to then move to an alpha and beta.
Who the users are and what they need to do
● HMPPS uniformed front line - they need real time and historical reporting to deliver the prison regime
● HMPPS administration staff - they need real time and historical reporting to support the day to day running of the establishment
● HMPPS prison operation management - real time and historical reporting to effectively manage the prison and achieve prison targets
● HMPPS regional operation teams - real time and historical reporting to effectively manage the prison region and achieve regional targets
● HMPPS national operation teams - real time and historical reporting to effectively manage the national prison estate and achieve national targets
● HMPPS national policy teams - historical reporting to monitor effectiveness and improve prison policies and practices
HMPPS statistics and dissemination teams - historical data to publish official statistics and reports.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Work to determine the data reporting infrastructure and tooling for the MOJ is underway by an internal team which may be appropriate to be used by operational prison staff and new digital prisons services. An assessment of this option and its suitability is included within scope of this contract.

Out of scope for this contract is
● improvements to data quality within prison systems
● improvements to data ownership
● changes to or reviews of current prison operational performance metrics, KPIs and scorecards
Existing team
The supplier will be working with MoJ stakeholders across the prison and probation organisation. A product manager and subject matter experts will be available to work with the team but all other delivery roles are expected to be resourced by the managed service provider
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
UK Based. The aligned teams are based in Sheffield & London
Working arrangements
There will be a requirement for visits to prisons, regional offices and teams in London headquarters. There may also be a requirement to travel for meetings in Sheffield or London. Outside of these visits and any meetings, there is no requirement to be office-based and individuals can work from home.

A minimum of Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) standard is required. Where access to live production data is necessary, Security Clearance (SC) will also be required.
Security clearance
A minimum of Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) standard is required. Where access to live production data is necessary, Security Clearance (SC) will also be required.

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
  • Proven track record of delivering digital services to, and/or on behalf of, Government Agencies throughout the product lifecycle (discovery, alpha, beta, live) and meeting the government digital service standard
  • Delivering significant operational impact by improving, rationalising and / or standardising reporting services and processes within an organisation.
  • Knowledge of current & emerging reporting technology & techniques within the team
  • Experience of leading investigative user research into problems & opportunities, gathering & analysing information and producing clear, compelling, evidence-based recommendations
  • Experience of service design and agile, incremental digital delivery that delivers value early and iteratively
  • Proven experience & expertise of collaborating across teams and departments and transferring ownership and knowledge to in-house teams.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience within the probation and prison environment
  • Experience of working within a complex public policy and service environment
  • Working within a government programme that requires close working with other civil service teams and managed services

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • A recent case study of a similar project that explains your approach and methodology and how it can ensure successful delivery
  • Provide examples of how you have used innovative techniques to investigate and solve problems and how you have identified and delivered value early and iteratively.
  • Provide an example team structure including skills, experience, responsibilities and the relevance of individuals. Explain how you will ensure the team delivers their responsibilities throughout this approach.
  • Provide a project plan for what your team would deliver during the timescales, how would you split the time between the project phases - e.g. discovery, alpha, beta etc
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver value for money throughout this project
  • Demonstrate how you would ensure an effective hand over to the in-house team.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work collaboratively with HMPPS Digital and staff in probation and prisons including stakeholders with varying understanding of agile methodologies
  • Considers the needs of all users of varying backgrounds and abilities
  • Is innovative and forward thinking, shares knowledge, experience and honest feedback with clients and takes responsibility for the quality of their work
  • Able to demonstrate the value of their approach and understands the value of data and analytics
  • Encourages new entrees to their digital professions and upskills and develops their workforce (5%)
  • Encourages diverse representation in their workforce(5%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Case study
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Commercial, product, data and technical people will be involved in scoring applications
2. Can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present?
The shortlisted suppliers will have this opportunity
3. Can you please advise the preferred tech stack for this opportunity?
We currently use a mixture of technologies that have been around for a while, like Business Objects and Oracle, and newer, often open-source technologies such as Postgres. At this stage, we cannot be certain what the exact technical stack will be for future reporting needs, and this will be something that suppliers will need to build into their consideration. We do know that we prefer open source, and that current data platforms are mostly hosted in Amazon Web Services
4. Has any external supplier been involved in the initial scoping work? If so, who?
No external supplier has been involved so far
5. Who is the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
There is no incumbent supplier. We have a civil service team who manage and produce reports.
6. What technology is in use for the legacy system? What is the operational environment? Does the new reporting rely on more than the legacy system being replaced for its data?
"We currently use a mixture of technologies that have been around for a while, like Business Objects and Oracle for reporting.
The operating system run by end users is Windows, and in the main is run within prisons. The hosting and provisioning of end user systems is currently changing, but will remain Windows
It is likely that report requirements will be discovered that require pulling in data from multiple systems, some new as well as legacy."
7. In relation to the Nice To Have question “Experience with the probation and prison environment”, would the department consider experience in the Enforcement area of other central government departments outside of probation and prison?
All relevant experience will be considered
8. "Regarding experience in “Government Agencies ‘, this is non compliant with DOS5 guidelines.Please elaborate on the non-compliance.
https://assets.crowncommercial.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/RM1043.7-DOS-5-Buyer-webinar-how-to-create-an-opportunity-with-notes.docx
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.”"
Suppliers must have proven experience of delivering to the Government Digital Service standard https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/service-standard
We will consider a non-public sector example as experience.
9. "Would you reject a bid from small business (compliant with DOS5 guidelines ) with no prior government delivery experience but strong listed technology skills ?
Please explain why a small business with private sector delivery experience is non competent for the project ?"
We would not reject a bid that meets the stated essential requirements. Suppliers must have proven experience of delivering to the Government Digital Service standard https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/service-standard. We will consider a non-public sector example as experience.
10. Can you please state your commitment for small business procurement ?
"Like other Government Departments, MOJ is keen to work with SMEs.

Small and Medium Business Hub - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)"
11. Who is the incumbent supplier for the buyer and will they be bidding again ?
There is no incumbent supplier. We have a civil service team who manage and produce reports.
12. Regarding “Experience within the probation and prison environment’, can you please explain how will new supplier fairly bid against the incumbent supplier who already has the above skills? Incumbent supplier tend to gain maximum points whereas other supplier will suffer rejection.
There is no incumbent supplier. We have a civil service team who manage and produce reports.
13. "Regarding Nice-to- have-skills :-“Working within a government programme that requires close working with other civil service teams and managed services”, please explain how a new SME can fairly bid for project ?
https://assets.crowncommercial.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/RM1043.7-DOS-5-Buyer-webinar-how-to-create-an-opportunity-with-notes.docx
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) and could therefore demonstrate required skills and experience within a different environment.
This is a nice-to-have skill, and we will consider applications from suppliers who do not have direct experience of public sector work.
14. Reference is made in the opportunity listing that work is currently underway to determine the data reporting infrastructure and tooling. Could you please provide information on the infrastructure and tooling that is currently in-situ/under consideration?
We currently use a mixture of technologies that have been around for a while, like Business Objects and Oracle, and newer, often open-source technologies such as Postgres. At this stage, we cannot be certain what the exact technical stack will be for future reporting needs, and this will be something that suppliers will need to build into their consideration. We do know that we prefer open source, and that current data platforms are mostly hosted in Amazon Web Services
15. is there a current incumbent?
There is no incumbent supplier. We have a civil service team who manage and produce reports.
16. 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
"Please note this is an indicative timeline and subject to changes :Shortlisting notification for stage 2 04/02/2022
Submission Deadline for Stage 2 WC 21/02/2022
Presentation WC 07/03/22
Evaluation period WC 14/03/22
Award Notification WC 28/03/22"
17. Would it be possible to conduct some of the delivery near or offshore?
We would consider this as an option, provided it meets all requirements in the opportunity, including travel and security.
18. Can you confirm that this is outside IR35?
Yes the Requirement currently sits outside IR35
19. Could you outline a likely timeline for discovery/alpha/beta gates?
The timelines are not yet known, and will form part of the discovery. We anticipate that the discovery will take around two months, but this can be discussed
20. Question 1 asks for evidence of meeting the government digital service standard. Will citing evidence of meeting the Scottish Digital First service standard count as an equivalent for this purpose?
You will need to relate specific points from the Scottish Digital First service standard to the Government Digital Service Standard
21. How do you define a ‘complex public policy and service environment?’ For example, is this an environment in which it is necessary to operate under complex public policies and services or in delivering them?
This refers to delivering solutions in an environment where multiple policies apply, with various technologies in place. This does not refer to delivering new/changed policies.
22. Given the highly sensitive nature of some of the data referred to, are HMPPS satisfied that public cloud platforms are secure enough for operational reporting?
In general, public cloud offerings can be secured to an appropriate level for Official Sensitive data. In some cases, this will mean adding additional processes and configuration over and above the default settings provided by public cloud.
23. Due to the inference of consolidation and systems convergence – is there a requirement for genuinely real time reporting or would near real-time be acceptable?
There is a requirement for real time reporting.
24. Is the reporting strategy for HMPPS aligned with the rest of the departments within the MoJ?
The reporting strategy is still being defined. Ideally, a common strategy will be applied to Prisons, Probation and the Legal Aid Agency. HMCTS is a separate directorate so may have a different strategy.
25. You mention differing reporting practices from one prison to another, and issues with standard reports not meeting all requirements, is there a requirement for an ad-hoc reporting facility?
This will be determined during the discovery phase.
26. Will any of the current SSCL shared services reporting need to be utilised as part of this review / requirement?
This will be determined during the discovery phase.
27. You mention that work to determine the data reporting infrastructure and tooling for the MOJ is underway by an internal team. Can you provide us with a copy of this work or any of the reports derived from this work. This will help us shape the most suitable responses
This will not be available before the start of the work outlined
28. "Re Bullet Point 8 (Nice to Have): Experience of working within a complex public policy and service environment.
Can you please expand on whether this question is referring to experience with Technology inputs or business input to complex public policy and service environments?"
This refers to both the business and technology complexity. This complexity partly comes from policy, partly ongoing business practises, and partly multiple technology platforms. Showing experience of dealing with multiple disparate stakeholders and complex technology would be of benefit here.
29. Please clarify which phases of the project (e.g. Discover, Alpha, Beta, Live) are within the scope of this opportunity.
All phases are potentially in scope
30. Based on Q1 “Proven track record delivering digital services to, and/or on behalf of Gov. agencies.” Can you please clarify whether marking will be scored higher for evidencing multiple use cases or a single use case which is in line with DOS response guidelines.
We will accept either single or multiple use cases. The number of use cases will not directly affect the scoring, but rather the whole answer
31. What use cases / data sets have been identified as requiring real time data reporting?
This will form part of the discovery
32. What expectations do you have for the team structure?
We have no specific expectations
33. Is prior public sector experience a key criteria for bidding for the procurement ?
Suppliers must have proven experience of delivering to the Government Digital Service standard https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/service-standard. We will consider a non-public sector example as experience.
34. How will responses to the Knowledge question be scored? Are you looking for examples of tech used or our approach to staying ahead of emerging tech/techniques?
"Knowledge of current & emerging reporting technology & techniques within the team" means that we would like to see evidence that a supplier will have this kind of knowledge available. That could be examples.
35. You mention that you prefer open source, and that current platforms are mostly hosted in Amazon Web Service. Is your intention to move away from Oracle in the future?
A definitive decision has not yet been made. Some of our legacy applications utilise Oracle Databases, whereas newer micro services may use Postgres RDS and similar. We expect the Discovery requested in this listing to help steer future technology requirements, working with our central platform team looking at database and reporting technology choices
36. "Reference is made that work is underway by internal teams to determine infrastructure and tooling. You mention that you prefer open source, and that current platforms are mostly hosted in Amazon Web Service.
Can you tell us if the internal team has indicated any preference between either:
• an open source database platform such as PostGreSql
• or a native AWS hosted solution?"
The internal team is investigating how Management Information data may be stored, and are currently considering Redshift. A final decision has not been made, and the Reporting solution would need to surface information from Application databases (including Postgres RDS and similar) as well as the MI data storage, so it will likely be a combination of technology.
37. "Regarding question 8, would you reject bid from small business which do not have prior ‘Government Digital Service standard’ https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/service-standard experience but has vast private sector experience in the listed technology ?
If yes then please validate how this aligns with the DOS standards ?"
We would not reject a bid on that basis. Suppliers must demonstrate how they have built solutions that adhere to the Government Digital Service standard. A non-pubic sector example will be considered.