Awarded to Farsight Consulting Ltd

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

Allocating & Scheduling Activities in Prisons

7 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 2 large

46 Completed applications

27 SME, 19 large

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 18 January 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 25 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 1 February 2022 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Allocating & Scheduling Activities 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
he MOJ has a bold strategic vision for the delivery of digital, data & technology in Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service 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 current legacy system for managing activities is not fit for purpose and the MOJ requires a partner to design and implement an intelligent scheduling, matching and allocation digital service.

Research has shown that prisoners who take part in meaningful activities are less likely to be or become involved with drugs, violence or self harm. Those prisoners that get the right help and support in prison are less likely to reoffend when they leave.
Problem to be solved
Daily prison regime is prisoners attending activities including medical appointments, workshops offending behaviour programmes,visits. Majority of the c80,000 population, in non COVID times, attend activities twicedaily.
The Allocations process is there to ensure:
activities are scheduled correctly and allocated to those in greatest need
prisoners are booked onto their highest priority activity
prisoners are unlocked at the right time and taken to the right place attendance is recorded and, where appropriate, passed for payment.

MOJ requires a partner to design and implement an intelligent scheduling, matching and allocation digital service, including taking ownership of the data and business logic related to the allocations and scheduling domain from the legacy system.

The process is complex and the systems and support in place are inefficient. MOJ requires a partner to design and implement an intelligent scheduling, matching and allocation digital service. The service will take ownership of the data and business logic related to the allocations and scheduling domain from the legacy system.
Contract will start at discovery to understand user needs,technical landscape and constraints, current processes and policy intent, including an assessment of whether to incorporate an existing digital service, build a full /bespoke solution or use third party paid option.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The Activities Team in Prisons who need to:
Assess the risks of prisoners attending a particular location or activity
Manage activities - including
creating activities, visits, programmes
managing capacity of related resources - rooms, equipment, activity leaders
prioritising clashing activities
matching available opportunities to relevant prisoners
allocating a prisoner to a task
forecasting and capacity planning
managing waiting lists
recording attendance & activating payments
Measure the performance of the processes & impact of the activities

Residential Prison Staff who:
Escort prisoners to and from their cells to activities

Activity Leaders who:
Prepare locations and lead the activities
Mark prisoner attendance and additional information

Regional & National Headquarter Staff who:
Collate and report regional and national statistics
Assess the performance & impact of activities on reoffending
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
HMPPS D&T has built a digital service, Whereabouts, which is used by the majority of prisons and solves part of the problem but does not provide an end to end service. An assessment of whether to incorporate or rebuild this service is within scope of this contract.
Existing team
The supplier will be working with MoJ stakeholders across the prison and probation organisation. A product manager, subject matter experts and a policy lead 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 applicable

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 and interviews 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.
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 design, development, and delivery of digital services to, and/or on behalf of, Government Agencies to the government digital service standard (5%)
  • Experience of leading investigative user research into problems & opportunities, gathering & analysing information and producing clear, compelling, evidence-based recommendations (5%)
  • In-depth understanding of collaboratively delivering rapid/ iterative prototyping (low to high fidelity) using design systems and approaches. (5%)
  • Experience of digital service and interaction design and agile, incremental software development that delivers value early and iteratively. (5%)
  • Proven experience & expertise of collaborating across teams and departments and transferring ownership and knowledge to in-house teams. (5%)
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
  • Knowledge of current & emerging reporting technology & techniques

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 (10%)
  • 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 (5%)
  • 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 (5%)
  • 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 (5%)
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver value for money throughout this project (5%)
  • Demonstrate how you would ensure an effective hand over to the in-house team. (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work collaboratively with HMPPS Digital and staff in probation and prisons including stakeholders with varying understanding of agile methodologies (2.5%)
  • Considers the needs of all users of varying backgrounds and abilities (2.5%)
  • Is innovative and forward thinking, shares knowledge, experience and honest feedback with clients and takes responsibility for the quality of their work (2.5%)
  • Able to demonstrate the value of their approach and understands the value of data and analytics (2.5%)
  • 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
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who is the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
There is no incumbent supplier.
2. Has any external supplier been involved in the initial scoping work? If so, who?
No
3. Can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present?
Yes
4. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Commercial, product and technical people will be involved.
5. "1. Is there an incumbent supplier for this programme?
2. Q3 (Knowledge of current & emerging reporting technology & techniques within the team) – should our response to this question outline a case study where we have demonstrated our reporting knowledge, or should we only outline our team’s reporting and capability expertise?
3. Q9 (Working within a government programme that requires close working with other civil service teams and managed services) – Please could MOJ expand on how they define ‘managed services’?"
"1. There is no incumbent
2. A case study would be a good answer
3. Managed services are external suppliers brought in to deliver a specific outcome."
6. With regard to the Nice To Have question “Experience with the probation and prison environment”, would the authority consider experience in the Enforcement area of other central government departments outside of probation and prison? And would this experience be considered relevant?
All relevant experience will be considered
7. who developed the current Whereabouts system ?
This was developed by an in-house team of civil servants.
8. Please can you confirm who the people on your selection panel are and their individual roles and responsibilities?
Commercial, product and technical people will be involved.
9. 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 WC 07 /02/2022
Submission Deadline for Stage 2 WC 28/02/2022
Presentation WC 14/03/22
Evaluation period WC 28/03/22
Award Notification WC 04/04/22
10. 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 WC 07 /02/2022
Submission Deadline for Stage 2 WC 28/02/2022
Presentation WC 14/03/22
Evaluation period WC 28/03/22
Award Notification WC 04/04/22"
11. What is the procurement timeline?
"Please note this is an indicative timeline and subject to changes:
Shortlisting notification for stage 2 WC 07 /02/2022
Submission Deadline for Stage 2 WC 28/02/2022
Presentation WC 14/03/22
Evaluation period WC 28/03/22
Award Notification WC 04/04/22"
12. Will we be marked down if we include our resources/teams capability and strength to demonstrate our expertise instead of a case study ?
The criteria specify a case study, so an answer without one may be marked down
13. "Q. Does the authority envisage a low code platform based solution? If so is there any preference?
Q. Considering the larger MoJ digital environment, is there any preferred reporting tool?"
We do not particularly have a preference for or against a low code platform based solution, and would therefore have no preference. We do not have a preferred reporting tool at present, although that may change over the lifetime of this contract
14. Can you please confirm which platform this will be developed on? i.e. AWS, Azure etc.
We would normally aim to deploy solutions on AWS, but we may allow flexibility for a SaaS solution if it provides enough benefits over all other options
15. "We can see that the request lists various user groups of prison staff, but will the prisoners also need access – for example, to check their schedule (perform any re-booking)?
a. If so – which devices will be used.
b. How are prisoners authenticated.
c. What are the security controls around prisoner access to IT systems"
This will come out during the early stages of the work, and will not be shared at this stage
16. "We can see that the request lists various user groups of prison staff, but will the prisoners also need access – for example, to check their schedule (perform any re-booking)?
a. If so – which devices will be used.
b. How are prisoners authenticated.
c. What are the security controls around prisoner access to IT systems"
This will come out during the early stages of the work, and will not be shared at this stage
17. Are there any users external to the prison system that will require access – for example 3rd party activity providers or family members.
This will come out during the early stages of the work, and will not be shared at this stage
18. Are there any external systems that will need to be integrated with the system – e.g. 3rd party activity provider booking APIs or payment systems.
This will come out during the early stages of the work, and will not be shared at this stage
19. Reporting/MI – the request states that data from the system will be used to track the impact of activities on re-offending. Is it expected that the system will be providing information to an existing analytics platform
The solution should be able to export or emit data to a reporting platform
20. Could you please share the approximate number of legacy systems in scope for integration.
There will be 1 - 3 legacy systems involved
21. Please confirm the security posture for the services (will it be above Official Sensitive?)
It will be Official Sensitive or lower
22. Will you accept references from Northern Ireland Direct where services have been delivered to local digital, security & accessibility standards as opposed to GDS only?
Suppliers must have proven experience of delivering to the Government Digital Service standard https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/service-standard. We will consider examples that can be directly mapped to these standards
23. In the final “nice to have” Skills and Experience requirement you ask for Knowledge of current & emerging reporting technology & techniques – is this correct as it is a mirror of the Reporting requirement currently out at the moment or should that read Scheduling?
You are correct - apologies for this error. However, the solution should be able to export or emit data to a reporting platform
24. In relation to questions 1 and 4 of the ‘Essential skills and experience’ Please define a “digital service”
A digital service is an application or solution that is delivered by electronic devices such as computers over a network such as the internet
25. In relation to question 2. Please further explain what you mean by a ‘service environment’
This question relates to the fact that there are many digital services, some of which need to interact with each other, and that there may be overlapping responsibilities and concerns
26. To what extent are you looking for detail on interoperability with existing reporting platforms?
The solution should be able to export or emit data to a reporting platform