Awarded to Clarasys Limited

Start date: Friday 20 May 2022
Value: £3,000,000
Company size: SME
Ministry of Justice, Digital & Technology, Prisons Digital

Digital Portfolio Operations Support

7 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 2 large

34 Completed applications

25 SME, 9 large

Important dates

Monday 7 February 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 14 February 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 21 February 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Digital Portfolio Operations Support
Latest start date
Monday 2 May 2022
Expected contract length
Up to 24 months
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Justice, Digital & Technology, Prisons Digital
Budget range
Up to £3,000,000 Inc. VAT.

About the work

Why the work is being done
HMPPS & the MOJ Digital & Technology Directorate has a bold strategic vision to replace prison legacy systems with simpler, clearer, faster digital services by 2024. To deliver these objectives the Prisons Digital Team is planned to expand in size and scale over the next 12 months.
Problem to be solved
HMPPS digital function is growing and will expand further. The planned portfolio of work, to deliver our strategy, is high value, complex and increasingly interdependent. Several areas come under formal government programme controls.

Partner required to:
expand our support function, scale and mature our digital ways of working so :
o the portfolio roadmap is maintained
o the prioritisation process is supported
o dependencies are managed
o governance is provided, coordinated and supported
o delivery metrics are identified, developed, monitored
o workforce planning is managed, supported
o risks and issues are identified, managed, escalated
• further build and develop the support we provide to HMPPS in managing, planning and delivering the digital business change into their operations.
• strengthen our communications strategy and capability to enable us deliver effective messages through a range of communication channels to a wide variety of stakeholders and users.
• support our work to develop our talent, working with individuals, teams and leaders using experts in organisational development

The partner will:
• operate, embed and optimise our digital ways of working
• design organisational structure capable of supporting long term
• handover ownership to in-house team to be established in year 2 of the contract.
Who the users are and what they need to do
• HMPPS Prison Digital - Digital Teams, Service Owners, Deputy Director - they need to understand progress across all the digital teams
• Digital & Technology People Team - they need to understand workforce planning and requirements
• Digital & Technology Portfolio & Controls - they need to accurately report digital team progress and information within and across the MOJ and wider in government
• HMPPS Sub/Committees, Programme Teams & Boards - they need to effectively manage & govern delivery of their programmes, of which Prison Digital is part
• HMPPS Business Change & Reform Programme teams - they need to specify business needs and ensure operations are ready for the digital business change
• HMPPS end users - they need to know what is being developed, when it’s arriving and what they need to do to be ready and able to use the new services
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We are developing an operating model, based on agile principles, rituals and ceremonies which details the digital function’s ways of working and dovetails into the wider MOJ controls and governance. Some elements of the operating model are already implemented but need to be operated or supported. Other elements are designed but not yet implemented. Some elements are being designed or have yet to be designed.

The portfolio of work is ongoing, but will significantly expand in the first 6 months of the next 22/23 financial year.
Existing team
There is a Portfolio and Controls Function in Digital and Technology with one full time resource allocated to HMPPS.

The remaining activities are currently performed by a small business support and strategy team and by the digital delivery teams. Our intention, with this contract, is to release the strategy and digital teams from these tasks so they can deliver the digital services.
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 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.

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
  • Knowledge of agile development methodologies, principles and approaches and experience of appropriately applying them at a large scale
  • Knowledge of portfolio management and a proven track record of supporting and managing a complex digital business change portfolio of work
  • Experience of collaboratively designing communications strategies, executing a communications plan and producing clear, user-friendly communications in a variety of digital and non-digital formats
  • Experience of delivering an agile portfolio of work within a traditional project and programme management environment
  • Experience of planning and supporting complex business change initiatives and implementations
  • Proven experience & expertise in collaborating across teams and departments and transferring ownership and knowledge to in-house teams.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of complex, public sector digital programmes
  • Experience of appropriately applying agile principles and approaches within the context of significant business programme change.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • A recent case study of a similar assignment that explains your approach and methodology and how it can ensure successful delivery. (20)
  • 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 the assignment (15)
  • Provide a project plan for what your team would deliver during the timescales, how would you split the time between the project phases (5)
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver value for money throughout this project (5)
  • Demonstrate how you would collaborate with current teams and departments and ensure an effective hand over to the in-house team (15)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Has diverse representation in their workforce (5)
  • Encourages new entrees to digital professions and upskills and develops their workforce (5)
  • Work collaboratively with digital teams, people teams, portfolio and controls function and HMPPS stakeholders (5)
  • Is innovative and forward thinking, shares knowledge, experience and honest feedback with clients and takes responsibility for the quality of their work(5)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Digital, Portfolio, Communications and Delivery roles will be involved
2. Can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present?
Yes they will
3. Has any external supplier been involved in the initial scoping work? If so, who?
4. What are you doing to ensure there is a level playing field for new suppliers on the framework have a fair chance of winning work given the lack of previous work history.
We will evaluate all suppliers against the essential and nice to have criteria.
5. "Will the team be provided with MoJ/HMPPS devices to work on?
How many programmes/projects fall into formal government programme controls?
How many programmes/projects are within the overall portfolio?
What role does this function report into within the Ministry of Justice digital & technology directorate?
What activities are being performed by the small business support and strategy team and by the digital delivery teams? How many resources are doing this work that need to be released from these tasks?
Will there be a base location our team can attend and work from to integrate with other MoJ/HMPPS teams?"
Where required, the team will be provided with HMPPS devices.
The full portfolio is still being shaped, Currently we expect to deliver into 2 programmes under formal controls. We expect there to be 20+ product areas within the portfolio. The function will report into the Prisons Digital function but will need to collaborate/work with other teams in D&T. Activities outlined in the problem to be solved section are being performed by the business and strategy teams. The teams have multiple locations with a main office in Sheffield. There will be opportunities to work from that office, but not full time,
6. "For “Experience of collaboratively designing communications strategies, executing a communications plan and producing clear, user-friendly communications in a variety of digital and non-digital formats”
Who are the audiences for these communication strategies?"
The audiences will be within Digital and Technology and HMPPS, including end users in prisons.
7. 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 28/02/2022
Submission Deadline for Stage 2 WC 21/03/2022
Presentation WC 11/04/22"
8. Could you give us some kind of idea of the type of roles you see delivering a service like this please? We’ve been through the opportunity and feel an understanding of where you see a bidder delivering value, would be beneficial. Thanks.
We require roles to deliver the activities outlined in the problem to be solved section.
9. "Please could you confirm what portion of the time our teams would be expected to work on site and on which sites? Or will this be entirely remote working?
The “Location” indicates “No specific location, for example they can work remotely” but “Address where the work will take place” indicates “UK Based. The aligned teams are based in Sheffield & London”."
The teams you would be working with have multiple locations with a main office in Sheffield. Teams work flexibly and, currently, mostly remotely. There will be a requirement to travel regularly for meetings in Sheffield and occasionally in London. Outside of these meetings there is no requirement to be office-based and individuals can work from home.
10. "1. With reference to: ‘Any work that’s already been done’; Have you made any decisions regarding your Agile or Scaling Frameworks yet?
2. With reference to: ‘How Suppliers will be evaluated’; You have requested both Proposal and Cultural fit criteria (and disclosed weightings). Are Suppliers required to submit attachments, covering these areas, with their submissions, or will these areas be evaluated at the RFP stage?"
"1.No we have not made any decisions yet.
2. Suppliers are expected to respond with a written proposal which covers all the criteria (proposal + Cultural fit)
Suppliers are to be evaluated on these criteria, with the proposal not being more than 2500 words and 1000 words for the case study (being the the first proposal criteria)."
11. Can you please confirm if this opportunity is to provide an individual or a team.
We estimate a team or several individuals will be required.
12. Can the Authority confirm what it means ‘significant business programme change’ in skills and experience point 8? Should it state ‘business change programmes’?
yes it should state 'significant business change progammes'
13. Does the HMPPS Digital have an incumbent external supplier providing portfolio management support within HMPPS Digital Programmes?
No, we do not have an incumbent
14. Do you have an incumbent/third party who is working with you in this area
No, there is no incumbent