Awarded to LA International Computer Consultants Limited

Start date: Monday 9 May 2022
Value: £23,000,000
Company size: large
Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs - Defra

Project_34466. Data Architecture Service for Defra - DDTS

11 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 2 large

13 Completed applications

7 SME, 6 large

Important dates

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

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
The Defra DDTS Architecture team seek to appoint a Supplier for the provision of Data Architecture service to provide Core Team services and to meet Project Delivery demand. The agreement will be in place for a 24-month period
Latest start date
Monday 9 May 2022
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs - Defra
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
DDTS are looking to appoint a Professional Services Supplier to provide Core Data Architecture services and Data Architecture and Technical Data Analyst Project Delivery resources to replace an existing, ending contract.. The commercial strategy aims to meet the customers need of accessing Architecture Services quickly and effectively whilst ensuring the ongoing services continue to support circa 200 projects across DEFRA & its Arm Length Bodies (ALB’s) and a complex and extensive set of services across the Defra group.

The Statement of Works (SoW) and Description of the Work can be found at the following link: -
https://defra.bravosolution.co.uk
Please click on 'View Current Opportunities'. You will see the Project code and description. Please upload the Statement of Works from here. No need to register at this time, although the winning bidder will need to register to activate the contract."
Problem to be solved
The current tactical supplier agreements for the provision of Data Architecture resources will expire on the 30th of June 2022.
Demand of Data Architecture provision within Defra and Arm’s Length Body (ALB) programme and project delivery and for the management of the Core Data Architecture team continues to grow. Contingent Labour is not perceived to be a resilient enough approach, and the desire is to have an outsourced Professional Service to ensure that DDTS can deliver against projects whilst we pursue parallel permanent recruitment.
The Primary importance is the Core Data Architecture Team, without which DDTS cannot continue to provide the Data Architecture Service and also support other responsibilities.
The Defra DDTS Architecture team seek to appoint a Supplier for the provision of Data Architecture service to provide Core Team services and to meet Project Delivery demand.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The Statement of Works (SoW) and Description of the Work can be found at the following link: -
https://defra.bravosolution.co.uk
Please click on 'View Current Opportunities'. You will see the Project code and description. Please upload the Statement of Works from here. No need to register at this time, although the winning bidder will need to register to activate the contract."
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The Core Data Architecture team is currently made up of 10 personnel. In addition there are currently circa 55 project Data Architects and Technical Data Analysts, supported by the Core Team.

The Core Team operate via a Statement of Works definition that outlines their core work activities and delivery.
Current phase
Live

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Blended working (Hybrid) to attend offices where and when necessary. Maybe a requirement within the contract period for a greater percentage of office attendance. To be confirmed.
Working arrangements
Remote / blended working but may/will need to attend meetings to give guidance, consultancy, governance, assurance input.
For the majority of people we anticipate a split of 40/60% of time spent in Defra workplace/home working.
Security clearance
The default is BPSS, however there are a number of roles requiring SC -Security Clearance. Therefore, a mixed approach should be assumed.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Digital Outcomes and Specialists 5 Terms & Conditions plus

The Supplier will maintain full and accurate records and accounts, using Good Industry Practice and accounting principles of:
Operation of the Framework Agreement and the Call-Off Contracts entered into with Buyers
Services provided under any Call-Off Contracts (including any Subcontracts)
Amounts paid by each Buyer under the Call-Off Contracts
MI Reports
Proof of compliance with Data Protection Legislation
Supplier will issue a monthly invoice in arrears. All Invoices will include the Purchase Order number. The Buyer will pay the Supplier within 30 days of receipt of a valid invoice

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
  • As per the Specification provide evidence in supplying the quantity of Data Architect, Technical Data Analyst and Enterprise Technical Domain Architect contractors we require to fulfil our service needs
  • Day 1 must support the Core Team . How and in what timeframe you are able to supply the Core Team as part of a single request for service requirements?
  • Evidence that you have access to a large number of suitably skilled technical resources to the public sector and evidence of your ability to meet framework SLAs
  • Provide evidence of how you are able to supply Data Architect and Technical Data Analyst contractors with the required quality and in the required quantity to deliver the service.
  • Please provide details of the skillsets and experience within your organisation that will support your ability to achieve this.
  • Evidence to deliver and maintain a core Data Architecture Service which takes into account and utilises the ‘Authorities’ Data Architecture Standards, Patterns, Processes, Procedures and guidance materials
  • Implement and transition core team roles, responsibilities, and capability for handover from the existing core team (project team resources) whilst maintaining support and delivery of core and project functions
  • Evidence of being able to supply Data Architect and Technical Data Analyst resources and skillsets to support programme and project delivery working with Core Team architecture governance and assurance
  • Provide a breakdown of costs (utilising a spreadsheet) illustrating number of roles, day rates for each. Include a total day rate Lead Data Architect Data Architect, Technical Data Analyst
  • Outline your plan for supplying suitably skilled resources, including the relationship formed with the key hiring manager to plan timescales for resources
  • Please supply your plan and process demonstrating how you will ensure we are supplied the best quality skills and the right skills and expertise, to deliver the outlined services
  • Please provide 2 anonymised CVs for each of the following skillsets: Chief Data Architect, Lead Data Architect, Enterprise Data Architect, Senior Data Architect
  • How and in what timeframe you are able to supply the bulk requirements as part of a single request for service requirements e.g. project resources?
  • Evidence being able to supply Enterprise Technical Domain Architect resources with senior experience across the three primary technical domains – GeoSpatial, Data Integration and Data & Analytics
  • Evidence of supplying whole, relevant teams to deliver services and Evidence of successfully working with customers to establish portfolio need and timings
  • Please provide 2 anonymised CVs for each of the following skillsets: Senior Technical Data Analyst and Technical Data Analyst, Data Architecture Service Repository Manager (SPARX EA)
  • Please provide 2 anonymised CVs for each of the following skillsets: Enterprise Technical Domain Architect – representing each of the technical domains (GeoSpatial, Data Integration, Data & Analytics)
  • Evidence of being able to supply Data Architect and Technical Data Analyst skillsets supporting Specialisms including Data Management, specialist data domains including Customer, Addressing, GeoSpatial, Data Integration, Data Analytics, MDM
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • The skills and experience within your organisation which support delivering our requirements, including recruitment campaigns that will be used and ideas on how to promote the Defra brand.
  • The effort that will be put into sourcing the best skilled contractors, including any innovative options to ensure our services needs are fulfilled
  • The Authority would like any workers through their contracting arrangements to receive payment for work done in the quickest possible timescale. Describe the end-to-end payment process for your workers.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
8
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets our organisation’s policy or goal
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Alignment to Defra Data Architecture Design and Assurance processes
  • How will you ensure compliance with these processes?
  • Process of checking delivery by allocated resources and how you will report and provide assurance
  • How you will resolve issues of non-compliance and solve problems
  • How the supplier shares knowledge and experience
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

55%

Cultural fit

5%

Price

40%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please advise how we are to upload the required CVs and pricing spreadsheet when the DOS application only allows for a 100 word response
Dgc.corporateservices@defra.gov.uk
We are aware that bidders do not have the facility to attach documents.
Please upload your response with Data Architect 34466 and “Your Company Name”. Your response for each CV must be no more than 2 sides of A4, minimum font size 10.
2. Do we upload to Bravo or send an email?
Please email us at Dgc.corporateservices@defra.gov.uk.
Send your CV's to the aforementioned email address, clearly state
Data Architect 34466 and “Your Company Name”.

Please note: Your response must be no more than 2 sides of A4, minimum font size 10.
3. Could you please confirm if the pricing approach will be fixed price or T&M? The notice states that the pricing approach is fixed price. However, we are conscious that this service is likely to require flexible capacity and therefore flexible pricing, which may be more suited to a T&M model.
We would agree flexibility, this would be our preference, but we have a fixed max budget that we need to be mindful of. The Fixed price - refers to a Cap value for the contract i.e. fixed price for contractors for the duration of the contract. The price will vary due to the actual number of resources consumed by Defra. There will be a requirement for T&M for the provided services. DOS doesn’t allow us to choose Fixed and T&M as both will apply.
4. Regarding Question 9: At this stage of the DOS process we are asked to evidence our skills and experience in the form of a 100 word case study, evidencing the capability you have requested from previous delivery. Please can you advise how you wish to handle this skill/expertise requirement, as we are generally asked for a breakdown of costs in Stage 2 of the DOS process?
At stage 1, we require all bidders to demonstrate your evidence and respond via DOS. For this stage only CV’s and costings are allowed to be sent via email. We will not be marking the cost element until stage 2, but having the costs in readiness will help, as we are working towards a very tight timeframe. We still wish this to be provided at stage 1. You can email this spreadsheet along with the CV's to the email address provided.
5. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
"Stage 1 Reviews will be completed by Head of Data Architecture, Defra Group Head of Architecture & Standards, Defra Major Projects Chief Architect, Head of Architecture Business Management Office, and Digital Services representatives.
Stage 2 Reviews will be completed by Defra Chief Technical Officer, Head of Data Architecture, and the Defra Group Head of Architecture & Standards"
6. Who is the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
The Core Architecture team incumbent is provided between 2 suppliers. The Project Architecture services are provided across multiple Managed Service and Contingent Labour providers.
7. Could you give an indication of budget please?
Sorry this is Commercially sensitive information
8. 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
These dates are best endeavours and availability of the project team. Deadline to submit will be at 23.59 hours on the 21st March. We envisage the shortlisting to be completed w/c 28th March. Notification will be w/c 28th March. Presentation w/c 4th April. Evaluation w/c 11th April - Award w/c 18th April. Please note these dates are subject to change.
9. Can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present?
All shortlisted suppliers will have be required to present as part of the final stages of the selection process.
10. Has any external supplier been involved in the initial scoping work? If so, who?
Neither of the team have communicated with an external supplier to help shape the scope
11. SC clearance, do you know the roles this is specifically needed for?
Standard is the BPMS process and basic clearance. Having SC clearance would be a clear advantage for where projects require it and would save time. Chief Architect and any subsequent contingent labour as needed dependent upon the project?
12. Not sure if the relevant people are aware but some of the tender points/questions require attaching documents, particularly the CV’s (profiles) but also detail from a spreadsheet on costs/price. Unfortunately the system only allows 100 word answers to each question and there is no facility to attach documents so all suppliers are very restricted in terms of the detail they can submit. The 100 words count wouldn’t allow us to submit full profile details on each proposed consultant, or full costs breakdown.
"Please email the CVS's and cost spreadsheet to Dgc.corporateservices@defra.gov.uk. All other responses must be via DOS.
Please send your response with Data Architect 34466 and “Your Company Name”. Your response for each CV must be no more than 2 sides of A4, minimum font size 10."
13. Who is the incumbent supplier providing the resources ?
The Project Architecture services are provided across multiple Managed Service and Contingent Labour providers. Unfortunately, we wont be naming the incumbent suppliers during stage 1. As we are currently using a few different suppliers and also internal resource / Contingent Labour to satisfy these requirements.
14. Please can you provide more information about the key technologies/platforms that DDAT will be using in order to help us find the people with the most suitable experience?
"DDaT describes the roles and how they should operate but it is technology agnostic".
We would expect Data Architects and Technical Data Analysts would have an understanding and experience of the leading industry technologies (including Cloud) in the delivery of data services and business data capabilities to support a wide range of business solution design, data migrations, data warehousing, Data analytics, data science, delivery for Defra.
Enterprise Technical Domain architects need to be abreast of current technologies, both cloud and on-premises, and their relevance for each of the data domains."
15. key technologies/platforms that DDAT will be using?
The technologies & platforms used by Defra for Architecture delivery are: Sparx Power Platform, Azure, SQL, AWS
16. The deadline for submission is mentioned differently a number of times. The documentation states 23:59PM GMT on Monday 21st March 2022 is this correct?
Open for applications until Monday 21 March 2022 at 11:59pm GMT. This is correct. Apologies if this is listed differently anywhere.
17. "Some of the questions you are asking are not typically asked at a Stage 1 response.
e.g. Please supply your plan and process demonstrating how you will ensure we are supplied the best quality skills and the right skills and expertise, to deliver the outlined services.
Are you applying the 100 word limit to all of the published questions?"
" Please provide the 100 word outline of your approach and experience to enable us to determine if you can progress to stage 2. Stage 1 only requires high level response within the 100 words. Stage 2 will require more detail."
18. Please can you expand on what you are asking for in relation to the question – Implement and transition core team roles, responsibilities, and capability for handover from the existing core team (project team resources) whilst maintaining support and delivery of core and project functions
We have a Core Team which is supplied through a Managed Service. If you are proposing a new Core Team, we are interested in the transition arrangements you are proposing for this transition.
19. You have mentioned that there are two current incumbents. What volume of resources do they each currently provide?
"The Core Data Architecture team is currently made up of 10 personnel. In addition there are currently circa 55 project Data Architects and Technical Data Analysts, supported by the Core Team.

The Core Team operate via a Statement of Works definition that outlines their core work activities and delivery."
20. Will TUPE be required for current staff?
There are no current civil service employees covering this work. This is provided via managed service arrangement/s.
21. The requirement shows the provision of both Core Data Architecture services (currently 10) and Data Architecture and Technical Data Analyst Project Delivery resources (currently 55+). What is your intended ramp up roadmap from 10-65 people? And what percentage of this is contingent labour?
The resource numbers reflect the current disposition of Data Architecture team resources within the Core Team and as deployed across Defra projects and programmes. The business critical element as outlined in the accompanying brief on Bravo outlines that the Core Team is the first priority, followed by the phased support for the project assigned resources.
22. What evidence are Defra looking for under Q4, covering ability “to supply Data Architect and Technical Data Analyst contractors with the required quality and in the required quantity to deliver the service”, and how does this differ from what is being asked under Q1, covering “supplying the quantity of Data Architect, Technical Data Analyst and Enterprise Technical Domain Architect contractors we require” (aside from the inclusion of Enterprise Technical Domain Architect under Q1)?
"Q1 requires bidders to confirm their ability to focus on their abaility to provide the quantity of resources required. Q4 requires bidders to focus the response on their ability to provide the quality of the required resources.
"
23. "Defra state they are looking for case study format, however that way of answering doesn’t fit with many of the questions, eg:
• Please provide details of the skillsets and experience within your organisation that will support your ability to achieve this.
• Outline your plan for supplying suitably skilled resources, including the relationship formed with the key hiring manager to plan timescales for resources.

Can I please confirm that flexibility is allowed. "
Case study is at stage 2. We only require an outline of your skills and experience to support your bid at stage 1. Stage 2 will require more detail. No case study at this stage.
24. "The opportunity states fixed price, but the requirements state :
‘Provide Core Team Services and to meet Project Delivery demand.’
Will Defra be providing the expected Project Delivery demand to allow suppliers to cost this?"
"DOS only allows us to state one type of pricing, we want fixed day rates for contingent labour over the 2 years and variable for the project delivery.
"
25. When will costs be marked?
We have 18 questions within technical. We will only be marking 17 of the 18 questions at stage 1, therefore a maximum of 51 marks for stage 1 equal to 55% for technical. Costs will be marked within stage 2.
26. For the roles described in the document and criteria, are you able to provide any information regarding the expected SFIA grades for each?
The roles are aligned with the DDaT Capability Framework and Civil Service Grades. The Chief Data Architect is a Grade 6 role and the - G6, the remaining Core Team toles are G7. Project team Data Architecture is G7, Data Analyst is a mix of SEO and G7.
27. The response to CQ18 states “…If you are proposing a new Core Team…” – does this suggest that Defra is expecting / open to the incoming supplier retaining the existing Core Team resources?
This will need to be agreed between the different parties, We are open and content for the existing core team to continue to supply the services or a replacement team coming in and agreeing with all parties of how this would mobilise and to ensure business continuity.
28. For the presentations in w/c 4th April, do you expect any/all of the resources whose CVs have been supplied for Criteria 12, 16 & 17 to be in attendance?
No, Our thoughts are they would not be required.
29. Question Assessment for Technical
We stated that 17 of 18 questions are to be assessed within technical, we will also be assessing the 3 "nice to have questions", so this will equate to a total of 21 questions of which only 20 will assessed at stage 1. Apologies for the confusion. In addition, Cultural fit will also be assessed at stage 1 (5%)
30. For the essential skills question: Evidence that you have access to a large number of suitably skilled technical resources to the public sector and evidence of your ability to meet framework SLAs. Can you please confirm the framework SLAs that you want us to commit to for this project?
We plan to confirm SLAs with the successful supplier following Contract Award. They may vary depending on how this service is to be delivered etc. Few examples covering areas that we will be interested in:- Availability of the Core team (Within the Specification) to work with Defra's DDTS team to implement and manage all Work orders. MI -Monthly high level reports to be returned by the fifth working day of each month.
MI Report received accurate, complete and submitted in the correct template. Providing service against new SOW - To be finalised Make good/resolve Escalations within 5 working days.
31. Is the core team made up of only Architects, or is there also a Service Delivery Manager?
Service Delivery Manager role is not required as part of this tender at this time, there is a requirement of a Supplier Lead to be available from the winning provider to act as contact point, it is the winning bidders option if this is a resource they appoint to a role within the Core Team or remains external to Defra.
32. From a previous answer – Stage 1 will contribute 55% of the technical score, does that mean Stage 2 contributes 40% price and 0% towards the technical score?
Technical evaluation will shortlist the bidders going through to Stage 1
these questions ensures us that the suppliers who best meet our needs progress to the evaluation stage 2. For stage 1 it is assessed against “Essential skills & Experience” and “ Nice to have Skills & Experience” and “Cultural Fit”.
Short listed suppliers will detail on how they will provide the Core Team services and operate the SoW. This enables us to differentiate between each of the suppliers technical capabilities to determine who can actually undertake this work. In summary, Stage 1 is a qualifying stage."
33. For the “Breakdown of Costs” in Criteria 9, are you looking for pricing for just the three roles outlined in the question (Lead Data Architect, Data Architect and Technical Data Analyst), or are you seeking rates for all of the job types/titles referenced across the advert (which we see as 9, including seniority levels)?
The costs should include all roles as specified within the core team and those assigned to Defra project teams
34. In the response for CQ 25, you mention that the 17 stage 1 technical questions count towards 55% of the technical score. Can you confirm if this is 100% of the technical score, or 55% of the overall 55% for technical competence? I.e. does stage one count for 55% of the overall technical score, and stage 2 count for the remaining 45%? Or does stage 1 count for 100% of the technical score, and 55% of the overall score?
We are assessing all Technical and nice to have skills at 55% and Cultural Fit 5%, for stage 1 this allows us to select and qualify those organisations for stage 2. Pricing will be assessed in stage 2 40%. Only those companies passing stage 1 will be further assessed. We will do a deeper dive within the Case study, presentation, work history and references. Please note 5% for Cultural fit is also important to the assessment. (100 words was selected for all questions for Stage 1 because of the potential volume of responses and ability to review within the time).