This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 3 June 2022
Homes England

Local Government Capacity Centre (LGCC) Universal Offer Partner

4 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 2 large

18 Completed applications

15 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 20 May 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 27 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 3 June 2022 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Support development of self-serve toolkits to support Local Authorities in their activities across the house-building lifecycle by taking the existing offer through Alpha into Live.
Latest start date
Friday 15 July 2022
Expected contract length
9 months
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Homes England
Budget range
The anticipated budget for the total contract is up to £855,000 spread over c. 9 months

About the work

Why the work is being done
Local government is critical partner to delivering Homes England’s housing and regeneration ambitions. Real and growing local delivery challenges are threating joint ambitions for place-making. In response, Homes England launched the Local Government Capacity Centre in May 2021 with an aim of increasing capacity and skills to support.
Following extensive research and engagement with the sector, the LGCC developed a framework with three types of capacity offers known as “the three offer” model:

• Universal offer – support for Local Authority users that gives access to Homes England resources and signposts to partner resources, support tools and good practice from across the sector. Includes a learning programme and an online, self-serve service providing guidance, advice and tools for Local Authority users to support their housing activities.
• Pipeline offer – tailored support packages to deliver local ambitions by working with local government authorities to assess local needs, resources, skills, leadership, and money based on a menu of options.
• Defined offer – support programmes and policy delivery priorities defined through negotiation and applied to agreed priority locations.
Problem to be solved
The digital aspect of the universal offer needs to undergo a formal Alpha, and be taken to Live. That entails exploring how best to extend digital, self-service support to Local Authorities, giving access to Homes England resources and signposting to partner resources, support tools and good practice from across the sector.
User research and engagement to date has identified two areas that need to be developed further to support LAs. These require validation, and should be considered a start point for exploration of the problem space. These two areas are:
1) alleviating capacity issues via content on GOV.UK. This work, the ‘best practice toolkit’, pools together useful content and guidance for local authorities. Currently hosted on GOV.UK with a secondary internal SharePoint site for additional information for use by Homes England relationship managers.
2) assessing how far local authorities’ awareness of their own maturity and capacity for delivering housing impacts ability to build more houses. The team have a hypothesis that they can help housing directors and others better identify gaps and would like to explore this.
The online, self-serve service is likely to be primarily content-based, using existing platforms such as GOV.UK. However, this must be validated in Alpha.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users are housing professionals in Local authorities who have a role in delivering the government’s housing objectives.

Users fall broadly into two groups:

Housing officers and equivalent in Local Authorities, who need help in supporting delivery across the full lifecycle of housing development.

Housing directors and equivalent in Local Authorities, who need to understand risks and opportunities and to manage their capability.
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
The LGCC programme has been running for 2 years, offering a range of services to Local Authorities including tailored and targeted offers and learning programmes.

User research has been conducted and key content redesigned and consolidated on GOV.UK.

This has suggested a need for

• a ‘best practice toolkit’ for Local Authority housing officers and similar. This needs to undergo a more formal alpha and into beta.
• a ‘self assessment toolkit’ for Local Authority housing directors and equivalent, to help understand gaps in their capability and what they need to do to address them. This needs a structured discovery.
Existing team
The existing Local Government Capacity Centre programme comprises a team looking at different aspects of the offering, including targeted and consultancy engagements and learning programmes.

The universal offer service does not have a team currently in place.

Homes England are recruiting a Product Manager and Service Designer to work with the supplier and ensure alignment with, and context for, the self-serve products.
Current phase
Alpha

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote, London, Coventry or Newcastle offices.
Working arrangements
The team work remotely for majority of the time, the same would be expected of suppliers.

However, teams should have easy access to London and/or Coventry and/or Newcastle as we expect all teams to be able to collaborate in person when needed. The expectation is that this might be up to 2 days per 2 week sprint.

Suppliers may also be required to occasionally visit other offices/sites across England.

The supplier will work closely and collaboratively with Homes England’s team to deliver the work and enable effective knowledge transfer, ensuring any future services can be maintained by Homes England’s staff.
Security clearance
BPSS

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions subject to the changes and special terms inserted in the order form and schedules. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with Homes England standard T&S policy. We will not consider any further amendments from the supplier. Please confirm your acceptance of the order form and schedules plus special terms and amendments to call off terms. If you are unwilling to accept the order from as drafted you will be excluded from the selection and award processes.

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
  • Demonstrable experience leading agile delivery of digital products/services from Alpha to LIVE in UK Government (or equivalent), including those with dependencies, complicated user journeys and multiple distinct user groups
  • Demonstrable experience of problem definition, hypotheses testing, analysing user needs and rapid prototyping to identify appropriate solution approaches
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering content and working with GDS on GOV.UK
  • Experience of working with self-serve learning materials and maturity models
  • Experience of Local Authorities and the housing market
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • Team structure and resourcing models, including ability to meet resourcing levels, CV’s of key people who will work with us & experience of working together and alongside client teams.
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets your organisation’s policy or goal
  • Value for money
  • How the approach delivers a sustainable model, including exit strategy and handover to an enduring function
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrable experience working effectively in a blended team, maintaining accountability over delivery of outcomes whilst the client provides other key roles (e.g product manager) and subject matter experts.
  • Demonstrable commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion, incorporating diverse perspectives and tackling inequality in your teams as well as in the outcomes you deliver.
  • Demonstrable experience working collaboratively with other suppliers to meet client organisational goals.
  • Evidence of how you ensure commitment to the quality of the deliverables and outcomes, rapidly identifying, fixing or replacing if an issue occurs.
  • Methods for measuring and maintaining speed of delivery, including approach to supporting drafting of statements of work that capture clear deliverables and how you take accountability for achieving deliverables.
  • Your approach to challenging practices and behaviours that do not support digital transformation, and how you work constructively to improve them.
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. Are you opposed to having development teams outside of the UK? If the central project was run and managed by a UK team?
Our internal security requirements require that this has to be UK based.
2. Are suppliers permitted to use multiple examples in their answers to questions?
Yes.
3. Regarding Q5: are suppliers expected to provide an example that covers both of these criteria? (i.e. one example that involves experience in the housing market and LA experience)
You may provide multiple examples as required to demonstrate the criteria.
4. Please can you clarify if the nice to have is left intentionally blank?
Yes, we are shortlisting based on ‘Essential Criteria’ only.
5. Please can you clarify the deadline as 2nd and 3rd June are bank holidays?
We have requested an extension to this opportunity but this is up to CCS to approve.
6. Re. the stage 2 proposal criteria “How the approach or solution meets YOUR organisation’s policy or goal” – is this worded correctly, or is it a cut & paste error and means how our solution means Homes England’s goals?
Yes, this is a typo. It should read; “How the approach or solution meets Homes England’s policy or goal.”
7. (1) No criteria weightings are listed. (2) Can we assume you will apply the default rules of carrying forwards the Stage 1 scores to contribute to Stage 2 evaluation, and also (3) that the presentation and case study will be worth an equal portion of the 60% to each element of the (technical) Proposal Criteria?
1) There are criteria weightings provided for stage 2 of this process. Stage 1 criteria are evaluated on a PASS/FAIL basis.
2) The Stage 1 scores do not get carried forward to Stage 2.
3) The presentation and case study will not be equally weighted; there will be a further breakdown of the criteria weightings provided to the shortlisted suppliers at Stage 2.
8. Who is the incumbent?

Who completed the discovery for this work?

Is there an incumbent supplier? Can you please let us know what, if any work has been done such as a discovery?

Can you please advise as to who completed the User Research, was this linked to the Summer and Winter Learning programmes?
Discovery was completed by a small internal / contractor team, who have moved on to other things. Outputs, in the form of user research and scoping, will be made available to the team and there is continuity in the programme team / project sponsor who are actively involved.

There is no incumbent supplier at present, but content is live on GOV.UK at Housing development support for local government projects - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and on an internal SharePoint site. The SharePoint site is a shell, with some thinking about information architecture provided by a consultant who has since left the agency.
9. Will the Discovery Report be shared at proposal stage?
User research and scoping will be made available to the successful supplier.
10. Referencing your ‘best practice toolkit’ for Local Authority housing officers, who ran the discovery?
Discovery was completed by a small internal / contractor team, who have moved on to other things. The outputs, in the form of user research and scoping, will be made available to the team and there is continuity in the programme team / project sponsor who are actively involved.
11. What platform (if any) are you currently using to host your existing toolkits?
The toolkit for local authorities is essentially a consolidated set of useful information on GOV.UK, here: Housing development support for local government projects - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

There is also a set of more detailed guidance for internal users who work with local authorities, currently housed on Sharepoint.

We would expect the supplier to align to the Homes England hosting strategy which is focused on Microsoft Technologies such as SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams and Azure
12. Upon completion of discovery for the ‘self assessment toolkit’ for Local Authority housing directors and equivalent, will you be looking to align the assessment with tailored eLearning and will this be also part of the partner offer?
All local authority offers will be aligned at strategic and operational levels as part of the broader programme, but the details of that are to be worked through. Potential links with eLearning and other aspects of the programme should be explored with stakeholders as part of the next phase.
13. What is the procurement process for shortlisted firms? Timelines/Activities/Etc?
The next stage will be completed via Homes England’s e-tendering system; ProContract.
14. Can you please clarify if there is any dependency or linkage to the Trustmark scheme which is also working on improving the retrofitting of UK homes.
There is no specific dependency / link with the Trustmark scheme. Homes England, as well as Local Authorities, are active across the lifecycle of the housing market, and as such connect at many points. There is no specific link between Trustmark and the Capacity Centre.
15. Regarding the 2 days per sprint in the office, are these likely to be 2 consecutive days?

Regarding the 2 days per sprint in the office, will the visits cycle around the 3 offices listed, or is one office more likely to be used more often than the others, and if so, which one?

Re. the Stage 2 proposal criteria you mention “ability to meet resourcing levels” – can you clarify what the resourcing levels are that you expect?
The sprint cycle is not in established and is open to discussion as we establish ways of working. Whether the days are consecutive or not will be established according to what works best for the team and individuals involved.

The team is distributed across England, so the likely location of days in the office is likely to vary. However, it is not foreseen that there will be a specific rotation between offices.

The supplier team will be required occasionally attend face to face meetings with the wider LGCC team and participate in away days & retros.

(answer continued below)
16. Regarding the 2 days per sprint in the office, are these likely to be 2 consecutive days?

Regarding the 2 days per sprint in the office, will the visits cycle around the 3 offices listed, or is one office more likely to be used more often than the others, and if so, which one?

Re. the Stage 2 proposal criteria you mention “ability to meet resourcing levels” – can you clarify what the resourcing levels are that you expect?
(Answer continued from above)
Again, the team will work with Homes England contacts to work out the best approach for them.

Homes England is not specifying the team that is needed to deliver the outcome, so there is not specific expectation in terms of roles and team size. Rather, suppliers are asked to demonstrate that they can mobilise appropriately in line with their proposals, and that there is sufficient flexibility that changes and peaks can be managed without undue disruption – e.g. that we are minimising key person dependencies where possible.
17. How do you ensure smaller and medium sized businesses are not disadvantaged in this process.
All suppliers are evaluated on the same basis and no criteria has been designed to favour any bidder regardless of size
18. Do you have a preferred tech stack?
Homes England Tech Stack is primarily Microsoft Technologies such as Active Directory, SharePoint Online, Teams, Microsoft Exchange, Azure and that any solution proposed would need to integrate with the Homes England eco system.
19. Does the budget include or exclude VAT?
Excludes VAT