Central Digital & Data Office

FN4G programme strategy 22/23

7 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 1 large

4 Completed applications

4 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 2 August 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 9 August 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 16 August 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
We are looking for a supplier who can deliver the digital outcome to enable PSN users to adopt modern connectivity solutions, meaning they can migrate off PSN in a more straightforward manner, and strengthen their network security posture.
Latest start date
Saturday 1 October 2022
Expected contract length
1 year
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Central Digital & Data Office
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
CDDO is looking for a supplier who can deliver the digital outcome to enable Public Services Network (PSN) users to adopt modern connectivity solutions, meaning they can migrate off PSN and strengthen their network security posture. The digital outcomes are to generate a set of resources that enable PSN users to adopt more modern ways to access the network, and to provide direct support to do this. The resources should be hosted on
a publicly accessible platform which any PSN user can access, who wants to migrate off PSN. Resources include, architectural patterns and technical documentation, guidance, website content, case studies and direct engagement. The primary hosting environment will be Public Services Network gov.uk webpages.

This requirement is to support the FN4G programme that has identified alternative technical concepts in the marketplace that offer not only improved security and performance, but also an ability to access legacy networks. FN4G wants to open up this opportunity to all PSN users so that they can get the best value for money from their PSN connection. By adopting a more modern way to connect to PSN, this will simplify the process for network user’s when migration of larger PSN applications are completed.
Problem to be solved
There are 484 public sector organisations that connect to core business applications via the PSN. This means that suppliers of services, as well as both central and local government are entirely dependent on legacy, insecure and poor performing network architecture to administer essential services for citizens.

Organisations are exposed to any performance or security issues from a network that was first introduced in 2008. With little to no transparency on use or cost, they are also forced to continue to pay inflated charges to a small group of PSN suppliers.

Departments have to wait months to set up network connectivity on the PSN, causing delays in onboarding any new services. The delays and complexity of implementing these changes risks extending the life of existing legacy systems, exposing departments to unnecessary risks and, as a result, increased support costs. Cyber attacks in Redcar & Cleveland (total cost of £10.4m) and Hackney (total cost of £10m) are recent examples of what could happen if the PSN is overlooked again. With the entire platform operating on a MOU rather than explicit insurance policies with defined Service Level Agreements, there is no obvious course of redress, rendering government services unusable.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The PSN usage can generally be broken down into different user types; those that consume services over the PSN (users) and those that publish services over the PSN (hosters) There are a number of different PSN user types:
PSN consumers are by far the most prolific and they can be attributed to several categories
1.Low volume Local Authority users - These users have a small number of PSN users
2.Mid volume Local Authority and small government department users - These would typically have between 10 and 50 regular users of PSN applications
3.High volume PSN users - These would typically be central government departments who not only have a large number of PSN users, but also often have automated processes running on the PSN

PSN publishers are government departments who host PSN applications on the PSN. These departments often have interlinks over the PSN with other government organisations. These are usually complex and have several dependencies on datasets throughout the government, using the PSN as the transport mechanism.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
An outline scope and technical roadmap for 2022/23
Proof of concepts for adopting more modern, connectivity solutions
Gathered and assembled evidence on migrations
Proactively shaped PSN Exit Programmes
Identified key product owners to target
Maintained active dialogue with HO
Published new FN4G web content
Published migration dates
Made headway with departments to move away from PSN
Completed technical deep dive investigation and analysis into GCN outage
Established relationships with GCN suppliers
Reviewed TESTA usage over PSN
Analysed PSN applications and produce alternative ways of consuming
Disseminated PSN exit information to Local Authorities
Identified interim strategic objectives
Existing team
Four contractors, which includes two technical architects and two communications and engagement specialists. This team works with a team of Civil Servants, which includes two Compliance Assessors, a FN4G Programme Delivery Manager, and a Service Desk Manager.

The successful supplier for this work will replace the four contractors currently in post.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote working
Working arrangements
Full time, remote working
Security clearance
SC level

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
  • Demonstrable, recent, and at least 5 years' experience of managing technical analysis of architecture typology and solutions projects.
  • Demonstrable, recent, and at least 5 years’ experience of PSN community and stakeholder engagement, that included delivery of cross-organisation transformation programmes
  • Demonstrable, recent, and at least 5 years’ experience of delivering a programme that involves meeting UK government security standards
  • Demonstrable experience of effectively relaying insights back to the customer and producing high quality findings reports for a variety of audiences, including senior stakeholders in the security industry
  • Demonstrable, recent, and at least 5 years' experience of managing complex projects according to Agile methodology and user-centred design principles.
  • Demonstrable substantive experience of providing a secure network architecture within a complex and nuanced landscape
  • Demonstrable experience of handling responsibility for delivering a transformation programme over to a third party
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Experience working with government stakeholders in the Security profession

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Outline how the requirements will be integrated into the project and provide an outline of outputs to be delivered
  • Provide an overview of the proposed methodology and approach to project delivery and explain how this embraces a user-centric, agile way of working
  • Provide a detailed resource plan and estimated timeframe for the project and explain how and when specific resource will be used throughout the duration of the project
  • Outline the proposed team and explain the value each individual team member will add to the project, both in terms of their skillset and specific previous experience
  • Demonstrate your experience in designing and developing end to end network architecture solutions (including front and back end) through a range of previous projects for customers on similar scales
  • Demonstrate your experience in designing and implementing community and stakeholder engagement methods through a range of previous projects for customers on similar scales
  • Demonstrate your experience of adding value for money to previous comparable projects and outline how you will ensure value for money on this project
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrable experience of proactively engaging with third party stakeholders to move a project forward.
  • Demonstrable experience of managing uncertainty and responding to change;
  • Demonstrable experience of working well in a collaborative agile team across multiple organisations in a transparent manner
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. We note the expectation of a fixed price quote; should we assume that this be calculated as one fixed rate delivery charge divided into 12 equal payments? If this is incorrect, please advise as to your preferred method.
This is an area that will be agreed once the contract has been completed. The pricing proposal will be defined in accordance with the statement of work and deliverables outlined by the successful candidate. As such, this will be specific to the content in hand and based on deliverables and milestones not yet agreed. Dependent on the work, we may use a combination of pricing mechanisms.

To clarify further, the option of 'fixed price' has been selected so that there is a standard means to compare candidates.

The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Tuesday 9 August 2022.