This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Wednesday 21 September 2022
Government Digital Service

WP2106 - Digital Capability for Urgent DDaT Requirements

16 Incomplete applications

12 SME, 4 large

34 Completed applications

23 SME, 11 large

Important dates

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

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Following on from the success of WP1701-03, WP1810-13 and WP1942-45 that provided urgent DDaT resource across Government. GDS requires a new supplier to work on time-constrained DDaT projects.

The new contracts will continue to provide teams to deliver outcomes for Departments and ALBs.
Latest start date
Tuesday 6 December 2022
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Government Digital Service
Budget range
Up to £4000000

About the work

Why the work is being done
There is a need for a flexible supplier to respond to urgent requests received by GDS from departments.

Enable departments to access the market for support in delivering urgent digital projects where resources are required within 5-10 working days.

We are looking for a supplier who can provide Agile Multidisciplinary Teams to work with departments to provide a delivery bridge where there is a lack of capability and/or capacity and no time go to market and procure a supplier.

Core capabilities for the proposed contract would be:
● user experience and design
● performance analysis and data
● service delivery
● software development
● user research

This contract will allow time-critical work to commence while alternative arrangements are made.
Problem to be solved
UK Government needs access at short notice to supplier teams that can design, build, and deliver digital services. We are looking at placing teams within two weeks to deliver clearly defined digital outcomes.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a Department/ALB, I need to run discoveries and develop digital services to design, build and run services within 5-10 working days. I need the supplier to quickly understand our problem and work with us to define outcomes, deliverables and milestones to ensure we meet key delivery dates.
Early market engagement
Please see previous Digital Marketplace opportunities - https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/;
WP1701 - WP1703
WP1810 - WP1813
WP1942 - WP1945
Existing team
The supplier will work with Government Departments & ALBs from a range of disciplines, including architecture, security, policy, service and product management, finance, and delivery management. Knowledge transfer back into HMG will be required to enable HMG to improve internal capability to build and support the services.

Where required in the development cycle, collaboration with other suppliers may be necessary. This contract will not prevent us from using other commercial arrangements, including using capability contracts, to pull together a team from a range of suppliers.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
It is expected that the majority of work will take place inside the M25, however there will be requirements around the UK that we would expect to be supported also.

The primary base will be detailed in each Statement of Work (SoW) and expenses will not form part of the cost unless the supplier is asked to work from a secondary location instead during the execution of the work relating to the SoW. e.g. If SoW primary base is in Coventry then no expenses will be paid for Coventry.
Working arrangements
Suppliers will deploy resources at short notice working with departments and their arms length bodies to deliver discovery or development outcomes. The majority of work will be based on customer sites - the sites and working arrangements for a particular project will be specified in a Statement of Work.

We anticipate a maximum of 5-8 concurrent Statements of Work.
Security clearance
Teams are likely to be required to be security cleared. Most projects will require BPSS and smaller number SC/or above. If not held, resources must meet the criteria and go through the process at the cost of the Supplier. GDS is willing to sponsor supplier staff through the clearance process.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All expenses must be pre-agreed with between the parties and must comply with the Cabinet Office (CO) Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy.

All vendors are obliged to provide sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of GDPR and ensures the protection of the rights of data subjects. For further information please see the Information Commissioner's Office website:https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

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
  • Evidence your capacity and flexibility to deliver on this contract and how would you look to balance demand with existing commitments?
  • Provide evidence of working with clients to ensure that key skills are retained within client teams in a way that allows growth of capability within teams
  • Evidence how you have managed stakeholder expectations with regards to budget, timelines and delivery risk when delivering outcomes.
  • How you would maintain control of processes/procedures to maintain delivery speed and quality, including support with drafting SoWs? Include how you ensure you remain accountable for meeting milestones and deliverables.
  • When delivering short-term outcomes through SOWs, how would you look to get right-size teams that are resilient with a focus on the outcomes rather than roles.
  • Evidence working with a wide range of stakeholders, including those with little technical expertise and varying levels of digital maturity
  • Evidence of scability to respond to fast-changing requirements, to meet organisational needs without compromising quality.
  • Evidence your ability to deliver against the full range of DDaT skills required for this contract
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • What sets you apart from other organisations when delivering social value
  • Explain how you attract and retain the best-talent to create teams that reflect an inclusive workforce.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Your ability to maintain capacity to deliver at scale when faced with the fluctuating demands of a contract
  • Your approach to rapidly deploying a team
  • Your approach to deploying multiple teams at once
  • Your approach to recruiting and on-boarding teams
  • Your approach to building multi-disciplinary teams
  • Your approach to sourcing security cleared staff, and your approach to getting staff security clearance
  • Your understanding of the Digital Service Standard and Government Design Principles
  • Your approach to deploying blended resource across established DDaT teams
  • Your ability to evidence where value has been added to projects you have worked on
  • Your approach to managing conflict resolution (resources, stakeholders)
  • Your approach to managing Departmental expectations regards key skills/experience
  • Your approach to dealing with multiple stakeholders (skill and seniority) and managing expectations
  • Your approach to dealing with cross-department projects with collective outputs and blended delivery teams
  • Your approach to working at a national/regional level
  • Your approach to remote working and return to the workplace post-covid
  • Your approach to challenging non-technical and technical decisions where you see value in an alternative approach
  • Your approach to embedding a team quickly within organisations with differing cultures
  • Your approach to Data Protection compliance
  • Your approach to continuous Improvement - Reinforce a culture of continuous improvement and iteration in all teams
Cultural fit criteria
  • Your approach to delivering Social Value
  • Aligning with GDS' ways of working
  • Evidence of integrating into a partner organisation's existing ways of working ensuring a healthy working culture.
  • Support a no-blame culture
  • Approach to knowledge transfer, upskilling and sharing of best practice with the client.
  • Be transparent and collaborative on performance issues
  • Demonstrate action to support health and wellbeing, including physical and mental health
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

65%

Cultural fit

15%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Will you conduct presentations at the second assessment stage and are these likely to be face-to-face?
Yes, presentations will be part of the 2nd stage assessment for shortlisted suppliers. We are planning for these to be in-person rather than virtual as we have previously done.
2. For the software development skills, can you be specific about the skill set within software development required?
This could be varied as demand is undetermined.
3. Where questions do not explicitly ask for evidence (e.g. questions 4, 5, 9, and 10), should bidders provide an example as per guidelines or does GDS expect to see an approach to the situation outlined in the question?
Whilst examples are useful we would not discount an approach model if you feel it was better suited as a response to the question.
4. Will default evaluation methods be used for this procurement and Stage 1 scores be carried over to Stage 2?
No, we will not carry scores forward to stage 2 and yes, we will follow standard evaluation process
5. For Stage 2, do the Case Study, Work History and Presentation each form part of the 65% Technical Competence score?
Correct, you will be set a number of questions in a written submission covering technical/culture-fit/social value. There will also be a presentation on a case study with assessor questions to follow.
6. Regarding the working locations, we see that you state that the majority of work is expected to be within the M25 and that the majority of work is to be on customer sites. However, we understand that the previous contracts had a significant number of engagements outside of London and that remote working was permitted in most cases. Is this contract likely to turn out to be the same? Or are you able to guesstimate the amount of work outside of the M25?
Each individual Statement of Work delivered will be unique and therefore the requirements will dictate onsite/remote. It is reasonable to expect that some may be entirely on site, others entirely remote and some a mixture of the two, some requirements may be outside of London. Due to these contracts being procured to support urgent, unplanned demand it is impossible to predict where deliver will be required.
7. We appreciate that GDS works with a number of other suppliers. In light of this, will there be mini competitions run for each work request?
Requirements will be awarded on a strictly rotational basis A-B-C-D-A-B-C-D. If a supplier can not meet a requirement this then moves on to the next supplier in the sequence and so on and so forth.
8. In the event the chosen supplier is unable to meet the requirements of a request – for instance, if they cannot meet the 5-10 day mobilisation time – will they be penalised?
We are looking for suppliers with the capability and capacity to deliver multiple SOWs concurrently. If for any reason a supplier lacked the capability or capacity to deliver on a SOW within the SLA timeframe, we'd revert to the next supplier in line. We would look for the supplier to surface their delivery challenges as soon as possible to avoid raising the risk of hard deadlines being missed.
9. Are you able to provide suppliers with an indication of potential future work, or pipeline projections, to support resource planning?
As the underlying anchor for these contracts is "urgent requirements," there is no pipeline and hence demand is largely undetermined.
10. Could you please provide a list of all potential work locations?
Each individual Statement of Work delivered will be unique and therefore the requirements will dictate onsite/remote. It is reasonable to expect that some may be entirely on site, others entirely remote and some a mixture of the two.
11. For Q4 and Q5 – are you expecting bidders to evidence these with experience, or to provide an indication of how they will implement for this contract?
Whilst examples are useful an approach methodology is an equally valid response to the question.
12. For Q9 – is there a particular Social Value theme you would like bidders to focus on?
We'd suggest you present and prioritise themes that best represent your organisation's Social Value projects.
13. For Q2 – you use the word ‘clients’ here, does this mean that you’re expecting bidders to provide more than one client example? Are supplier permitted to use multiple examples in their responses to questions?
We'd suggest for each question suppliers present the best possible answer and weigh the merits of using a single example, multiple or a model approach all of which will be assessed equally.
14. Are supplier permitted to use multiple examples in their responses to questions?
We'd suggest for each question suppliers present the best possible answer and weigh the merits of using a single example, multiple or a model approach all of which will be assessed equally.
15. Regarding Essential Criteria 4: Could you please clarify or define the concern you are looking to address in relation to the second part regarding remaining accountable for deliverables and milestones?
These contracts are centrally managed by GDS and SOWs drafted in tripartite with the suppliers and client/depts. Suppliers take on accountability for delivering the agreed outcomes and milestones but have the opportunity to raise risks or contingencies and ultimately step away from requests they feel challenged or unable to deliver.
16. Can we confirm that all questions are to be answered with a 100 word case study of what we have done with a client?
We'd suggest for each question suppliers present the best possible answer and weigh the merits of using a single example, multiple or a model approach all of which will be assessed equally.
17. You are not asking for a process showing how we will do something. You are not asking for a process showing how we will do something.
We'd suggest for each question suppliers present the best possible answer and weigh the merits of using a single example, multiple or a model approach all of which will be assessed equally.
18. Can you share an indicative profile over the 2 years for the services that will be requested including likely key skills required and/or tech stack?
As the underlying anchor for these contracts is "urgent requirements," there is no pipeline and hence demand is largely undetermined.
19. Could the Authority please confirm if TUPE will be applicable?
We do not envisage TUPE will apply to these contracts.
20. Can you share the typical technical and expertise skills that are likely to be request against each of the standard core digital capabilities.
There are no typical technical skills or expertise and we are looking for a supplier who can deliver against the whole DDaT skills spectrum. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/digital-data-and-technology-profession-capability-framework
21. Will this be awarded to 1 supplier or will multiple suppliers be fulfilling the contract?
1 supplier will be awarded the contract.
22. Is this staff augmentation or will the requests be outcome based?
All deployments are for urgent projects to deliver short-term, up to 4 months, outcomes.
23. Can you share typical staff levels, durations and numbers of resources e.g. Full-stack developer SFIA level 5 for 6 months
As the underlying anchor for these contracts is "urgent requirements," there is no pipeline and hence demand is largely undetermined. All deployments are for urgent projects to deliver short-term, up to 4 months, outcomes.
24. You mentioned London and within the M25, what other locations are potential ?
Due to these contracts being procured to support urgent, unplanned demand it is impossible to predict where delivery will be required. Although it is safe to assume some delivery will be outside of London.
25. Within the section “Why is the work being done” that “This contract will allow time-critical work to commence while alternative arrangements are made”. Can you confirm whether our people would be stood down if you find alternative arrangements and if so, what are the time scales involved in this offboarding?
These contracts are designed to provide a Digital Delivery bridge of up to 4 months giving client/depts the time to bring in new teams for ongoing delivery. We request 5-10 working days notice If there is a requirement to stand down part of or a full team whilst a SOW is in flight.
26. Where you ask for resources within 5-10 days, will there be an opportunity for us to clarify requirements and in particular, what is the timeline for turning those around?
Once requirements have been clarified and the SOW is agreed and signed off, you will be expected to land a team within 5 - 10 working days, although there have been requirements that have required a start date of less than 5 working days.
27. Will there be an interview process for any candidates selected by the supplier? If yes, what is this? Would the agencies involved want to be part of the interview process? If yes, this may delay the 5-10 day turnaround times.
No the client/dept is buying an outcome from a supplier.
28. The link included in section Early market engagement is not working.
Please reference the early market engagement section of the previous procurement: https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/14676
29. How will the T&M arrangement work? Is there a standard ratecard for each level of resource requested?
Yes, suppliers that move forward to phase 2 of the procurement will be asked to present a rate.
30. Is there an indication of which types of resources and roles would require SC clearance so we can be proactive in obtaining that for our people?
Due to these contracts being procured to support urgent, unplanned demand it is impossible to predict roles and what clearance will be required.
31. Who is accountable for the end to end delivery of each engagement, is that agency or the supplier?
These contracts are centrally managed by GDS and SOWs drafted in tripartite with the suppliers and client/depts. Suppliers take on accountability for delivering the agreed outcomes and milestones but have the opportunity to raise risks or contingencies and ultimately step away from requests they feel challenged or unable to deliver.
32. Although you have mentioned London and inside M25 as the core location, would hybrid or remote working be acceptable?
Each individual Statement of Work delivered will be unique and therefore the requirements will dictate onsite/remote. It is reasonable to expect that some may be entirely on site, others entirely remote and some a mixture of the two. Due to these contracts being procured to support urgent, unplanned demand it is impossible to predict where deliver will be required.
33. If one of our candidates had SC with another Government agency, would we be able to transfer this to another Government agency? If yes, this takes time, will there be a waiver process during the transfer period?
This would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
34. If successful at stage 1 will we need to provide indicative profiles of typical resources together with rate cards etc?
We will require a rate card in stage 2 but not profiles.
35. If successful, we would want to partner with a number of SME organisations that we have trusted relationships with to support us satisfy some niche or last minute requirements. Is this acceptable to the agency that we work with our partner of SMEs? If yes, is there a limit to the number of SME providers we can work with ?
Partnerships or Consortia bids are encouraged. As to the number of SMEs we'd expect the primary supplier to manage this to ensure the required capability and capacity.
36. Are there current incumbents in place on these assignments? If yes, will there be an offboarding / transition plan ?
We deliver these contracts across Gov and look to understand what has been delivered previously and by whom as well as how the work requested will be handed over in turn. On the back of this we'd expect suppliers to draft a plan that includes picking up during onboarding and transferring knowledge when off-boarding.
37. Would the Authority please confirm if the terms would be negotiable post award in order to agree mutually acceptable terms with the successful Supplier?
Suppliers signed up to the Term and Agreements as part of the Framework Agreement. We do not expect to negotiate post award or make any changes to the Core T&Cs.
38. Would the Authority please confirm if the terms can be varied should the awarded Supplier requires so in order to meet its statutory/regulatory obligations?
Suppliers signed up to the Term and Agreements as part of the Framework Agreement. We do not expect to negotiate post award or make any changes to the Core T&Cs.
39. Would the Authority consider defining the term ‘wilful misconduct’ as per Clause 8.3 of the Core Terms?
Suppliers signed up to the Term and Agreements as part of the Framework Agreement. We do not expect to negotiate post award or make any changes to the Core T&Cs.
40. Would the Authority consider bringing Clause 8.3 of the Core Terms under the liability cap, to the extent that it is permitted by law?
Suppliers signed up to the Term and Agreements as part of the Framework Agreement. We do not expect to negotiate post award or make any changes to the Core T&Cs.
41. Would the Authority consider any proposed special terms to the Call-off Order form, in order to agree mutually acceptable terms with the Supplier?
Suppliers signed up to the Term and Agreements as part of the Framework Agreement. We do not expect to negotiate post award or make any changes to the Core T&Cs.
42. Would the Authority consider bringing Clause 7.5 of the Core Terms under the liability cap?
Suppliers signed up to the Term and Agreements as part of the Framework Agreement. We do not expect to negotiate post award or make any changes to the Core T&Cs.
43. Would the Authority consider bringing Clause 9.5 of the Core Terms under the liability cap?
Suppliers signed up to the Term and Agreements as part of the Framework Agreement. We do not expect to negotiate post award or make any changes to the Core T&Cs.
44. Would the Authority consider bringing Clause 31.3 of the Core Terms under the liability cap, to the extent that it is permitted by law?
Suppliers signed up to the Term and Agreements as part of the Framework Agreement. We do not expect to negotiate post award or make any changes to the Core T&Cs.
45. Would the Authority consider bringing the indemnities in Call-Off Schedule 2 (Staff Transfer) under the liability cap to the extent that it is permitted by law?
Suppliers signed up to the Term and Agreements as part of the Framework Agreement. We do not expect to negotiate post award or make any changes to the Core T&Cs.
46. Could the Authority please confirm if TUPE will be applicable?
We do not envisage TUPE will apply to this contract.
47. How is IR35 determined on requirement by requirement basis
GDS has determined that in respect of this Contract it is buying a managed services and therefore this Contract is outside the scope of IR35. However, the Client/Department shall be responsible for conducting its own IR35 status determination in respect of each of its Statements of Work and shall notify GDS of it’s determination prior to the commencement of Services relating to the relevant Statement of Work.
48. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
No, we will NOT carry shortlisting scores forward to the second stage.
49. Are acronyms and hyphens acceptable in order to reduce word count?
Any overuse of acronyms or hyphens is not acceptable and we will score the first 100 words only to ensure fairness for all suppliers.
50. Could you please provide an indicative timeline for the next stage of procurement?
Our indicative timeline is as follows:
Thursday 6th October to Monday 17th October (10am) - Written submissions
Thursday 13th and Friday 14th October - Face to face supplier presentations
Friday 21st October - Contract award