This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 24 April 2017
Department for Education

DfE seeks an outcome based solution (Subject for all messages MPRFS273 at all times)

17 Incomplete applications

16 SME, 1 large

11 Completed applications

11 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Monday 10 April 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 17 April 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 24 April 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
Summary of the work
To provide the essential primary outcome of a configurable search facility which will allow authorised users to search data sources for specific words and phrases
To provide the essential secondary outcome of the ability to store the search results securely
Latest start date
Expected contract length
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Maximum day rate
There is a maximum budget available of £175000 which includes VAT; any Travel & Expenses incurred by the successful bidder as well as any Payroll expenses

About the work

Early market engagement
Who the specialist will work with
A team within DfE, will be the single point of contact.
What the specialist will work on
The DfE seek the outcome of the development of an Advanced Search Tool.
Phase 1 is underway and would require the supplier to support this through early life support.
Phase 2 will need to be delivered completely including early life support. Phase 2 is to configure and link multiple data sources, migrate the search tool into Azure and provide early life support

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
DfE Offices
Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London
Piccadilly Gate, Manchester
2 St Paul's Place, Sheffield
Bishops Gate House, Darlington
Earlsdon Park, Coventry
Working arrangements
This outcome is critical to the project it is being procured on behalf of therefore, it is envisaged that delivery of the outcome will occur between a minimum of three months and a maximum of six months from award of contract. The budget includes VAT , Travel & Expenses and Payroll costs.
Security clearance
Baseline Personal Security Standard (BPSS)

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
  • Proficiency and experience in working with and/or providing and /or delivering all of the following
  • Microsoft technologies including Azure, Office 365, SharePoint 2013/2016 .
  • A comprehensive, flexible search facility which can search for specified words and phrases across numerous sources
  • An outcome of the ability to store the search results securely
  • A guarantee submitted by bidders that they will be able to start work on providing the outcome within a minimum of two weeks from Contract Award
  • They will deliver the outcome within a minimum of three months and a maximum of six months from their agreed start date
  • security clearance of Baseline Personal Security Standard (BPSS)
  • An outcome that will maintain the confidentiality of data that is not relevant to the overall project
  • An outcome that is capable of refining the output from legacy systems
  • Working with EGRESS (a secure file transfer facility)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Develop additional business processes if needed to ensure that access remains restricted. The output from the searches will be viewed by a team .

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Be comfortable standing up for their discipline
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
Assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. A supplier has asked a question about ‘DfE seeks an outcome based solution (Subject for all messages MPRFS273 at all times)’.

They asked:

How much time per week will involve travelling to the various offices?
Thankyou for your question

The timing and work pattern will be agreed between the successful bidder and our internal customer and will have to be sufficient to give our internal customer the assurance they are seeking that they outcome sought will be delivered on time and to the quality expected

2. A supplier has asked a question about ‘DfE seeks an outcome based solution (Subject for all messages MPRFS273 at all times)’.

They asked:

Are you looking for a specific " Developer " role or is this more of a supplier's team that can deliver project for DfE ?
Thankyou for your question

Our internal customer requires the outcome to be that published on the digital marketplace
How suppliers approach the delivery of this outcome is down to them and their experience and expertise

Kind regards
3. A supplier has asked a question about ‘DfE seeks an outcome based solution (Subject for all messages MPRFS273 at all times)’.

They asked:

Is the allocated budget for a developer role or for the supplier's team to deliver the project for DfE ?
Thankyou for your question
The figure quoted is the budgeted figure above which our internal customer will not go
They are looking for competitive pricing to achieve the outcome they have expressed on the digital marketplace
How this outcome is delivered is down to the expertise and experience of the suppliers

Kind regards
4. A supplier has asked a question about ‘DfE seeks an outcome based solution (Subject for all messages MPRFS273 at all times)’.

They asked:

Could you please confirm if this role is deemed ‘Inside’ or ‘Outside’ of IR35.
Thankyou for your message

As we have advised in the publication on the digital marketplace

The DfE are seeking an outcome based solution and is not seeking to appoint to a role
The outcome based solution sought is explained in the publication and it is for interested organisations to put forward the details requested to allow selection of the outcome best suited to meet its requirements

Kind regards
5. Can you please describe work being undertaken in Phase 1 and any specific technologies or tools utilised as part of that work?
Thankyou for your question

Phase 1 has seen the creation on the search tool using a sharepoint front end and SQL back end. User accounts have been created in AD with sharepoint the preferred tool in order to leave an audit trail for the searches completed. Phase 1 has seen the tool linked to one data source which is also sharepoint

Kind regards
6. Is this a fixed price contract ? If so can we have a specification for the work that is to be done so that we can estimate properly? If it is not fixed price, do you just want details and daily rates for each specialist in the team that we would supply ?
There is a budgeted figure which has been published above which the DfE will not go
This figure is inclusive of VAT, Expenses and any Payroll costs
We would expect organisations to suggests prices below that of the budget figure
As stated the DfE is looking for an outcome based solution for which it will pay a price
7. 1. What technology is phase 1 using and what is the nature of the support required? 2. Will phase 2 continue to use the output of phase 1? 3. If phase 2 is to migrate the search service to Azure, would you be open to just using Azure Search in the first place? And if so, what volume of data is involved and how should the subscription cost be priced in? 4. We note your assessment methods. Is it the work history, and references for the individual developers in the supplied team that is to be assessed ?
We believe the response required for points 1 & 2 have already been posted
Point 3 - All options for improved design will be considered including the Azure search. The searchable data is terabytes in size and is being moved as part of a separate project. The remit of this project will be to hook into and make these data sources searchable and auditable.

We are seeking an outcome based solution therefore experience in delivering this type of service will be required
8. Can you please specify/describe what the legacy systems are that have been referenced?
• SharePoint (workplaces, My Sites, Records Management)
• Email (Personal, shared, CRM specific mailboxes)
• File shares (networked folders)
• F-Drives
• Outlook Archives (.pst files)
• CRM Records
• SQL data
• Cloud technology (OneDrive)
9. When does Phase1 go live? What is the business context in which it sits? How many users will be accessing it? Is it Level 3 support for the tool that’s required – i.e. can we assume that is there a ServiceDesk accepting incident reports and doing some basic investigation? Assuming Phase 2 is delivered within 3 months, how long is early stage support of that Phase required for? Is it planned for this to be handed over to another team or for long- What language is Phase1 implemented in?
Phase 1 is live with the application used by a team of 4-5 day to day with additional users involved as super users, approvers for the process of agreeing and implementing search terms to meet auditing guidelines. Currently the application is supported internally with calls routed via the service desk. Standard early life support is 4 weeks completing when signed off by the business.
10. Has this opportunity been advertised before and, if so, why was it unsuccessful?
This is the first time this outcome based solution requirement has been advertised
11. Is there an incumbent in place and, if yes, is the incumbent bidding for this opportunity?
As this is the first time this outcome based solution has been advertised there is no incumbent in place
12. You maintain that this role is specifically for an outcome yet it is listed as a Specialist opportunity. Could you explain this anomaly?
The decision was taken to advertise it in this manner as the description of what is available under this heading best fitted with the outcome based solution being sourced