This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Wednesday 7 June 2017
Scottish Government Social Security Directorate

Scottish Social Security Technical Delivery Support

12 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 5 large

10 Completed applications

6 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Wednesday 24 May 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 31 May 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 7 June 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Initial 6 month contract with defined SofW supporting the delivery teams managing the overall design, analysis and assurance of the devolved benefits. New digital solutions are required to both support the transfer of the devolved benefits and bi-directional information flows between the SG and the Department for Work and Pension
Latest start date
Monday 21 August 2017
Expected contract length
6 month inital period (with option to extend in 3 six month trenches)
Organisation the work is for
Scottish Government Social Security Directorate
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Social Security Programme is responsible for the safe and secure transition of the 11 benefits that are being devolved. These benefits will be responsible for handling £2.7bn welfare budget, ensuring that Scottish Citizens receive entitlement payments on time. A new benefit system digital portfolio will need to be delivered with an acknowledgement of existing DWP working practices and systems as well as on-going bi-directional information sharing with the Scottish Government. The Service Provision will be fully mobilised by August 2017.
Problem to be solved
A digital delivery service within the remit of the Chief Digital Officer for Social Security is required to support the overall programme, managing the solution design, build, integration and migration of the new digital portfolio whilst identifying any requirements to interface with existing DWP applications that will be impacted by benefits being devolved to the Scottish Government. A range of different roles and skillsets will be required including Technical Architects, Business Architects, Project Delivery, Quality Assurance and Testing Expertise to establish a coherent, efficient set of solutions to support the defined programme timeframes.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As part of the Scottish Government Social Security Programme a requirement for a supplier with the capacity to provide resourcing including Technical Architects, Business Architects, Project Delivery, Quality Assurance and Testing Expertise, who are required to establish a coherent, efficient set of solutions to support the defined overall Social Security programme timeframes has been identified.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Initial planning and high-level solution design analysis has been undertaken in conjunction with Department for Work and Pensions and the Scottish Government Digital Ecosystem Unit
Existing team
The existing team is a blend of internal Scottish Government staff supplemented by external resources working under the direction of the Chief Digital Officer for Social Security
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The work will be required to be undertaken at Scottish Government Offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh with travel to other UK locations as necessary.
Working arrangements
Shortlisted supplier will be required to set out how they will maintain the availability of services over time, the ability to supply a number of work packages concurrently, and the ability to respond to immediate surge requirement. Services are expected to be provided across the multiple sites as required.
Security clearance
Standard Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) checks are required to be completed before any individual provided as part of this service can commence work on any package.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Please note that additional bespoke Scottish Government Terms and Conditions will apply to this requirement

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
  • Clear knowledge and experience of one or more of the devolved welfare benefits being introduced by the Scottish Social Security Agency 25%
  • Strong knowledge of all relevant DWP benefit systems 25%
  • Strong knowledge of business processes involved in the administration of the relevant DWP benefit systems 20%
  • Clear awareness of DWP orgainisational structures 10%
  • An understanding of the data interfaces required for benefit processing across the DWP benefit landscape 10%
  • The ability to translate technical requirements and constraints into language that is readily understood by less technical colleagues 8%
  • Be able to commence service provision during August 2017 (pass/fail)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Have demonstrable experience of successfully and collaboratively working, coaching and sharing knowledge with Public Sector client teams 2%

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
Technical Evaluation Criteria will be issued to down selected companies 60%
Cultural fit criteria
Cultural Fit Criteria will be issued to down selected companies 10%
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Q1. My company have been working with Parliamentary Digital Services regarding a complete redesign of their perimeter security covering a number of technologies and requirements including Cloud Services. We have worked very closely with PDS staff during this project and used our own Consultants/PM over a period of about 12 months to define, provide High level and Low level designs, provide products, full contract/maintenance agreement management, implement and provide 24x7 managed services of the entire environment. However, we lack the DWP experience you refer to. Would you still be interested in a response from us regarding your requirements?
A1. The requirement is for suppliers with knowledge and previous experience of the DWP technology landscape and benefit systems. Response from suppliers will be scored according to the skills and experience they bring to the Social Security Programme in Scotland.
2. Q2. Is there an agreed legislative timeline for each benefit being devolved? If so, can this be shared?
A2. The Scotland Act 2016 devolves responsibility to the Scottish Parliament for the benefits being devolved. We will introduce a social security bill in the Scottish Parliament before summer recess which will provide the legislative basis for the devolved benefits
3. Q3. DWP data interfaces can be significantly complex. Has there been any work done to capture all relevant interfaces that will be required for each devolved benefit?
A3. A baseline discovery has been completed for each in-scope benefit including a list and description of each user, manual and electronic interface.
4. Q4. Can different payment approaches be taken for different work packages or must they all be Fixed Price?
A4. We will be looking for a consistent approach across different work packages.
5. Q5. To what extent do you envisage an Agile development approach being taken to the integration tasks with DWP?
A5. Integration with DWP is being explored in advance of the agile development to establish and agree the key interfaces.
6. Q6. Are there any constraints on the technology solution that the Chief Digital Officer for Social Security would like to specifically include or exclude? For example, is it possible to use cloud based solutions such as as part of the solution set, or will all technologies and data need to be housed in Scottish Government data centres?
A6. Secure cloud, on-premise or hybrid solutions would be considered.
7. Q7. Will the proposed technical approach need to comply to the Scottish Government's Digital Ecosystem approach (ie use or re-use a platform based solution) or is it more likely to be benefit-specific stand-alone systems?
A7. A single, integrated Scottish Social Security benefit system with a single view of the customer across all benefits is the required target solution.
8. Q8. Can you please clarify what is meant by "all" relevant core benefit systems in point 2 of the essential requirements? Are suppliers expected to demonstrate knowledge of DWP benefits outside of the core 11 being devolved?
A8. Knowledge of all benefit systems would be beneficial, the core benefits are the 11 devolved benefits.
9. Q9. Can you please clarify what is the intended meaning of 'clear knowledge and experience' in point 1 of the essential skills and experience requirements? Is it a mandatory requirement for suppliers to demonstrate direct experience of contrinbuting to the code for one or more of the devolved welfare benefits?
A9. Experience of working with DWP and the associated benefit systems is a key requirement, code level experience is not essential but an understanding of the legacy complexities and the inter-dependencies would be advantageous.
10. Are you expecting to align delivery of this program with the GDS Service Standard? If so, would experience of delivering to GDS standards be considered essential?
We expect the work to conform to the Scottish Digital First Service Standard . Those relate to the GDS service standards. Experience of the service standards would be useful but not essential.
11. Are you looking to deliver this program through modern, Agile methods, in the same way that GDS and DWP run their digital projects?
We have made a strong commitment to user involvement in the development and design of our service and agile methodology is the most appropriate way to ensure that. There will be areas of the service where agile delivery is not appropriate, e.g. where we already have a clear understanding of our requirements or where those can be met readily with commodity products.
12. Can you confirm whether you are looking to receive evidence of experience of benefits policies and business implementation more widely, or are you looking for evidence of experience of the digital systems, code and supporting infrastructure?
Wider experience would be useful but what we are looking for is evidence of experience of digital systems.
13. Do you intend to run this program in the same way as the recent and very successful GDS exemplar programme?
We expect the programme to bring in lessons learned from previous programmes across government and beyond, including GDS.
14. Can you confirm whether there is a word limit for the responses to the skills and experience requirements?
There is a word limit of 100 words per question.
15. Can you clarify what is meant by 'DWP organisational structure' in point 4 of the essential requirements? Is this referring to where and how benefits are administered in Scotland specifically?
Supplier should be able to demonstrate understanding of the DWP organisation structure to enable effective engagement.
16. We note you have asked for a Fixed Price proposal. Can you please clarify the rationale for this commercial model? For instance, would you consider moving to Time & Materials or Capped Time & Materials? From our extensive experience of working on similar projects, these commercial models have been more fitting.
Our preference is for fixed price pieces of work based on defined work packages with agreed outputs,
17. Can you please outline steps and dates in the procurement timetable, up until supplier award i.e. proposal or presentation dates?
The dates are we are working to are indicative at the moment but they will be finalised when the Invitation to Tender is issued to the down selected companies.
18. What size of team are Scottish Government looking to engage with an external supplier to provide the skills outlined?
We have no defined team size in mind, we will assess each supplier bid and determine what level of resourcing is required for defined work packages.
19. Is there a defined budget for the initial 6 month piece of work?
We will determine or investment budget following response from the supplier market.
20. What are the timescales for the next phase of the bidding process after the 3 suppliers have been shortlisted?
The tenders return period will be approximately 3 weeks
21. Can diagrams be included in the initial response and do these count towards the word count?
For this stage of the procurement we only require textual responses but diagrams can be included at the Invitation to Tender stage at which point they will count towards the word count.
22. Do you refer to the term Administration as meaning o a) the business processes which relate to the 'customer journey' encompassing claim, assessment, decision and payment; or o b) the internal business processes for administering claims including change of circumstances and other post processing actions beyond decision
Both of these are required.
23. If teaming up with another provider to deliver the services. Is it necessary to define the commercial structure of the relationship (e.g. who will be prime/sub) at this stage in the procurement or can this be set out at a later stage?
You need to provide us with confidence that you are able to deliver the resources detailed in the Essential and Nice to have skills.
24. Does the authority have a view on what delivery methodology will be used (e.g. Agile, Waterfall)?
We have made a strong commitment to user involvement in the development and design of our service and agile methodology is the most appropriate way to ensure that. There will be areas of the service where agile delivery is not appropriate, e.g. where we already have a clear understanding of our requirements or where those can be met readily with commodity products.
25. Can the authority confirm if it is safe to assume that there will be Scottish Government Authority SMEs available for the project start date (21.08.2017)?