Awarded to IBM United Kingdom Ltd

Start date: Monday 30 October 2017
Value: £8,283,333
Company size: large
Scottish Government

Low Income Benefits Agile Service Design

10 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 4 large

14 Completed applications

4 SME, 10 large

Important dates

Tuesday 4 July 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 11 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 18 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The Scottish Government requires a digital partner to put in place the capabilities required to deliver the first devolved social security benefits.
Latest start date
Wednesday 11 October 2017
Expected contract length
2 years with possibility of up to 6 months extension
Organisation the work is for
Scottish Government
Budget range
The estimated budget range is between £8m and £12m inclusive of VAT, over a 2.5 year period.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Social Security Programme within Scottish Government (SG) is charged with taking forward the Scotland Act 2016 powers on devolved benefits. The Programme has been established to provide the governance and structure for delivering the required capabilities. SG requires a Service Provider to develop Low Income benefits (Best Start Grant, Funeral Expense Assistance, and up to two other types of assistance e.g. Job Grant) to initial launch for Social Security to support the delivery of the Scottish Government’s strategy for social security and digital transformation.
Problem to be solved
The Scottish Government, and its social security agency, does not currently have any technology or infrastructure to support the administration of devolved social security benefits. Individuals in Scotland who qualify for the devolved benefits need to be able to make applications for the first wave of benefits to the agency through several channels, and the agency needs to be able to manage those cases effectively, make payments, report on its work and prepare for subsequent waves of benefits.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users are, primarily, the people applying for and receiving devolved benefits. For Best Start Grant, those are women who are pregnant or people who have recently had or become responsible for a child; for Funeral Expense Assistance, those are people who are responsible for paying for a funeral for someone close to them. Those people need to be able to make applications, receive payments, and know what is happening with their case. Operational staff within the social security agency are another key user group. They need to be able to manage cases efficiently.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have already completed a discovery phase, looking at the overall service for social security in its entirety, and two alpha developments - the first focused on a prototype case management system that covered two benefits, and the second on the front-end application process for Best Start Grant, wireframes for the application process for Funeral Expense Assistance, and a review of available platforms for case management, identity management and payment.
Existing team
You will be part of a multi-disciplinary team drawing in internal SG resource, led by a Delivery Manager and comprising a number of Product Owners (one for each of the individual benefits - e.g. Best Start Grant and Funeral Expense Assistance - as well as Product Owners for cross-benefit functions such as Fraud). Other internal resources drawn from social security directorate and SG Digital Directorate include technical architects, data specialists, software and infrastructure engineers, user research, business analysis, transformation managers, policy, and operational research.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The team will be required to co-locate and embed with the Chief Digital Office, Digital Ecosystem Unit and Social Security team at Scottish Government's office, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, and work in Atlantic Quay, Glasgow as required.
Working arrangements
Work onsite at Scottish Government offices in Edinburgh with attendance in Glasgow when required. 5 days a week, full-time (9-5), throughout the contract to ensure full immersion in the project and allow for knowledge transfer.
Security clearance
All Supplier resources must meet the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) and have Basic Disclosure by the start of the contract.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Additional bespoke Scottish Government Terms and Conditions will apply to this requirement and will be issued at the technical proposal stage to short listed suppliers. Scots Law will apply. New Intellectual Property Rights created by or on behalf of the Service Provider exclusively for the Purchaser as part of the performance by the Service Provider of its obligations under this Contract will belong to the Purchaser. The purchaser will have the right to assign/ novate the contract to another Contracting Authority.

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
  • Co-locate with members of the Social Security Directorate and Digital Directorate at SG offices in both Edinburgh and Glasgow for the duration of the contract yes/no
  • Be certified to ISO27001 or equivalent yes/no
  • Provide a brief description of the nature of your business, highlighting core functions, and any areas of specialism and explain their relevance to the delivery of this requirement. (25)
  • Provide specific experience of agile projects (especially in public sector / highly regulated environments) and developing multi-channel services using agile through Discovery, Alpha, Beta and Live deployment. (25)
  • Describe challenges you have experienced when delivering complex service design utilising commodity components and how you overcame them. (15)
  • Provide specific experience of delivering user research to agreed ethics standards when engaging with vulnerable user groups on sensitive issues (10)
  • Provide experience of co-located team working (10)
  • Have demonstrable experience of shared delivery responsibilities and running several development teams in support of the one programme of work (10)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Be familiar with the SG Digital First Service Standard, or relevant assurance process such as GDS’s Digital Service Standard. (5)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach to delivering the service
  • Team structure and work history
  • Understanding of the requirement
  • Outline how the solution(s) you deliver will be realised with the system quality attributes outlined in the Statement of Requirements
  • Approach to Alpha Sprint Scenario
  • Approach to user research, engagement and developing user focused services
  • Outline an indicative technical architecture for the service
  • Outline your approach to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
  • Operational support model
  • Risks, constraints or conflicts of interest and how they will be managed
  • Transition to any new Supplier at the conclusion of the contract.
  • Approach to data management
  • Hosting proposals for the proposed solution
  • Community Benefits
Cultural fit criteria
  • Continuity of service
  • Fair work practices for workers
  • Approach to working with clients with a mixed (low to high) range of technical expertise or experience of agile
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Further Information
A DRAFT Statement of Requirements is available at the following link. It is provided at this stage FOR INFORMATION ONLY to enable potential suppliers to make an informed decision of whether or not to respond to the contract notice.
2. Hi team, We are not able to access the Drop box link please advise Thank you
We have tested this using a standalone device and it should be accessible to all. There is an option to choose "direct download" if you don't have the dropbox app or programme installed. Otherwise you could try installing dropbox before you download the document. Please contact me again if you still cannot access the document.
3. Can you please confirm whether you just need a design team or an end-to-end project delivery and development team?
Could the person who asked this question please clarify what they mean by "project delivery". This is required before we can answer the question.
Many thanks
4. Can you please confirm whether an UK based project team with development being done at an offshore development centre would be an acceptable approach?
This is not an acceptable approach. Co-location is a key element for the delivery of this contract.
5. In the context of your requirements, can you please explain what is meant by ‘commodity component’ in the following statement? Describe challenges you have experienced when delivering complex service design utilising commodity components and how you overcame them. (15)
The term “commodity components” means bringing together off-the-shelf solutions and integrating and configuring them.
6. While we can co-locate, would you consider the possibility of us working part-time on site, part time from our offices?
As previously stated, this is not an acceptable approach. Co-location is a key element for the delivery of this contract.
7. Can you please confirm whether you just need a design team or an end-to-end project delivery and development team?

No further clarification has been received for this question so we have answered this as best we can.
We require a design team and a development team.
8. What is the specific requirement for ISO27001? Is this related only to hosting or is it a wider requirement?
It relates to the Service Provider themselves, as an organisation, or at the very least the function within the organisation that would manage this engagement.

The requirement is designed to demonstrate to the purchaser, the level of information risk, security maturity and adoption of best practice that the Service Provider can bring to the engagement.

Since referenced in the question, the expectation is that with regard to hosting, a Service Provider who is themselves ISO27001 certified (or equivalent) is highly likely to recommend hosting arrangements at the same or at a similar level.
9. Following on from the Alpha work you have already conducted, have you already developed thinking around velocity expectation. Milestones across the 2 years and what you aim to achieve by those dates? A product roadmap? Or is this all to be collaboratively fleshed out? (This question is to help us consider the size and structure of the teams required)
This is to be collaboratively fleshed out.
10. Who supported Scottish Government in carrying out the Discovery Phase and two Alphas for Low Income Benefits?
The Discovery phase and first alpha were supported by Methods Digital. The second alpha was supported by PA Consulting.