Awarded to CIVIC

Start date: Tuesday 15 August 2017
Value: £92,800
Company size: SME
Crown Prosecution Service

Crown Prosecution Service Website Rebuild and Hosting

10 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 3 large

52 Completed applications

48 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Wednesday 21 June 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 28 June 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 5 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Website rebuild, creating a new, modern site that is accessible, attractive, useful and compatible with mobile devices. The build will include further user research, restructuring the content on the site, implementing a new content management system and hosting (with ongoing support) as well as improved analytics, SEO and search facility.
Latest start date
Monday 17 July 2017
Expected contract length
Five months for website update, two years for hosting support once live
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Crown Prosecution Service
Budget range
Circa £100k for website design, build and test. Reasonable costs for hosting and support to be negotiated separately.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The CPS website has existed for a number of years in its current state and requires redesigning to ensure it: meets user needs regarding content, search functionality and responsiveness to modern devices; is built on a modern and flexible content management system with integrated analytics; and is hosted in a secure environment (minimum spec: IL2). The new website must be in public beta by early December under new hosting arrangements to be supplied as part of the refresh.
Problem to be solved
Preliminary user research tells us that 'key areas of the site are difficult to find, content targeted at lay people is difficult to understand, the site is not optimised for mobile and tablet devices, and the visual design does not present the CPS positively’. In addition, the current hosting arrangement will cease to exist in December 2017 and without a new site, CPS will not have a public or professional external-facing presence.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a victim or witness, I need to find relevant information about the CPS' role easily and quickly so that I can understand my relationship with the CPS and what may happen at court. As a police officer, prosecutor student or academic, I need to have access to clear legal guidance that is not replicated elsewhere, so that I can easily understand the CPS' approach to prosecuting particular offences. As a CPS employee, I need to be able to update the CPS website quickly and efficiently so that the site shows the correct information in a timely manner.
Early market engagement
Undertaking analysis of requirements of ceasing hosting of current website with hosting partner
Any work that’s already been done
We have conducted initial user research (under feasibility) which has confirmed what we know to be the issues around the current site. The design is outmoded, it is difficult to navigate and it provides a generally unsatisfactory experience. It is not clear what the website 'is for'. Outline Planning has been undertaken to identify a route to delivery under the agile methodology. Currenly working through exisiting content to indicate what information to retain.
Existing team
In-house Product Manager (CPS Website Manager); Internal project stakeholders within CPS Digital Technology Services and Operations; Possible working with current website hosting company
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
CPS Headquarters in Central London and Wakefield will be the main loci for the work, but the supplier should be able to work remotely; possibility of user research labs in another location
Working arrangements
Agile methodology to be used. We would expect the team to work from their own office, but with regular meetings (such as sprint planning/review, retrospectives, show and tell) with the Product Manager at CPS HQ in Central London and the ability to join regular and ad hoc meetings (such as sprint planning, daily stand ups) online. Use of collaboration tools to work collaboratively and transparently is desirable. Reasonable expenses will be covered following approval in advance.
Security clearance
No security clearance required

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 track record in producing useful, responsive and aesthetically pleasing websites
  • Proof of responsiveness of redesign across different devices, including different screen sizes (e.g. tablets and mobiles)
  • Proven ability to easily integrate video/photography and a variety of social media channels
  • Proven ability of redesign to take selected existing content
  • Proven track record in meeting the needs of different types of user
  • Proven ability to ensure that Google Analytics will integrated to ensure continuity with existing records and to maximise the amount of useful data gathered
  • Demonstrable ability to improve search engine functionality
  • Track record in recommendation and/or provision of appropriate open source CMSs in replacement of existing ones, including easy access and publishing for a number of contributors, including audit trails
  • Ability to provide on-site CMS training and 'how to' guides
  • Track record in providing secure and uncompromised hosting
  • Proven ability to meet Government guidelines, i.e. as a minimum, our service must meet Level AA of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (2.0)
  • Proven ability to create websites that are attractive and accessible for people with low digital skills
  • Commitment to production of a Service Level Agreement setting out availability and response times (for both development of site and ongoing support)
  • Proven ability to demonstrate security and maintenance assurances for the new site on an on-going basis
  • Track record in useful user research, leading to successful website redesign/creation
  • Availability of suitably skilled team members to achieve the desired outcome within time frame and on budget
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide evidence of meeting a challenging deadline without compromising on quality and keeping within budget
  • Have a track record of designing websites that are useful to people with learning disabilities/low digital skills
  • Have previous experience and/or understanding of the Criminal Justice System

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Commitment to having the new website in place by mid-December 2017
  • Ability to recommend a team make-up that will achieve our aims while remaining within budget
  • Track record of delivering high-quality results within budget
  • Positive, can-do approach, taking the limitations of our budget into account
  • Proven track record in meeting the needs of different types of user
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Be able to work with clients with low technical expertise
  • Behave professionally and strive for excellence
  • Be honest and open
  • Treat everyone with respect
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. You mention that selected existing content will need to be migrated. Can you please let us know what CMS platform you currently use? Thank you.
We currently use a set of bespoke CMSs that were created when the website in its current form was built (circa 2007). These generate XHTML which is then published to the live site via a staging server.
2. Thanks for the quick answer about migration. Is the original data/text stored in a database that we could query to extract the content to migrate?
We have an up-to-date copy of our website stored locally, consisting of XHTML files that can be used to extract data/text. It's unlikely that this could be directly queried to automate the extraction. Location of appropriate files will be facilitated by the in-house Product Manager.
3. Will the development be based on GDS guidelines, templates and patterns, or are you looking for a bespoke look & feel for the site?
As an independent prosecuting authority, the CPS has an exemption from GOV.UK. Accordingly, we would like a bespoke look and feel that differentiates us from GOV.UK. We will, however, be following GDS design principles in the building of the site.
4. Would it be possible to speak to someone in CPS to get a better understanding of the opportunity and how we may be able to help?
We don't have the resources to speak to potential suppliers individually at this stage. We have tried to be as comprehensive as possible in outlining our requirements, and a close look at our current website should clarify the issues that need to be addressed.
5. Do you have any CMS preferences based on what editorial staff know or understand best?
We do not have a preference for any particular CMS, apart from wishing to follow GDS recommendations that the chosen system should be open-source, secure and reliable. The editorial team has been using a bespoke CMS for the last decade, so don't have experience of other systems.
6. Do you need multiple staff to edit the CMS? Do they update it often? Do staff need a variety of permissions?
We will need multiple staff to have access to the CMS for editing purposes (the current number is around 16). We currently deal with an average of about 8-12 updates daily, ranging from news stories - around the country and centrally - to legal guidance updates. We currently have a system whereby all staff with access have individual sign-ins and passwords, enabling us to maintain a clear audit trail. We will wish to be able to have a similar audit trail for publishing on the new website.
7. Would you consider shortlisting a small digital agency for this project? We are small in number but large in terms of experience.
We will consider all prospective suppliers for this project, large or small, provided they fulfil the requirements as set out by us.
8. Does the current site integrate with any 3rd party systems? If so, can you provide information and confirm if this will need to be in place for the new site.
The current site does integrate with one third-party system, and our current assumption is that it will need to be in place following the transition to the new site. We will discuss this with the successful supplier once the contract is awarded.
9. Do you require GDS Alpha and Beta assessments to be done by the team within the project?
As a GOV.UK exempt site, we do not need to undergo actual assessments. However, the successful supplier should work to the GDS Technology Code of Practice and Service Standard.
10. You mention integration of video/photography and a variety of social channels - are these two separate integrations or is there a requirement to integrate the delivery of video/photographic content through to social media channels?
Both - from the CPS editorial perspective, the priority for the new website will be ease of use, including simple integration of audio-visual content into publishing, with easy incorporation into social media channels where appropriate.
11. Your question about the ability to meet government guidelines. Does this include anything outside of the Digital Service Standard? Can you please specify what these guidelines are?
GDS have asked that we ensure that our suppliers should work to the Technology Code of Practice and Service Standard. Provided that these are met, we encourage potential suppliers to suggest solutions and/or approaches that they think may be beneficial to the CPS editorial team and the website’s users.
12. You request proof of the redesign's ability to take selected content - do you require advice on what content to port to the new site? And do you intend to move this selected content exactly 'as is' or with the potential for editing? If with editing, can we assume this would be done by your own team?
We are in the process of auditing the current content to assess its fitness for purpose/relevance/accuracy. We do not doubt that there will be discussion between us and the supplier regarding the site’s content during the upgrade process. We will need to retain the ability to edit content after moving. Editorial decisions will remain with CPS.
13. Please can you clarify the meaning of question 14?
If by question 14 you mean ‘Proven ability to demonstrate security and maintenance assurances for the new site on an on-going basis’, we would like illustration of how the suggested CMS and Hosting arrangements will be secured and updated regularly using security patches, certifications, maintenance that CPS cannot do (e.g. of hard-coded elements) particularly of the CMS.
14. You ask a question about search engine functionality. Can we assume you mean improving the way your site's search function works, and not improving SEO results?
That is correct, although obviously we are keen to maximise the SEO of the updated site.
15. Is the Outline Planning activity looking at content only and when is this due to be completed?
Yes, this activity is about auditing the current content of the site and is due to be completed shortly, although further decisions about the retention and updating or replacement of content will need to be made.
16. Should the estimate include a proportion devoted to content population?
The website will be developed into a new entity, so yes - there will be an element of content population.
17. Do you have any early indications of how much content CPS would like to retain (as a percentage). Are there any sections of the site that may be entirely removed?
It is possible that we will decide to remove and/or replace some current elements of the site entirely following the finalisation of the current content audit. We’re not currently able to give an estimate in percentage terms.
18. Is the content going to be rewritten and if so when is the final copy due to be delivered?
We anticipate that large parts of the content will need to be rewritten. We don’t currently have a firm date for final copy, and it is possible that this may be a process that will continue after the new site goes live. Therefore, hassle-free editing of current copy will be an essential function of the new CMS.
19. Is the Outline Planning activity (when examining which content to retain) also looking at Information Hierarchy/Site Mapping?
No. We will require our supplier to give advice on information architecture as part of the rebuild process following user research and consultation with the CPS team.
20. Currently the Welsh website is treated differently from the other CPS local areas – is there anything non-obvious obstructing bringing the treatment of these in line?
No – the treatment of Welsh language elements of the site will form part of the rebuild, with the only imperative being that we follow the guidance of the Welsh Language Commissioner.
21. Are there any features that you'd love to have but currently can't because of the current CMS that's in place?
Straightforward and simple WYSIWYG editing and simple and quick publishing routines including easy incorporation of audio/visual elements.
22. You've indicated you're looking to cut ties with your current hosting provider, and are looking to obtain reasonable costs for hosting. How much are you looking to spend with a new provider?(we will find a provider that comes in under this price).
We’re not currently in a position to put a figure on these ongoing costs - we’d like to see what cost options are offered by potential suppliers and what these provide for the money, so that we can make a value-for-money judgement as part of the procurement process.
23. Is there a set timeline that the beta programme (launch early December) will run for?
In fact, we expect the public Beta to go live around 21 November, with the aim being to have the new site go live in mid-December.
24. How many hits will there be on the website in the peak hour?
Yesterday, we peaked at about 1.3k users per hour. We expect traffic to remain at similar levels following the rebuild.
25. There is an existing service providing the CPS website. Are there any roles which could be considered to be covered by TUPE?
26. Will the CPS be providing first line support with the provider providing second and third line support?
Yes, in that there will be general website management based within CPS for the use of CPS editorial contributors in relation to everyday operational questions regarding the new CMS. Second and third line support for technical issues will be expected to be provided by the successful supplier.
27. How many incidents are currently raised on a weekly basis?
Occasional issues do arise requiring support from the current CMS provider – perhaps one or two per month.
28. What is the estimated size of the data to be transferred to the new system?
The current site weighs in at around 2.7 Gb in total. We anticipate that not all of the current content will need to be transferred, so the final amount may well be less than this.
29. Is it correct to assume that CPS will provide all video and photographic material in a format which can be hosted by a website with no further formatting or manipulation?
Yes – we have access to in-house audio-visual production facilities that enable us to produce web-ready video and photographic material.
30. Can you confirm that the new website will only disseminate information to users and there is no interactive aspect to the site (other than the search capability)?
There is one section of the current (and probably the new) site which does have some interactivity and which may need greater security in terms of data protection, but we will discuss this directly with potential suppliers.
31. Can you confirm that the £100k budget highlighted only covers the development of the website (including the design and build) and none of the hosting related activities?
The agreed budget will include the initial provision of hosting facilities and a separate contract will be agreed to support hosting on an ongoing basis.
32. How many pages are there in the current website and do you anticipate the need to expand this?
The current website contains approximately 21,500 webpages and other documents (pdf, Word, Excel etc). If anything, we anticipate that the new website is likely to contain fewer files than this.
33. Agile is stated as the methodology. How familiar are the in-house team with this delivery method? Will you want guidance and support?
There is a range of experience with this method in the CPS Team, however the Product Manager is a relative newcomer to it and would appreciate some support in enabling agile development of the new site.
34. Do you have any other websites that you see as exemplars and is there any functionality that you would particularly like to see on the new site? is a good example of a website that addresses different audiences in different ways, which is one approach that we anticipate will be important with the new CPS site. The priorities for the site will be manifold: clear and easily understandable information provision for people (particularly victims and witnesses) who are perhaps experiencing involvement in the criminal justice system for the first time; easily accessible legal guidance for legal professionals, more general information for other interested parties (e.g. journalists) and so on.
35. Given your objectives for the rebuild and the need to follow GDS guidelines, how much emphasis do you want on user research for the new site?
While we have already carried out some very effective user research, we think that more may be necessary, particularly as we anticipate that the new site will be segmented. User testing may also be needed in the development of the alpha and beta versions.
36. Do you see a need for personalised content for this build?
37. Can you please describe the challenges you have now for maintaining the content as an in-house team?
The Website Manager is responsible for all new material being uploaded to the site by himself and around 16 other colleagues across the CPS, as well as making manual changes to those pages that are not CMS-reliant. The number of daily uploads can average between 30-40 individual files (one update to the News section of the site requires the publication of seven individual updated files to the server). The current CMSs can be slow to respond, and the procedure of inputting, generating and lifting finalised content for transfer to the live server is longwinded and onerous.
38. Can you please describe the challenges you have now for maintaining the content as an in-house team?
The Website Manager is responsible for all new material being uploaded to the site by himself and around 16 other colleagues across the CPS, as well as making manual changes to those pages that are not CMS-reliant. The number of daily uploads can average between 30-40 individual files (one update to the News section of the site requires the publication of seven individual updated files to the server). The current CMSs can be slow to respond, and the procedure of inputting, generating and lifting finalised content for transfer to the live server is longwinded and onerous.
39. Please describe how changes and incidents are managed at the moment. What do you think works well and what doesn't in the current support arrangements?
This depends on what these ‘changes and incidents’ are. Support from the current CMS provider is very good – we can rely on their presence and the fastest possible response to any issue that may arise with the content management systems. They are also happy to respond quickly to any technical questions that the CPS Website Manager might have.
40. Meeting a standard does not require adhering to all the security principles, and as such infrastructure costs will vary depending on the level of adherence determined by CPS (and the support of any of their own compliance teams). Can CPS provide further information on the data they'd like to protect and what they're looking to achieve with their security at this time?
Almost all of the content of the website is public-domain information which, in itself, does not need any protection as such. Therefore, security concerns will revolve around availability of the site to the public and prevention of any effort to deface the site. There is one section of the site which may need more effective security in terms of data protection, which we will discuss directly with potential suppliers.
41. You have mentioned that user research has been done and has provided insights into what needs to be worked upon. Is it fair to assume that you do not require any user research activity to be performed under this contract?
No. We may need further user research in completion of Discovery, as well as user testing during alpha and beta.
42. For the Welsh translation, will we have access to the Welsh Translation Unit (team) to provide the respective translation of the English pages?
The CPS does not have a Welsh Translation Unit, but provision will be made for translation into Welsh where necessary.
43. If you want the User research to be conducted by the supplier, do you expect the supplier to do the user research participant selection as well? Or, you have access to user research participants that we could use?
If user research is necessary, we may well be able to provide user participants – we did this in the initial phase. However, there may also be an element of general public recruitment, which we would probably expect the supplier to provide.
44. Could you elaborate on the required service model such as: any existing arrangements that you would wish to retain; your required service levels; service hours?
The current arrangements will lapse once these functions are switched to the new CMS and hosting. The website must be available 24/7, except for any pre-planned shutdowns for security/maintenance works. During this time, a back-up server may be required for business-critical information as a minimum. A test site/area prior to publishing is also required to be operational during normal UK business hours. We expect availability during normal UK office hours and a response within an hour for e.g. unscheduled downtime/security issues (four hours for less urgent matters). We would also expect out-of-hours availability in the event of an emergency.