Awarded to Kainos Software Ltd

Start date: Friday 1 September 2017
Value: £2,027,300
Company size: large
Department for Environment, Food and rural affairs (Defra)

Defra digital transformation prototype/proof of concept

28 Incomplete applications

20 SME, 8 large

55 Completed applications

33 SME, 22 large

Important dates

Monday 24 July 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 31 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 7 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Assisting Defra group to transform its public service delivery in a digital and Agile manner. To develop a prototype/proof of concept to replace core business critical legacy operational systems
Latest start date
Friday 1 September 2017
Expected contract length
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Department for Environment, Food and rural affairs (Defra)
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Assisting Defra group to transform its public service delivery in a digital and agile manner. (This replaces the opportunity 'Defra digital transformation delivery partner published 17 July 2017)
Problem to be solved
To define the need for and to develop up to 5 prototypes /proofs of concept for Defra's future, digital, common commodity based service platforms
Who the users are and what they need to do
Defra and Defra customers to support the delivery objectives of the department and wider government
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The programme is at the pre-discovery stage of the programme lifecycle
Existing team
Established core team including business experts and core management team, seeking business partner to work as a collaborative team.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Defra operates from multiple offices. Delivery locations are still to be determined but key locations include Crewe, London, Warrington, Reading, Bristol, York, Newcastle.
Working arrangements
On site in Defra offices for majority of time with scope for remote working.
Security clearance

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
  • Experience of Agile analysis and development skills delivered in a complex stakeholder environment
  • Experience of developing and delivering complex services
  • Experience of working in close collaboration with stakeholders to deliver digital outcomes
  • Experience of taking a user centric approach from inception throughout the project lifecycle
  • Experience of Government Digital Service service assessment process
  • Experience of designing services for users across the digital literacy spectrum
  • Experience of service operations/transition
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Where possible suppliers should be experienced in delivering within large scale public body deliveries with multi faceted workstreams, ideally with experience of GDS aligned deliveries
  • Specific experience of delivering enterprise solutions based service orientated architectures delivered on commodity platforms

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach meets Defra policy and goals
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • How risks and dependencies are identified and approaches to manage them
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Be comfortable standing up for their discipline
  • Can work with clients with low technical expertise
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can the Department clarify which of the responses from the Q&A to the cancelled "Defra Digital Transformation Delivery Partner" procurement still apply to this competition?
This is a new opportunity. Responses from the Q&A to the cancelled ‘Defra Digital Transformation Delivery Partner’ do not apply.
2. What is the time frame for this outcome?
3 months (estimate)
3. In the last question you reference "commodity platforms"? Could you clarify what you mean and provide some examples?

Please could you clarify what you mean by a ‘commodity platform’. Does this refer to cloud-based hosting, widely-used general-purpose COTS tools such as MS SharePoint, or some other concept?
‘Commodity Platforms’ means off the shelf technical products , including cloud based. Examples may include
• Customer Relationship Manager M (MS Dynamics)
• Workflow Management (MS Sharepoint)
• Document Management
• Business Rules Manager
• Enterprise Service Bus,
• Integration / Application Programming Interface (API) Managers
• Data Platforms
• Business Intelligence Toolset
• Analytic Platforms
• Extract Transform Load Tools

Others to be determined as requirements are gathered
4. “Experience of service operations /transition” could mean many things. Could you please clarify the question more detail, ie, is this waterfall to agile, enabling and supporting, transitioning to a new partner, etc.
This is about business readiness i.e. not just dropping a new IT system and running, but engaging, supporting and enabling the business so they are fully prepared to implement the new system.
5. Are you expecting any specific roles to be available in this engagement?
This engagement is for outcomes, we would expect specific roles to be part of the supplier proposal
6. Please can you give any indication of the budget for the work and the approximate scale of it?
In line with the DOS 2 framework guidance, we have decided not to declare the budget for this phase of the project, but sufficient funds are available to deliver the required outcome.
7. What types of prototypes/proof of concepts are you looking to define and develop?
Prototypes and Proof of Concepts that will demonstrate the viability and suitability of technology based solutions to support current and future defra services.
8. Within a response you say: "not just dropping a new IT system and running, but engaging, supporting and enabling the business so they are fully prepared to implement the new system" - Is this in relation to a technology service (e.g. develop and operate / administer)? or the rollout and transition of an end-user service? Or both?
This opportunity relates to the development of prototype / proof of concept only which we believe should be informed by previous knowledge of the rollout and transition of end-user services.
9. 1. Where the document mentions 'up to 5 prototypes / proofs of concept' - are these defined as to scope / achievement?
2. What is the role the suppliers team to play within the DEFRA's team own structure?
1. No not entirely at this stage, Defra will work in collaboration with the delivery partner to complete this work.
2. Defra will maintain a management delivery capability, suppliers are expected to provide the agile delivery capability. Team structures will be created to reflect this.
10. What is the timeline to inform organisations they have been down selected to the final 4 and the timeline to respond against the next stage?
Defra will respond to organisations that weren’t successful in proceeding to the shortlist asap (or in line with guidance set out in the framework) after the down selection process. Shortlisted suppliers will have 2 weeks to respond to the next stage.
11. In listing "Experience of Government Digital Service assessment process" as an Essential skill are you saying you are only interested in suppliers who have delivered this type of service in a UK Government context previously. If this is not your intention can you advice how organisations with commercial rather than government experience can best respond to this?
Defra is not stating that delivery of this type of service is essential. It should be noted that Government Digital Services (GDS) standards are publically available and therefore Defra is open to suppliers giving previous examples or showing an understanding of the requirement and how they would respond to it.
12. We understand that the public sector wants to attract new entrants to the market to bring commercial digital transformation experience to the sector. You state "where possible suppliers should be experienced in delivering within large scale public body" which would place organisations with experience of providing services to the Public Sector at a distinct advantage. Is it your intention to give preference to organisations with previous experience of working in the Public Sector over those with relevant experience from the commercial sector for this assignment?
No preference is to be shown, suppliers evidencing equivalent experience in the private sector will be evaluated on an equal basis to those showing public sector experience.
13. Your response to Question 2 on Outcome was "3 Months". Is this your estimate for the duration of this engagement? Also do you have an estimate of the number of resources you would expect the supplier to provide?
This depends on the scale of the individual prototypes and the number that Defra decide to build. As per question 9 Defra need the supplier to help us to define the prototype content and Defra want to work in partnership with the supplier and that there is a need to be flexible enough to be able to respond appropriately. For the first prototype, Defra would anticipate a supplier team of perhaps 5 to 10 people.
14. Could you confirm that there is no immediate Security clearance requirement? If there is, could you support any required applications for clearance?
These proof of concepts will require Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) and that potential staff will need to be vetted to security clearance level. Definitions can be found on Defra will support applications where possible and practical.
15. Can you please confirm that this service will fall outside of IR35 conditions
CCS suppliers guide states

Not an employment framework
If you’re providing specialists through the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework, they must be employed or contracted by you. You have responsibility and liability for the work they do. Buyers can’t place the specialists you provide in permanent or interim roles.
Buyers can also find contractors and interim staff through Contingent Labour ONE, Consultancy ONE and Non-Medical Non-Clinical but buyers, not suppliers, take responsibility for the work they do.
If you’re not accountable for the work done by the specialists you provide, the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework’s not for you.
16. As this requirement is for up to 5 initial prototypes / Proof of Concepts, can you please confirm that being successful in winning this work does not exclude the winning supplier from any of the future digital transformation work that is likely to follow.
17. Can we please ask DEFRA to elaborate on what they mean in the Skills and Experience by 'Experience of service operations/transition'
This requirement is for the development of a prototype / proof of concept and as such experience of transitioning developed services into live and offering or supporting service operations to same are expected to be useful skills to have and understand to enable the development.
18. We are an SME and we are finding it impossible to work out whether we should bid for this or not. There is not enough information provided in the advert to enable us to work out whether you would need a small team of 3-5 for 3 months working on the 5 aspects in series, or 5 teams of 8 for 3 months working on all in parallel. Please could you give some indication of scale so we don't waste your time and ours getting through shortlisting and later finding we don't have enough people to deliver.
It could be either of the scenarios the questioner describes or a mixture of those team sizes. Defra expects suppliers to be able to respond to any scenario as Defra and the supplier collaboratively work through the content of the prototypes that Defra require.