Awarded to Malikshaw Limited

Start date: Tuesday 2 January 2018
Value: £39,000
Company size: SME
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Consular Directorate

Business Analyst to undertake detailed analysis of payment processes across all Consular business.

11 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 0 large

18 Completed applications

16 SME, 2 large

Important dates

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


Specialist role
Business analyst
Summary of the work
Consular Directorate aim to formulate a strategic payments solution across all Consular business (including all payments that customers make to us for the ETD, Legalisation and ORU services).

Outputs include:

- Detailed analysis of current payment-user journeys;

- Options paper to consolidate strategic payments solution;

- Future payments solution roadmap.
Latest start date
Monday 6 November 2017
Expected contract length
3 months (with possible extension until 31 March 2018)
Organisation the work is for
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Consular Directorate
Maximum day rate
Between £550 to £650 per day

About the work

Early market engagement
A brief study has been undertaken to inform Consular Directorate on whether there are sufficient drivers to invest in a strategic approach to payments and payment reconciliation across all Consular Business (that includes the Emergency Travel Documents (ETD), Legalisation and Overseas Registration Unit (ORU) Services).
A paper was produced to summarise where the current payment processes can be improved and what the benefits and risks are when considering a strategic approach. As a consequence, approval was given to undertake a more detailed analysis of Consular Payments and what a strategic approach might look like.
Who the specialist will work with
The successful supplier/candidate will be working with established teams across Consular Directorate and with some support from a wider Programme team.
What the specialist will work on
Undertake detailed payments process analysis across all consular business. Produce a roadmap that will consider immediate steps to put in place a strategic payments solution, including:

- Output review from recently conducted analysis work and developing to next level;

- Producing a detailed list of all payment related activities, their touch points and execution methods;

- Producing an options paper to establish a consolidated Strategic payments solution across Consular including:

i) Benefits of reducing manual processing, improved reconciliation processes, better audit functions and future integration with GOV Pay

ii) Improved reconciliation processes, better audit functions and future interaction with Gov.Pay.

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Main location will be FCO's office in King Charles Street London. With some time needed at the FCO's offices in Milton Keynes.
Working arrangements
1.The supplier is expected to supply a resource that can be on-site in London/Milton Keynes full-time during business hours Monday to Friday.

The resource should also be comfortable working using an agile approach.

2. Be comfortable talking to non-technical staff and translating their requirements into technical terms

Be a good listener.

3. Where appropriate be innovative and propose changes to processes.

4. We would like to be able to send the specialist unaccompanied to meet technical and non-technical staff.
Security clearance
All staff working on FCO premises must be at least SC Cleared or capable of being cleared to SC. Bidders must confirm clearance of nominated resources. If required, FCO will initiate SC clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Please note that the contract will be based on delivery of milestones (and possibly sprints) on an ongoing basis. Further discussions shall take place with the successful supplier/candidate once a final preferred supplier has been nominated and standstill has ended.

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
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills - 5%
  • 5-10 years Business analysis expertise and experience - 5%
  • Detailed financial process analysis ability - 5%
  • Ability to apply analysis to a strategic objective - 10%
  • Ability to work confidently with senior stakeholders and challenge established working practices - 10%
  • Good team player who can work with existing experts within the programme team. - 5%
  • Familiarity with HMG Government security Classifications Policy & the Data Protection Act - 5%
  • Experience in use of analysis case tools: MS Office, MS Visio - 5%
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Central government operations and experience - 3%
  • Working with Government Digital Services and working within their principles and expectations - 3%
  • Previous experience of financial systems and business processes: payments ledgers - 4%

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Working with technical and non-techincal staff to understand requirements - 3%
  • Building good relationships and trust with teams - 3%
  • Quickly joining teams and understanding their needs - 2%
  • Experience working in an agile manner - 2%
Assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please could you advise re IR35 status of the role?
The FCO shall consider whether an handover period can be inserted into the contract which enables the FCO to buy a service (linked to milestones and/or sprints) rather than resources, which remain inside the scope of IR35. Further discussions shall take place on this with the successful supplier at the appropriate stage of this procurement.
2. Does the role fall within IR35?
Please see our response to Question 1 (above).
3. Is this within IR35 or outside?
Please refer to our response to Question 1 (above).
4. Is this role under IR35?
Please refer to our response to question 1 (above).
5. Can you please confirm whether this assignment is expected to be inside or outside of IR35?
Please refer to our response to Question 1
6. Would it be possible for suppliers to provide some details (such as CV’s) for any candidates that they may have currently available which may or may not fit this requirement (the role of a Business Analyst is quite wide and varied, so the question has been asked for assurance that suppliers can provide the right candidate to fit the requirement).
Yes, the FCO are content with suppliers to provide no more than 2 CV’s at this stage of the procurement, so that suppliers can get an idea of whether their candidates are the right fit for this role. Please send CV’s to Mark Froud (email:
7. Could you provide further details of where the successful candidate will be working during this assignment?
The successful candidate/supplier will spend the majority of their time working in London. However, there is a need for the successful candidate to spend some time working at FCO’s office in Milton Keynes. As some of this work is still delivered manually, the purpose is to understand their processes and see how the process works. There may also be a possible visit to an FCO overseas Post in Europe to again understand what they do to reconcile their accounts.
8. Grateful for further details of the research carried out to date on this?
There has been an initial piece of work carried out on this by a Technical Architect. The purpose of this was to map out journies and data flows around the different processes carried out at present. It was delivered as an High Level note to show what it can look like in future, but was not specifically related to user’s experiences.
9. What user research has been carried out on this?
In line with GDS standards, user-research is continuously carried out across all FCO services. Payments cut across all services and so user research will have been undertaken on this part of each specific service. However no user-research was specifically carried out on payments and more work is needed on this area with relation to staff user journeys. The primary purpose of this is to understand and demonstrate what staff are doing (as part of the work that goes on in making payments). Developing process maps is key to this, and to understand different payment methods used in different countries overseas.
10. Could you explain your timeframe for selecting the successful supplier within 4 weeks of going to market?
Further details on the FCO’s timeline is shown below:

Close date for proposals: Wednesday 18 October;

Evaluation, review of case study and further clarification leading to shortlisting: Thursday 19 October to Tuesday 31 October;

Possible interviews (if required): Thursday 2 November;

Standstill: Monday 6 November to Friday 10 November;

Start date: Monday 13 November
11. Is the online payment method used by the FCO unique?
The Gov.UK hosted application for services is standard. However, the use of Barclaycard Smartpay as a payment portal is not standard across Government, even though we understand that a number of OGDs also use Smartpay. The current decision to use ‘Authorise and Capture’ to take payment is unique across HMG so far as we are aware.
12. What is the main purpose of this work?
More automation, less risk. Overall, the main aim is to deliver a simpler process across all Consular payment systems, and to ensure that risks around audit and fraud are weeded out and errors reduced.
13. Why does this need to be completed by 31 March 2018?
Funding is currently only available in the current Financial Year. The tight timescale is acknowledged but there is little flexibility with this deadline at the moment.
14. Could you provide details of how this fits with the Emergency Travel Document improvement project?
We would have hoped that this piece of work would have been done first. However, things have not worked out that way. Consular Directorate are hoping that a long term strategic solution can be developed as part of this work. It is possible that a short term tactical approach may also be a good starting point, and then a phased delivery approach adopted in future. A good understanding of Consular payment systems worldwide would be a good starting point.
15. Additional information to supplement our original response to Question 8 (Grateful for further details of the research carried out to date on this?)
There has been an initial piece of work carried out to review Consular’s current payments processes. This was undertaken to inform Consular on whether there are sufficient drivers to invest in a strategic approach to payments and payment reconciliation across all Consular Business. It concluded it was, but that further work was required to fully map out what processes staff currently follow and what different payment requirements would a strategic solution need to meet. This work and evidence supporting it, along with a possible technical solution, would be available on arrival.
16. Please could you confirm whether travel to Milton Keynes will be paid as expenses?
Yes, we can confirm that duty travel (by train or car) shall be paid in accordance with FCO travel policy.
17. You mentioned that we are able to send CV's, would the candidate still need to complete a skills matrix? If not, how would we complete the matrix part of the submission?
To clarify. We are happy for interested suppliers to submit CV’s of candidates, as per our response to Question 6. However, please provide your responses in the usual way – uploading responses to the Digital Marketplace portal. If further information is required, we shall then request this at a later date.
18. Additional information to supplement our original response to Question 14 (Could you provide details of how this fits with the Emergency Travel Document improvement project? )
The Emergency Travel Doucment (ETD) is an ongoing project. Part of the ETD project will involve introducing a new payments process. It would have been ideal to have a clearer picture of what a strategic solution would be before we build any new payment processes, but we have not been able to do this. It is possible that a short term tactical approach may need to be taken in this project. The BA undertaking this work will need to discuss this project requirements with the Project team and include within their analysis.
19. Additional information to supplement our original response to Question 12 (What is the main purpose of this work?)
To set out in a feasibility study what sort of strategic approach we should take to payments processes and payment reconciliation across all Consular Business. We want more automation and less risk i.e. a simpler process across all Consular payment systems, and to ensure that risks around audit and fraud are weeded out and errors reduced.