Awarded to Opencast Software Europe Ltd

Start date: Thursday 1 February 2018
Value: £8,700,000
Company size: SME
HM Revenue and Customs

Digital Delivery of HMRC services in DDC Newcastle - Technical requirement

8 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 2 large

21 Completed applications

8 SME, 13 large

Important dates

Monday 16 October 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 23 October 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 30 October 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The partner must demonstrate capacity and flexibility to manage delivery of open source digital code (using SCALA) and digital products in line with HMRCs/GDS Digital standards/design patterns. Delivered through SoW and supplier provided multi-disciplinary teams with capability/skills in business analysis, front end, software development, testing and facilitating scrum teams.
Latest start date
Wednesday 31 January 2018
Expected contract length
2 years
North East England
Organisation the work is for
HM Revenue and Customs
Budget range
The contract will be to complete the work currently being undertaken by 28 technical consultants and undertake related Transformation work identified via the agile sprint projects as the delivery pipeline in HMRC digital materialises. There will be Statements of Work broken down in to 6 weekly periods. The life of the contract is expected to be 2 years and the overall budget in this requirement is estimated to be E£8.736m. This may be adjusted due to business need and the requirement to support policy driven change. This estimate does not include travel and subsistence payments.

About the work

Why the work is being done
HMRC are strengthening their digital offering, linking many new and existing systems to allow more consistent and responsive provision of services over the web.
Each service development has its own user driven requirements which will enhance user experience and compliance whilst striving towards the HMRC digital goals.
We require a supplier who can add value to this development through provision of suitably skilled technical roles to work in Scrum Teams alongside existing HMRC teams and others.
This is for the Newcastle Digital Centre.
Problem to be solved
HMRC require a partner to deliver the technical aspects of new and existing front facing digital services developed in Scala using a micro-service architecture, meeting Government Digital Service standards. This will include (but is not limited to) technical agile specialists incorporating work in scrum teams and delivering in phased sprints. This will be done through outcome based statements of work for a variety of programmes.
Who the users are and what they need to do
HMRC's Digital Strategy is to accommodate the majority of interaction with customers through digital self-service. This will reduce the nation's tax gap through making the UK's tax system more transparent and also reduce the overheads involved in supporting such a system.
Early market engagement
We ran an event open to all interested Suppliers on 13 September 2017. This event gave suppliers an insight in to what we do in HMRC Digital and how we work to bring user-centred services to life. We asked for supplier views on how best to offer the requirements to maximise the number and quality of bids. The feedback on this was varied, with most suppliers putting forward ideas on national vs local requirements.
Attendees included both suppliers already providing us with technical and non technical resource and suppliers we have yet to work with.
Any work that’s already been done
We have services under development in various Agile stages. We also have Services which have successfully transferred into the Live environment that we are looking to iterate and improve. Iteration is both user driven and in response to legislative change.
Existing transitional contracts expire on 31st January 2018. We would ideally new suppliers to begin work to transition into HMRC before that end date wherever that was possible.
Existing team
There are currently a number of teams working on these services. The successful supplier team will work with these existing capabilities (from other suppliers as well as HMRC staff). A part of the role of the supplier will be to assist HMRC in growing its own capability and we will expect a level of support for our staff who come at all levels from apprentice through to senior management.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
DDCN, Benton Park View Newcastle
Working arrangements
Work collaboratively with existing cross functional Agile Teams transforming Digital services across the Centre.
Be on site 5 days (40 hours) per week collaborating with the wider team unless work commitments require work to be done elsewhere
A flexible approach will be agreed with the successful supplier as each SoW is agreed throughout the life of the contract. We may be open to other working arrangements as the relationship develops
Be responsible for travel and expenses to normal workplace. Expenses will be in line with HMRC policy.
Individuals will be expected to adhere to the Civil Service code of conduct.
Security clearance
The supplier must ensure each individual supplied to us has BPSS security clearance and that an IR35 determination is obtained for each specialist prior to engagement.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The supplier will have had experience working to Government Digital Standards.

The supplier will provide HR management support to each individual resource. Any capability or behaviours concerns will be raised by HMRC to the supplier, who will then need to act on these. HMRC will have the right to move an individual off of the account if standards of capability or behaviour are breached.

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
  • Have demonstrable experience of providing the relevant skills, roles and resources against a variety of technologies required to form a Scrum Team.
  • Have demonstrable experience of collaborative working with a client's ‘in-house’ teams, including coaching and mentoring, and knowledge sharing.
  • Have demonstrable experience of successfully developing services using a pragmatic Agile approach.
  • Have demonstrable experience of scaling up and down teams to accommodate either new requirements or changes within the delivery pipeline.
  • Have demonstrable experience of providing additional and/or value added activities when acting in the role of a partner supplier to an organisation
  • Developers will be competent with or experts on using Scala and the Play Framework to develop cloud based micro service architecture with JSON APIs.
  • Teams will have demonstrable Web Ops experience, showing ability to release at least every sprint and ideally much more frequently.
  • Previous significant multi-team contract within large organisation in the last two years (more than 4 teams, comprising more than 20 people over more than 6 months) working in agile scrum.
  • Supplier will have automated testing skills using Selenium.
  • Supplier will have demonstrable experience of user and test driven development using agile scrum.
  • Supplier will be able to supply contractors competent with using Splunk, Mongo, Grafana, Jenkins, AWS and GitHub.
  • Experience of delivering to Government Digital Standards.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Supplier would ideally have had a significant multi team contract with a public sector body
  • Experience of working on a multi-active cloud platform using open source software that includes Mongo DB, Github, Jenkins, Selenium, coded in SCALA

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical capability as demonstrated in their written examples, and required at interview
  • Approach and methodology
  • Ability to provide local resource and scale up or down as required, with examples
  • HR support and capability
Cultural fit criteria
  • Able to start on the work immediately.
  • Have excellent communication skills with staff at all levels of the organisation
  • Adhere to HMRC's Code of Conduct
  • Will take responsibility for their work
  • Be willing to collaborate and partner, including with other suppliers and HMRC staff at all levels.
  • Proactively share knowledge and experiences with members of team, especially with junior HMRC staff.
  • Be innovative and promote ideas and suggestions as applicable
  • Focus on achieving value for money in all activities
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Would it be possible to answer the following question? Do the technical consultants you require include Scrum Master (or Delivery Manager) and Business Analyst roles?
Yes, the above roles will be required. We envisage that the solutions put forward by the suppliers will include roles such as these.
2. Can you please tell me where / when / how the 13th September supplier event was publicised and how we can find out about similar future events? Is there a presentation or feedback sheet or similar from the event which is available for sharing with companies who were not able to attend but would still like to find out what was discussed?
The early engagement event was advertised on the Contracts Finder website, with a publication date of 4th September. There are outputs from the day, which due to technical restrictions, cannot be uploaded to this portal. Therefore, please feel free to send an email to and he will send the slides to you.
3. At the supplier day, it was mentioned that the requirement would be split into 'development' and 'design'. Is this still the case and we can expect a separate outcome requirement for design or have you combined the entire requirement into one?
This is the technical requirement for Newcastle. The design aspect requirement for Newcastle will be released as a separate opportunity in the near future.
4. At this stage of the process, are we right in thinking that the responses that you require by 11:59pm on Monday 30th October are: 1: Start date 2: Responses to 12 the essential skills and experiences questions 3: Responses to the 2 nice-to-have questions (if applicable) 4: Confirmed email address Meaning that the written proposal, commercial response and presentation will follow at a further stage (in Nov/Dec 2017).
That is correct. Following the receipt of the supplier responses to the essential and nice to have criteria, we will be requesting the written proposal/presentation. As part of that request we will require the commercial response also. Our current timeline indicates that these would be required by mid November.
5. Question 1 asks when is the earliest the team can start? It then goes onto say that you require the team to start on Wednesday 31st January? Are there additional points allocated in the scoring system for suppliers who are able to start prior to Wednesday 31st January 2018? Or is this date the earliest you would like us to say we can start?
Our current contracts end on 31st January and we must have a supplier who is ready to take over from this point. However, we would like to have a supplier in place before this to allow for a sufficient handover/implementation period. Although additional points would not be allocated for a supplier who can start earlier, we would like to be made aware of the earliest start date to allow the handover to take place as soon as possible after award.
6. In the original request for interest, you provided the below roles as examples. could you please advise which of these roles are in scope for this opportunity? Scrum Master 
 Lead Software developer Software Developer
 Front End Developer 
Test Automation Engineer
 Agile Business Analyst
 User Researcher 
Technical Architect
 Interaction Designer
 Content Designer
The roles you have included within your question were the roles we envisaged may be required. However, we are looking for a partner who will develop, deliver and manage solutions for the Transformation projects specific to the Digital Delivery Centre in Newcastle. We would expect the suppliers to detail the roles which would be required to deliver the solutions as part of their proposal.
7. Do you require us to cover only one existing client example per 100 word response or are you happy for us to reference two or three relevant examples within one statement [see DOS framework evidence structure - You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement (unless the buyer specifies otherwise).]
HMRC are happy for you to cover more than one example in your 100 word response. However, please consider that we will be looking for depth of evidence within the example(s) given.
8. You’ve responded to one of the questions to say that the commercial responses (pricing 30%), will form part of the next round. Are the 12 essential statements all to be evaluated against technical competence (65%) and cultural fit (5%)? Would be able to indicate the weighting that will be applied to each of the 12 essential statements.
There will not be individual weightings allocated to each of the criteria. Each of the criteria will be scored 0 - 3 as per the guidance, with the technical weighting of 65% being split as per the following:

Essential skills - 20%
Nice to Have - 5%
Written Proposal - 40%

Cultural fit will be evaluated against the cultural fit criteria as specified in the requirement and will be given an overall weighting of 5%.
9. Do HMRC plan to award this contract to a single bidder or is it HMRC’s intent to award preferred status to 2-3 bidders who will then be called upon to participate in a mini competition to fulfil HMRC’s technical requirements at New Castle?
The work will be allocated equally between two suppliers.
If one supplier is unable to fulfil any requirement over the course of a contract, within a defined period (20 days, although in matters of urgency we may look to move the work sooner), we may look to the other supplier to pick up the slack. If due to ministerial commitments or changes in funding we need to reduce our reliance on suppliers we will endeavour do it evenly across suppliers.
The volume and values provided in the requirement are estimations of the work to be allocated to each supplier.
10. We know existing teams are already working on these services any indication of how much activities are completed would be useful. There is not clear indication of how many roles needs to be filled, however on page 25” Scrum Team Composition” includes various roles which shows their team formation. If the team is a mixture of HMRC/Fujitsu/Other suppliers then how will the project governance work? Who will be responsible for the integration testing as there will be dependency on HMRC for knowledge on the integrated systems? List of cloud platforms involved in this particular development (i.e AWS, Azure etc.)
Each team will be responsible for testing to stubs. End-to-end testing will be treated as an outcome. We work in a devops environment, so release are frequent (daily/weekly), testing will need to be automated and regular. Governance will be split between Scrum Master/Product Owner. Every six weeks we will work with teams/suppliers to agree outcomes attributed to each supplier, which will be worked to.
Cloud platforms – predominantly AWS though there is capability on UKCloud (formerly Skyscape). Platform creation/maintenance is usually handled as part of the MDTP, we do not expect teams to have to build/maintain their own cloud environments.