Awarded to Mercator IT Solutions

Start date: Thursday 1 February 2018
Value: £25,000,000
Company size: SME
HM Revenue and Customs

Digital Delivery of HMRC services in DDC London & Worthing - Technical requirement

6 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 3 large

19 Completed applications

7 SME, 12 large

Important dates

Monday 30 October 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 6 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 13 November 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
Organisation the work is for
HM Revenue and Customs
Budget range
The contract will be to complete work currently undertaken by 79 technical consultants and related Transformation work identified via the agile sprint projects as HMRC's digital delivery pipeline materialises. There will be SoWs broken down into 6 weekly periods. The contract is expected to be 2 years and the overall requirement budget is estimated at E£24.492m. 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.
The volumes and spend included in this requirement reflect the amount which will be allocated to each supplier.

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 2 suppliers 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 London and Worthing Digital Centres.
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(s) team will work with these existing capabilities (from other suppliers as well as HMRC staff). A part of the role of the supplier(s) 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
DDCLondon Dorset House 27-45 Stamford Street London
DDCWorthing Barrington Road Worthing
HMRC is transforming into a modern tax authority, equipped for the future needs of customers. This means it will become a smaller, more digital and more highly-skilled Organisation. Our location at Dorset House in London is set to close in March 2018 and will be relocating mainly to Canary Wharf but also moving some of our in-flight projects to Worthing.
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(s) must ensure each individual supplied to us has BPSS security clearance.

Additional information

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

The supplier(s) 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. The projects will take place in both London and Worthing. Could you give us an estimate of what the split will be of resources required by London and those required by Worthing?
Currently we have slightly more teams in Worthing than we do in London so there is about a 55:45%* ratio between the two. However we are planning to dramatically reduce our London footprint in line with HMRC’s location strategy, so Worthing is likely to increase as a proportion.
2. Regarding the requirement “Experience of working on a multi-active cloud platform using open source software that includes Mongo DB, Github, Jenkins, Selenium, coded in SCALA”, could you clarify whether “multi-active” cloud platform means one where application components are active across two or more availability zones and/or regions, or if it has another meaning?
In this instance multi active cloud means an application working across multiple clouds at the same time. In an environment like AWS this could be accommodated through zoning, for smaller cloud providers this would mean across two separate providers.
3. Regarding the requirement “Supplier will have demonstrable experience of user and test driven development using agile scrum.”, could you confirm whether “user driven development” is a synonym for the more widely used term “user-centred design”, or if it has another meaning?
As this is a technical capability bid we opted to focus on the user cantered aspects of development, so this means ensuring that user research is used to direct product development and that the end user’s needs are factored into the technical deliverable.
4. Regarding the requirement “Have demonstrable experience of providing the relevant skills, roles and resources against a variety of technologies required to form a Scrum Team”, could you clarify whether “variety of technologies” refers to Agile tooling supporting the development process itself (e.g. JIRA/Jenkins/Confluence etc.), to technologies supporting the delivered product (e.g. Scala, Node.js, Play Framework, RDBMSs etc.), or both?
HMRC confirm the answer is both.
5. Based on question raised for Newcastle requirement, you clarified that the design requirement for the location would be released at a later stage. could you please clarify if we can expect a separate outcome requirement for design for London / Worthing?
HMRC will get the design and user research DOS 2 documents out this as soon as possible. They are currently going through the last part of internal governance.
6. Is there any information available to those companies who did not attend the September supplier day and, if so, how do we access that information?
Please email and request a copy of the presentation pack delivered on the supplier day.
7. In the "About the work" section you state that you require 2 suppliers to provide the services. Can you please confirm if the shortlist number of 6 will accommodate 2 successful bidders. Can you also please confirm if you will contract with 2 bidders across this single procurement and how or if another procurement event will occur?
Yes two suppliers will be selected from the shortlisted six, no there will not be another event.