The Home Office

Home Office Biometrics (HOB) – DevOps - Platform Development and 3rd Line Support

Incomplete applications

7
Incomplete applications
3 SME, 4 large

Completed applications

10
Completed applications
2 SME, 8 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Monday 13 November 2017
Deadline for asking questions Monday 20 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Monday 27 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work HOB is Home Office Biometrics Programme, delivering future biometric IT services. HADES is HOB Application Development & Environment Service - providing application development and delivery, environment management and live service support. Within HADES the DevOps structure as scrums meets the requirements of both Agile Platform Development and 3rd Line Support.
Latest start date Thursday 1 March 2018
Expected contract length 24 months
Location London
Organisation the work is for The Home Office
Budget range Up to £4.7m Ex VAT including expenses.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done HOB Programme delivers future biometric IT services to various government departments including Home Office departments and Law Enforcement agencies. Consumers use the biometric services to support various business processes for immigration, law enforcement and citizenship. The services run on the platform provided and managed by the DevOps Tooling Platform service.

HADES is HOB Application Development & Environment Service for the HOB Programme providing a single window for application development and delivery, environment management and live service support. Within HADES the DevOps structure as scrums is designed to meet the requirements of both Agile Platform Development and 3rd Line Support.
Problem to be solved To provide, design, develop and maintain the platform to support HOB applications including 3rd Line Support and support for all successor platform arrangements and migrations between platforms.

DevOps in HOB context is the design, provision and maintenance of platforms for HOB applications and the design, provision and maintenance of the tools which facilitate the continuous development, continuous integration and continuous delivery of both software and platforms. The goal of DevOps is to bring development, platforms and operations together enabling fast, frequent delivery of change in order to help HOB responds in more agile manner to the changing business need.
Who the users are and what they need to do Include:
1. HOB Application Developers will use the platform to develop and deploy the application codes.
2. HO Test users will use the platform to perform testing and also to deploy to the environment.
3. L2 support users will deploy the latest releases on the production system and also provide second line support.
4. Wider HOB users, Application Developers and Testers will use the collaborative toolsets.
5. External systems will connect to the platform to perform business transactions.

Business users will use the platform to perform business transactions.

The DevOps supplier will only interact with users 1. to 5. above.
Early market engagement The approach including the technology road map was briefed to potential suppliers at the HOB supplier days in July 2015 and April 2016. Engagement with the biometric supplier marketplace has also been made by HOB through two market surveys. DevOps elements were included in this engagement.
Any work that’s already been done A number of services are already live including the Biometric Services Gateway and several services are under development including international data sharing capabilities and additional APIs. The DevOps Tooling Platform service will need to take on and manage the platform in support of the existing live services and also transition the work in progress for the in-flight projects.

The development tooling and pipeline is already in place in support of the existing IaaS supplier. It is anticipated that the development pipeline and tooling would need to be changed in order to support the transition to a new IaaS supplier.
Existing team The supplier will be working with the existing HOB Technical Design Authority, Business Design Authority, Commercial Design Authority and Test Design & Consultancy Services. The supplier will also be required to work with external delivery and support suppliers, including existing application development and IaaS suppliers, for the new developments and changes to existing systems and work with the incumbent DevOps Tooling supplier to achieve a smooth handover.
Current phase Live

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The HOB project team is predominantly based in London within the M25 (East Croydon) and Birmingham. Stakeholders are based all over the UK.

Development and support must be conducted on-site with engagement with the project teams, other suppliers and users.

Support for testing will need to be conducted in the UK at HOB defined locations include Home Office and police premises.
Working arrangements Working arrangements are expected to be flexible and best configured for the project and supplier teams. The supplier team is expected to be based at our own premises and will also work with the HOB project team and user groups across multiple UK sites; the main sites will be Croydon and Birmingham.

The HOB project team will be available during normal UK business hours. On-site testing and any collaborative working (e.g. design, requirements elaboration) will need to be conducted during these hours. Level 3 support needs to be provided outside of these hours.
Security clearance The supplier shall apply employee screening controls including verification of:
- Identity
- Nationality and Immigration Status
- Employment history
- Criminal History
- SC level security clearance required for access to Home Office facilities/deliverables. NPPV-3 is also required for some roles.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions DOS2 Framework terms and conditions shall apply subject to any elaborations or clarifications and additional terms and conditions identified at ITT stage for shortlisted suppliers.

Main charging approach:
• Fixed charge per Story Point delivered, based on vendor’s costs for their team and agreed number of Story Points to be delivered.
• Delivery in fortnightly Agile Sprints for specified Epics/User Stories.
• Number of Story Points for specified Epics/User Stories to be estimated using a Baseline set of User Story examples.

Other approaches at Customer’s option:
• Fixed price for deliverable(s).
• Capped T&M.
• T&M.
• Mixture of above.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Experience of delivering and supporting platforms for high availability applications providing security sensitive services to meet the platform requirements.
  • Testing methods, specifically around platform build automation
  • Experience of providing a level 3 platform support service with supporting ITIL processes operating in UK business hours and 24 x 7 out of hours support.
  • Experience of providing platform development using Public Cloud Hosting (specify).
  • Experience of migrating environments between different Cloud Hosting platforms (specify).
  • Experience of providing platform development in fortnightly Sprints on an Agile Story Point basis.
  • Experience of developing continuous software delivery pipeline using tools such as Jenkins, Stash, Nexus
  • Experience in configuration management using tools such as Puppet, Ansible
  • Experience of managing Linux and Windows based systems.
  • Well versed with collaborative tool Confluence, Jira and Crowd
  • Extensive experience in the DevOps domain and should be able to advise HOB on best practices.
  • Operation of secure development environments.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working in relevant business domains i.e. immigration and law enforcement.
  • Experience of working in a multiple supplier delivery regime whereby a separate supplier is integrating the application into the end user compute platform and operating the live service.
  • Experience of working with an external “client side” technical design authority.
  • Experience of charging for platform development on a fixed Agile Story Point basis.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Tooling and integration
  • Delivery Capability – Environment Build & Test (EBT)
  • Support Capability – Level 2 support to dev/test environments and Level 3 support to production
  • Resourcing table and CVs - core team roles
  • Transition and Exit
  • On-boarding new projects
  • Security Management
  • Experience working with public sector organisations.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with key stakeholders
  • Collaboration Approach
  • Price
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience working with public sector organisations.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with key stakeholders.
  • Collaboration Approach: the supplier’s approach to collaboration across a HOB multi-supplier service delivery environment on the basis of the following collaborative behaviours:
  • o Collaborative Intention
  • o Openness
  • o Self-accountability
  • o Self-awareness and awareness of others
  • o Promoting value
  • o Forward looking
  • o Problem-solving and negotiation
  • o Identify risks and issues
  • o Integration
Payment approach Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. 1. A project of this scale (£4.7M) is likely to be too large for most SMEs to bid on. Is the Home Office doing anything to help SMEs get involved in larger opportunities like this - e.g. introducing people to potential consortium partners? Is there anyone we can contact about this? a) No
b) smeEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk - please note that this is not necessarily specific to this procurement.
2. Could you clarify what you mean by “Fixed Price” as the Payment Approach please? That was the closest requirement available to choose from in the limited list of options available on the Digital Marketplace website. See the Additional terms and Conditions.

What we mean by “Fixed Price” as the main charging approach is a Fixed charge per Story Point calculated for a time-boxed Statement of Work (SoW) by dividing the vendor’s costs for their team for that SoW by the total number of Story Points to be produced by that vendor team in that SoW, based on a scope specified in terms of User Epics/User Stories to be covered in that SoW.
3. How would Story Points be estimated? Story Points would be estimated for the User Epics/User Stories to be covered in that Statement of Work (SoW), based on using an agreed Baseline set of User Story examples e.g. a 1 Story Point User Story, a 3 Story Point User Story etc.
4. How would you pay for Story Points? Our expectation is that having established the Fixed charge per Story Point for that Statement of Work (SoW), we would only pay for Story Points actually delivered at that fixed charge for that SoW so if we had agreed a total of 600 Story Points for that SoW, the vendor would only get paid for 550 Story Points at that fixed charge if they then delivered only 550 Story Points instead of the 600 agreed.
5. What if the vendor was prevented from producing Story Points by the customer? Where we have prevented the vendor from producing particular Story Points during the Statement of Work (SoW), we would expect to substitute in Story Points, mutually agreed, on a case by case basis.
6. What if the vendor delivered more than the total number of Story Points agreed for the Statement of Work? We would want to discuss a gainshare arrangement for Story Points delivered in excess of the total agreed at the end of the SoW e.g. over 600 Story Points where 600 Story Points was the total agreed for the Statement of Work (SoW), whereby the excess Story Points would be paid for at a percentage of the fixed charge per Story Point, on the basis that the vendor had already covered their costs on the total agreed number of Story Points (the 600 in the example).
7. By bidding for this opportunity via the HOB programme, will bidders be precluded for pursuing other opportunities on the HOB programme ? Bidders will not be precluded from pursuing other opportunities on the HOB programme, but in the event that work undertaken under this Call Off Agreement gave rise to a potential conflict of interest in connection with a future procurement we would expect appropriate ethical walls to be put in place such that its then participation will not prevent the relevant procurement from being successfully and impartially completed.
8. The evidence structure states ‘You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement (unless the buyer specifies otherwise).’ For the requirement on our ‘Experience of managing Linux and Windows based systems’, is it ok to use 2 different examples to evidence our experience in windows based and Linux based systems respectively? Yes, evidence from two case studies is fine although the response should describe how the experience from the two case studies can be combined to deliver the experience required for HOB.
9. 1. With regards to Essential Skills (2) ‘’Testing methods, specifically around platform build automation’’ please could you clarify if this mean writing tests to confirm the platform is built correctly, or building in capability into the automation to test the application? The essential skill (2) refers to the ability to write tests to confirm that the platform is built and operating correctly.
10. 2. With regards to Essential Skills (5) ‘’Experience of migrating environments between different Cloud Hosting platforms (specify)’’, are there any specific cloud hosting platforms you are looking at? We are considering Public Cloud providers.
11. 3. With regards to Essential Skills (12) ‘’Operation of secure development environments’’, how ‘’secure’’ do these environments need to be? Are you following the government classification for information security? If so, what level are you looking at? HOB follow the current government information classification system. The Development Environment will hold data that is Official-Sensitive and controls a pipeline to deploy platforms in production that expose Official-Sensitive services handling Official-Sensitive data. The biometric data is at the upper end of the Official-Sensitive spectrum and the environments (including development and production environments) will need controls to counter threats from well funded and organised threat actors.
12. 4. With regards to Nice to have skills (3) ‘’Experience of working with an external “client side” technical design authority’’, please could you clarify what you mean by ‘’client side’’? By "client side" we mean the Home Office Biometrics Technical Design Authority (HOB TDA) who manage the overall direction for the systems in the biometric landscape. The HOB TDA team within the HOB Programme work interactively with suppliers teams. The HOB TDA own the overall end to end solution and concept of operations whereas the supplier teams own the detailed design.
13. In terms of answering each element of the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience section, please can you confirm if you would be happy for us to evidence our capability using examples of successful delivery for clients outside the UK? If providing evidence of examples from outside the UK it would be necessary to clearly describe how the skills can be brought into and applied to the UK based work.