Awarded to Deloitte LLP

Start date: Monday 8 January 2018
Value: £192,568
Company size: large
Ministry of Justice, Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)

HMPPS Categorisation and Allocation Decision Tool

6 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 1 large

9 Completed applications

4 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Wednesday 29 November 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 6 December 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 13 December 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
As part of the Prison Reform Programme, MoJ / HMPPS are reviewing the process for categorising offenders in custody. The aim is to identify possible methods to automate the categorisation and allocation of prisoners decision making process, and improve data sharing across the criminal justice system.
Latest start date
Friday 5 January 2018
Expected contract length
Expected 3 months. Option to extend, evaluate pilot data, develop iterations & national roll-out
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Justice, Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
HMPPS are responsible for the management of offenders in custody and the community, and this entails ensuring that offenders in custody are held in the appropriate conditions to maintain the security of the estate.

HMPPS are reviewing the categorisation process that takes place as part of the prison reform programme, to identify improvements and developing a more data rich process. This is aligned to the MoJ objective of becoming a more data driven department.
Problem to be solved
1.Identify possible methods to automate/augment/improve the categorisation and allocation of prisoners decision making process.
2. Review current/future information sources.
3.Undertake business/options analysis to include: business requirements mapping/user research/needs analysis/running experiments with live data, around possible future initiatives to validate their efficacy/deliverability.
4.Researching how this type of process is undertaken in penal systems globally – including known advancements in technology.
4.Explore development of a digital tool which will automate some aspects of the categorisation process.
5. Bring together a range of data sets to ensure better decisions.
7.First iteration of a tool to be piloted in a live environment in 04/18.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users are staff in HMPPS, who need to categorise prisoners, ensuring that offenders in custody are held in the appropriate conditions, to maintain the security of the estate.

Additional interested parties include: reform programme teams - whose work will be fundamentally impacted by the iterative learning from this activity, and law enforcement partners.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The HMPPS team has completed some process investigation and mapping, and some early thinking on data sources and uses of information to improve the current process. Its is prudent the successful supplier reviews this work for completeness and critical challenge.
Existing team
The current team are HMPPS Prison Security, Prison Reform Programme, and a multi-agency working group who meet monthly.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AH.
Note - some travel may be required to the Digital Studio in Sheffield.
Working arrangements
The team will be embedded and report into HMPPS Security and the MoJ Prison Reform Programme. This will involve reguarly working with the HMPPS operational teams, and the advanced analytics team.
The suppliers will work with the team lead, to map all stakeholders, and complete a full organisational chart.
Security clearance
The information is sensitive and the team will be using live data for this discovery stage and experiments. Due to the volume and sensitivity of the data, we require all project members to hold SC clearance prior to the start of the contract.

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
  • Project Management - must have experience of managing technical and digital projects using an agile methodolgy in public safety or law enforcement arenas
  • Data Science - must have experience and skills in data science prinncipals and techniques, especiallty those used in HMG
  • Data Science (coding) - must have experience in developing data analytics in packages such as "R" and its associated packages
  • Business Analysis - must have have experience in developing business processes and workflows in law enforcement or public protection arenas
  • User research - must have experience of conducting user research with busy operational users with limited technical skills
  • Technical architecture - Must have experiencing in developing high level technical architecture for law enforcement or public protection information systems
  • Experience of working with sensitive personal and operational data and material
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Transformation - previous experience of working within HMG transformation or reform programmes

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Provide a methodology statement of how you intend to deliver a solution which meets the project needs.
  • A project delivery plan, with key milestones.
  • Demonstrate evidence of when your organisation has delivered a similar project using agile delivery methods and GDS Standards.
  • Your approach to efficiently respond to flexes in the project’s needs.
  • Your proposed approach for conducting user research.
  • Your ability to maintain quality and speed of delivery.
  • Your suggested approach for ensuring knowledge transfer is conducted to the HMPPS project team.
Cultural fit criteria
  • The ability to work within a larger civil service team delivering a programme of work on prison reform.
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions.
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes.
  • Be willing to share and cascade specialist knowledge and expertise with civil servants.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Will there be Q&A session?
A Q&A conference call session will be held on the 5th December 2017 at 16:00-17:00. The conference call line is 0800 917 1956.

If you would like to participate in this Q&A session, you will need to request a pin number by 14:00 5th December 2017 via email to HMPPSCustomerDeman1@Justice.Gov.UK

The subject should contain the following reference “Categorisation request for Pin”.
2. Please could you let us know what the timetable will be for the various steps in the procurement process, given the early Jan start date and the Christmas break?
Please follow the following link, which will give further details about the process and the timeline
3. 'Business Analysis - must have have experience in developing business processes and workflows in law enforcement or public protection arenas'. Will experience of working with other government agencies be acceptable?
Our preference is for experience within law enforcement and/or public protection. But we will consider experience in other government departments.
4. You mention an "embedded" team and "regularly working with the HMPPS operational teams, and the advanced analytics team" - could you please let us know what level of onside working you would expect this to imply - regular f2f meetings or full time on-site?
The team needs to be client-side based full time at 102 Petty France, there may be some travel to other sites in England and Wales.
5. Please can you provide further information about the prcoess
Please follow the link for further guidance of the process:
6. Please can you post details from the conference call Q&A
Please follow the link on Google Docs link for questions and answers from the Q&A Conference call on the 5th December 2017.
7. Regarding categorisation: (i) how does HMPPS currently make decisions on offenders classification, if not automatic? (ii) which criterion is used for classifying – i.e. severity of offence committed? and (iii) which variables found in the offender’s records may have the highest influence in decision making?
Categorisation decisions are primarily based on index offence and sentence length. The current purpose of categorisation is to assess the risks posed by a prisoner in terms of:

• likelihood of escape or abscond
• the risk of harm to the public in the event of an escape or abscond
• any control issues that impact on the security and good order of the prison and the safety of those within it

Further information can be found in "PSI 2011-40 - Categorisation and Recategorisation Of Adult Male Prisoners" which can be found on
8. Regarding allocation:
(i) while allocating prisoners throughout varied detention centres (and their diverse units), shall we consider any constraints associated with the UK administrative organisation? and
(ii) which other factors rather than the above mentioned criminal records-based classification are considered for offenders’ allocation – i.e. human and physical resources needed for transport and security?
i) There are some specific processes that we have to adhere to in the allocation process - the details of which would be shared with the successful bidder during the project.
ii) Allocation of an offender is based on an individual assessment of their circumstances and this may include other factors such as closeness to home and vocational / educational needs.
9. Regarding the data and data access: building up on both the above statement and the first set of questions:
(i) which data sources were identified, to date?
(ii) is this data available for initial assessment?
(iii) which outliers were identified?
(iv) is this structured or unstructured data?
i) There are a number of possible data sources that cannot be shared at this stage.
ii) No.
iii) Some belong to other agencies which would need to be factored into the design.
10. Regarding the data and data access:
(v) which information governance policies including data protection and security do we need to comply with -- applications needed to be submitted for data access authorisation? and
(vi) how the data is intended to be transmitted from the HMPPS databases to the supplier's servers, in which the intended computational models will be developed?
v) standard rules around DPA and HMPPS information security policies will apply. Provided the team have SC clearance we do not envisage this causing any issues.
vi) No data will be transmitted or stored on supplier servers. The supplier will have limited access to HMPPS/MOJ systems to conduct the experiments.
11. "Our preference is for experience within law enforcement and/or public protection. But we will consider experience in other government departments." Will you consider suppliers who do not have extensive experience in central government departments, but may have worked in wider public sector?
As per the statement, we will consider wider experience, but due to the highly specialised nature of the work experience in these fields is preferred.
12. How does HMPPS expect Article 22 of GDPR ("Automated individual decision-making, including profiling") to impact the possible methods to automate/augment/improve the categorisation and allocation of prisoners decision making process?
The data being used is held on systems that will be being assessed for the GDPR.
13. Who will be the user research/needs analysis participants for this process?
Frontline / specialist staff and law enforcement partners
14. Researching how this type of process is undertaken in penal systems globally – including known advancements in technology. Do you expect this to be desktop research, or in-person interviews/meetings with penal systems in other countries?
Desktop research and interviews with other jurisdictions who have developed similar tools - any conversations will be held over the phone.
15. "The HMPPS team has completed some process investigation and mapping, and some early thinking on data sources and uses of information to improve the current process. Its is prudent the successful supplier reviews this work for completeness and critical challenge." Has this work been completed by process actors/representatives, or business improvement specialists? Similarly, can you please explain what methods and techniques have been used and the level of details completed e.g. processes mapped to APQC level 3?
The team have completed high level process maps of the inital categorisation and re-categorisation process. These are products of several workshops with operational staff who are responsible for categorisation decisions. The workshops were led and facilitated by MoJ user design and the outputs recorded and mapped by business analysts.
16. You have indicated that the payment approach is to be capped time and materials, but have not provided a budget range (i.e. no cap has been provided). Please advise what you expect the capped budget to be set as?
At this stage, we are unable to set a budget cap.
17. Please advise if an official project plan is available with indicative timescales for delivery?
Not at this stage. The key deliverable is to develop the first iteration of the digital tool, ready to be piloted in a live environment by April 2018 and suppliers should provide a plan for delivering to those timescales.
18. As part of this process, will we be allowed to meet HMPPS stakeholders to understand what key decision makers see as a successful outcome for this engagement and how to best approach the project – both technically and commercially?
19. Is there an agreed enterprise/digital architecture available for HMPPS that we can review?
Please send an email to and request a copy of the technical architecture diagram for the analytics platform
20. The current phase of this project has been listed as 'Discovery' - however the expected contract length also mentions "Option to extend, evaluate pilot data, develop iterations & national roll-out" Is this option to extend formally an Alpha phase for the same project?
Potentially, but we can only properly answer this at the end of the Discovery phase.
21. Please could we clarify that you will be asking up to three bidders to present to you on the 19th December, and that bidders will be asked to submit a proposal on this date also? Would you accept earlier proposals? 2. In terms of pricing, are you asking bidders to submit a fixed fee for the work with a rate card? 3. How will the price element be evaluated? Many Thanks
Hi, Answers to both these questions are available in the guidance.
22. Will HMPPS support application for SC clearance if not available today?
No, current SC clearance is mandatory given the timescales for delivering the first iteration of the tool.
23. Please can you clarify what will be the controlling scope that determines the completion against a capped T&M payment approach?
Please can you clarify what you mean in this question. Please send it to by 15:00 Monday 11th December.
24. Have existing third party suppliers been working with HMPPS to help shape your thinking on this project? If so, who has been involved to date?
Whilst there are a wide number of third party suppliers who work on projects within HMPPS, and deliveries on projects that may have links, there are none that are directly involved in the thought process for this.
25. Regarding the general assessment: (i) which drawbacks in data analysis were identified? (ii) how these drawbacks were defined? (iii) which contingency plans were initially set for data analysis considering the defined drawbacks? (iv) which methodology was using in the mentioned initial assessment (investigation)? (v) which professionals (their specialities) were responsible for the mentioned assessment?
General issues around data quality, sharing and access were identified, however, these issues cannot be shared in the public domain.
26. Will a GDS compliance assessment be undertaken during the project?
It is not anticipated at this stage.
27. Could you provide some more information around the current information sources? How joined up/consistent is the information between sources? Is the intention to synthesise a product roadmap and backlog based on business analysis/user requirements, if so will one of the resources additionally fulfil the role of a product owner? Is there a shared/consistent understanding across HMPPS of the categorisation decision process and the data underpinning the decision? Are there any known gaps in the data e.g. consistency or availability between regions or public/private prisons?
There are some general issues with data sharing, access and quality. Current information sources are sensitive but include a range of HMPPS and partner agency data systems. How the project is delivered is for the supplier to determine but this could include a project roadmap and backlog.
28. What level of data exploitation is expected of this tool at pilot stage; must the pilot include data from all regions and prisons? Are you able to provide any information regarding the HMPPS data or BI strategy? Could you clarify whether you are specifying 5 FTEs (key roles) or just the categories of resource? Your key roles do not include a developer, is your preference for the pilot for the tool to be developed in a COTS product?

Have you had external support on the early discovery phase and if so by whom?
Construction of a POC will involve using live and test data from a number of systems. The data strategy is still being developed .

We just need the categories of resource - the exact FTEs will be determined once initial scoping has been done.

The pilot will need to be developed in Open Source code (preferably R) so a data scientist with coding skills will need to be provided.

Yes there was external support on the early discovery phase, this was from the Digital Prisons team.