Awarded to Methods Business and Digital Technology Limited

Start date: Friday 5 January 2018
Value: £275,200
Company size: SME
Government Digital Service

WP1531: Outcome for Webops skilled team with Cloudfoundry experience on GOV.UK PaaS

4 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 1 large

1 Completed application

1 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Thursday 7 December 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 14 December 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 21 December 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
GDS require a team of 3 WebOps experts with good knowledge of Cloudfoundry for specialist development of: Additional backing services, Monitoring for tenants, Platform support for billing, cf deployment and BOSH v2, operation and support. They will transfer skills through pairing and knowledge share with public servants on the team.
Latest start date
Friday 12 January 2018
Expected contract length
12 months with break points on the following dates 31/03/2018, 06/07/2018, 05/10/2018
Organisation the work is for
Government Digital Service
Budget range
Between £600 and £750 day rate per engineer (maximum of 3) depending on experience

About the work

Why the work is being done
Hosting and infrastructure are time-consuming barriers for new digital services.
PaaS reduces duplication as teams won't have to build and manage complex infrastructure each time they build a service, and simplifies infrastructure and application management so that teams can focus on building and running services.

In order to continue to realise the benefits outlined in the GaaP Business Case, the PaaS team must add functionality during Q4/2017-18 and Q1/2018-19 so more live services across government can use the product, and to allow the team to successfully support users and maintain the platform as the number of services hosted grows.
Problem to be solved
The platform needs to include
* Additional backing services available for use with live production data - Redis, Elasticsearch, MongoDB & RabbitMQ
* Monitoring for tenants to show the how much of the platform they are using
* Platform support for billing so users can receive accurate bills based on usage and on our pricing model.
* Upgrade to cf deployment and BOSH v2 so it is possible to continue to fix urgent issues in a timely fashion, and so we can keep the effort needed in maintaining the platform as low as possible.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a person building/running a service
* I need somewhere to host it here my service is resilient, secure, and my users' data kept safe
* I want integration to be quick and straightforward
* I want be able to specify and access the backing services which I need
* I want to know it is supported
* I want to reduce costs through efficiency - by only paying for space I use, by not having to pay to build or buy a platform.
My effort and resources are focused on providing a good service experience to my users
Early market engagement
Not applicable
Any work that’s already been done
PaaS is in private Beta with 15 live services using it, and many services in development. We have undertaken user research to understand which additional features would allow multiple service teams to benefit from using it, and have prioritised work to deliver those features.
Existing team
Multi-disciplinary team, mainly WebOps and back end developers, technical architect, user researchers, product managers, delivery managers, tech author
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Government Digital Service, 6th floor, The White Chapel Building, 10 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 8DX
Working arrangements
The people will keep core PaaS team hours in order to maximise knowledge transfer and integrate with team development processes: Monday to Friday based in our office (in Aldgate) starting work by 9.30am, 7.5 hours per day + lunch time.

There will be a requirement for the people working on this outcome to participate in the out of hours(OOH) support rota for the platform they are developing - on average one week in six. The OOH support will be paid separately from the day rate of the winning supplier candidates.
Security clearance
All must have BPSS as a minimum. Preference for contractors to already hold SC clearance, however we would be willing to sponsor the SC clearance process at the supplier's expense. One person in the team must have SC clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All expenses must be pre-agreed and in line with Cabinet Office Travel and Subsistence policy

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
  • Experience debugging a complex, multi-server service in a high availability production environment. Please give examples.
  • Experience using languages such as Ruby, Python, Go, and Java within an existing, production codebase
  • Experience of developing/operating a PaaS with Cloudfoundry and BOSH and using in a production environment. Please give examples.
  • Experience of commodity cloud providers such as AWS (EC2 and RDS) in a production system. Please give examples
  • Experience administering common open source databases like Postgres, MongoDB, Redis etc. in a production environment. Please give examples
  • Using Terraform as a configuration management tool in a complex production environment
  • Please give an example of using continuous integration and version control (e.g. using git) to create an application deployment workflow to a production environment,
  • Experience working in multidisciplinary agile teams
  • Evidence/examples of a rigorous approach to software development (TDD, code review, pairing)
  • Experience and ability to develop tooling for automation and provisioning. Please give examples.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Interest in DevOps, and infrastructure as code.
  • Familiarity with the process of adding features to open source software and the approach to documentation
  • Experience administering common open source databases like Postgres, MongoDB, Redis etc.
  • Experience supporting a production environment and supporting technical customers/users
  • Experience of deploying monitoring solutions such as Datadog
  • Familiarity with network protocols - TCP/IP, HTTP, TLS, etc

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • A track record in providing webops skills to govt (10%)
  • Team members can work with agile backlog - with an MVP (10%)
  • All proposed team members must provide evidence that demonstrates they meet all the cultural fit criteria (15%)
  • Experience working in multidisciplinary agile teams (10%)
  • Please include C.V.s of all proposed team members. All submitted CVs will be scored as a set against both the essential and nice-to-have criteria (40%)
  • Value for money of the proposed solution (15%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience mentoring developers on good ops practice
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Collaborating closely with colleagues in order to meet users’ needs
  • Has experience of and likes pairing and knowledge sharing
  • Delivering consistently within an agile environment
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you be more specific about the down times please? I understand for instance it starts c12 Jan and finishes 31.03.18. When will they be required to return prior to the next break 06.07.18. When will they be required to return from before finishing 05.10.18?
There will not be downtimes, the dates specified are contract break points. As part of the organisation's move to a quarterly planning cycle, the requirement for this potential contract will be reviewed prior to the end of each quarter over the term.
2. Is this a new team or a replacement for an existing resource?
This is for a new team. There is an encumbent supplier for some of the capability of this requirement however we will require more resource to be provided and with additional skills to what is currently in place. The contract for the encumbent expires in early January.