This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 16 January 2018
Cabinet Office - Civil Contingencies Secretariat

Mobile Alerting - Discovery

9 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 5 large

8 Completed applications

5 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Tuesday 2 January 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 9 January 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 16 January 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Cabinet Office seeks expertise to provide additional insight into options for a mobile emergency alerting scheme to citizens. This of work focuses on high-level technical issues to inform the readiness of the Communications Providers and capabilities of consumer devices for such a service. All options, including digital will be considered.
Latest start date
Monday 15 January 2018
Expected contract length
4 - 6 weeks.
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Cabinet Office - Civil Contingencies Secretariat
Budget range
We anticipate the work to be contained within a 100k budget.

About the work

Why the work is being done
We wish to explore the capability of Communications Providers (CPS) in particular the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to deliver messages to citizens 'mobile' phones within a prescribed geographical area in Britain. This constitutes an "alerting" or "notification" scheme. We Wish to explore an "opt-out" scheme whereby messages will be "pushed" to phones. We envisage the scheme to be potentially used for non-specific major incidents that start with little or no notice. Looking forward, this work could form part of a significant programme. This work package is to be completed during the early part of Spring 2018.
Problem to be solved
We seek independent insight as to: what resource each of the four MNOs might need to apply in terms of new equipment and capabilities to deliver an alerting service; technical options for sending messages to customers (we are aware of at least two); constraints on messaging capabilities and ability of the recipient to authenticate the sender; estimate of time from the MNOs receiving the message and target area from the police to 'phones receiving the message; trends in mobile technology relevant to messaging and citizens preferences relating to using phones for interacting and anything else you regard as relevant.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The police are likely to originate the content of a message and identify a target geographical area for delivery. The message Will be sent securely to the MNO's. On receipt, the MNOs will send the message to their customers in the target area. It is intended that citizens receiving the message will act in a way to reduce overall harm and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the response to the incident. We are conscious that the message will be potentially received on all customer phones.
Early market engagement
Early market engagement did not result in broadening the requirements.
Any work that’s already been done
The Civil Contingencies Secretariat in Cabinet Office conducted trials of an alerting scheme in 2013. A report is available via the link under heading in the left-hand menu "4 Evaluating the trails' here: https:/ public-emergency-alerts-mobile-alerting-trials#evaluating-the-trials. We are conscious that the technical and commercial landscapes have undergone a lot of recent change.
Existing team
Dr Nigel Brown will lead engagement between the single supplier selected to undertake the work and Ben Platt will provide a coordination role on behalf of the Cabinet Office.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Cabinet Office, Civil Contingencies Secretariat, 35 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BQ.
Working arrangements
We feel that our requirement is best met in two stages. Stage 2 is to be contingent on the first Stage. Stage I: Insights gained from existing experience within the selected supplier. A face-to-face presentation of the initial insights will help to inform the next stage and decision as to whether to proceed. Stage 2: engagement, as appropriate, with the four MNOs and other appropriate suppliers of network equipment and services . We anticipate timely engagement with the client during the entire programme leading to a final succinct report. We envisage this work to be fixed-price and include expenses.
Security clearance
Inessential for this phase.

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
  • Demonstrate understanding of the UK telecommunications technical landscape
  • Demonstrate understanding of the UK telecommunications commercial landscape
  • Demonstrate understanding of the difference between "opt-in" and "opt-out" alerting schemes
  • Demonstrate understanding that a scheme needs to be capable of evolving and insight into future trends
  • Demonstrate understanding of capabilities and trends of mobile 'phones e.g. can a hibernated device be turned on remotely display capabilities
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate appreciation of societal communication preferences on mobile ‘phones
  • Ability to think outside the conventional compartmentalised approach
  • Appreciate the "bigger picture" in which an alerting scheme may fit
  • Appreciate how cost-savings and efficiency and effectiveness gains could be made in delivering "emergency response" capabilities

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Clear and logical approach
  • Identification of the key issues
  • Appreciation of the tight timescale
  • Specific expertise delivered by named individuals
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Proactive
  • Be constructive in seeking "win-win" outcomes with the "supply-side" aspirations
  • Be able to clearly identify where there is gap between government and "supply-side" aspirations
  • Be alert and sensitive to government's wider relations with the "supply-side"
  • Provide robust challenge without being adversarial
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please clarify the expected start date for Discovery? Closing date for DOS applications is Tuesday 16 Jan, but expected start date is given as Monday 15 Jan. We would expect at least 2-4 weeks after application closing before starting.
We are keen to start this work as soon as possible, start dates will be dictated by following appropriate evaluation processes. The expected start date for discovery is early February.
2. Is this work due to start 15th of January and run for 4 to 6 weeks? Meaning an early March completion? In the section Why is this work being undertaken - it states the work package is to be completed in the Spring. Can you confirm the timing expectation?
We are keen to start and complete this work as soon as possible but of course allow time for appropriate consideration. The start date for discovery will be early February 2018 and is expected to take 4 - 6 weeks.
3. Is there a specified budget for this work?
The budget for this discovery phase is outlined in the statement of requirements. The budget is a maximum of £100k.
4. It this work expected to be more technical capability analysis or business and user research?
The discovery phase is expected to explore the current technical capability.
5. The 100k budget that is mentioned, is that for stage 1 and does this figure exclude VAT?
The budget for the work is inclusive of VAT.
6. Would the Cabinet Office consider a specialist working remotely in a European country with visits to the UK when required?
All suppliers meeting the criteria outlined in the statement of requirements will be considered. Considerations for travel costs and appropriate engagement will need to be outlines in the proposal.
7. Could you confirm if both stages 1 and 2 are expected to be incorporated within the 4-6 week timescale mentioned?
The expectation is for the selected supplier to complete stages 1 and 2 within the 4-6 week time frame. However as specified, stage 2 is contingent on the findings from stage 1.
8. Please could you clarify the expected start date for the contract (currently stated as 15 January, but submission deadline is 16 January) and can you outline the expected process for the procurement after this stage? Many thanks
We are keen to start and complete this work as soon as possible but of course allow time for appropriate consideration. The start date for discovery is early February and expected to take 4 - 6 weeks. The standard process set out on the digital market place "Digital Outcomes and Specialists buyers' guide" will be followed.