Foreign and Commonwealth Office Open Source Unit

FCO cloud analysis tool development

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
4 SME, 0 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
1 SME, 2 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 1 February 2018
Deadline for asking questions Monday 5 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 8 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Specialist role Developer
Summary of the work Front-end development for a government analytical could application.
Latest start date Thursday 1 March 2018
Expected contract length 4 - 6 weeks
Location London
Organisation the work is for Foreign and Commonwealth Office Open Source Unit
Maximum day rate

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Early market engagement We are conducting a user-needs collation exercise which should be finalised prior to the specialist arriving. It will be important to incorporate the findings of this into the front-end development.
Who the specialist will work with The specialist will be working with the FCO data science team, which sits within the FCO's Open Source Unit (OSU). There is a possibility that we will also seek help from other external experts, who will also form part of the project team.
What the specialist will work on The FCO are developing a cloud application to help users extract information from text. The back-end of the platform is being built in house by the OSU data science team using natural language processes combined with Elasticsearch, using flask on AWS. We require a front-end developer to:

- build an interface allowing users to interrogate the data indexed in Elasticsearch
- visualise metrics return by Elasticsearch queries
- implement a geographic representation of query results
- implement a facility for users to post comments

A handover will be required in case future changes to the work are necessary.

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Work will be done in the FCO's London office in King Charles Street London. Some work can be done off site if the specialist wants or needs to, but the specialist must be present two days per week to enable effective discussion and decision making.
Working arrangements We would like the individual to:
Be comfortable talking to non-technical staff and translating their requirements into technical terms
Be a good listener
Where appropriate, propose changes to processes
We would like to be able to send the specialist unaccompanied to meet technical and non-technical staff, confident that they will be respectful, productive, and represent the Digital transformation unit well.
Security clearance FCO offices are secure buildings and the specialist will required SC clearance. The timeframe of the project will not allow sufficient time for clearance to be arranged for specialists that do not currently have it.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Standard contract

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
  • Demonstrable experience of developing user-friendly, visually engaging cloud applications - 20 points
  • Demonstrable experience in interacting with Elasticsearch or another API based data source - 20 points
  • Demonstrable experience in developing interactive data visualisations - 15 points
  • Demonstrable experience in developing interactive geospatial visualisations - 15 points
  • Working in an agile team to deliver software based on user requirements - 10 points
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many specialists to evaluate 3
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrable experience of Working with technical and non-technical staff to understand requirements
  • Demonstrable experience of building good relationships and trust with teams both with and without departmental sponsors
  • Demonstrable experience of quickly joining teams and understanding their needs
  • Demonstrable experience working in an agile manner
Assessment methods Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Can the authority please confirm whether the contract will be inside or outside of IR35? The FCO shall consider whether a handover period can be inserted into the contract which enables the FCO to buy a service (linked to milestones and/or sprints) rather than resources, which remain inside the scope of IR35.
Further discussions shall take place on this with the successful supplier at the appropriate stage of the procurement.
2. Is there a potential to extend past the stated duration? There is potential, but no guarantee.
3. Do you have a preference for the technologies used in front-end development? If so, please could you give a list / indication? We are open-minded about this. Open source solutions would be preferable.
4. Is MOD SC clearance acceptable? Probably – we will confirm once clarified internally.
5. As this is Technically and Price sensitive, please can you advise a budget for this role, Thank you. We have an upper ceiling of £20k.
6. Grateful if you can clarify the weighting percentages as when I looked, they do not equal 100% Thanks for flagging this to us. We have checked and can confirm that they do not equate to those weighting figures originally advertised. We have not yet confirmed but here are the provisional weightings at present.