Awarded to NQC Ltd

Start date: Tuesday 10 April 2018
Value: £2,085,280
Company size: SME
Crown Commercial Service

Noticing System

6 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 3 large

14 Completed applications

9 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Wednesday 31 January 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 7 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 14 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Based on an existing service, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) wishes to develop online services to enable UK public sector bodies to publish an extended range of e-notices accessible to businesses and other users in a transparent manner in line with the Government Digital Standards.
Latest start date
Friday 30 March 2018
Expected contract length
2 years, including period of UAT, onboarding and post development hosting and support.
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Crown Commercial Service
Budget range
The total contract value is expected to be up to £4m

About the work

Why the work is being done
CCS is responsible for providing an e-notice service to public sector organisations to enable them to meet their legal and policy obligations.

Transition of the service to the new arrangements needs to be complete by the end of October 2018. The current service will continue with some enhancement to meet future user needs.

In addition, a new service on the same platform will be required to support a significant number of new notice types. Development and testing of the new service needs to be complete by September 2018 to facilitate onboarding of users by the end of March 2019.
Problem to be solved
Users need to find notices published by public sector organisations on current and new services in a straightforward and transparent manner via online search, dashboards and data outputs.

For both services, data input and output will be via a web user interface, XML, csv and JSON upload/download, inbound API and imports from third party systems, and SAML based authentication.

Publishers need to be able to manage their notices. Registration of users will be via a pre-existing system (LAMP based). The new service will be deployed to a dedicated environment for extensive user testing. Both services require hosting and support.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a Public Sector user, I need to publish and manage a range of e-notices (by web, API or upload) to meet my legal and policy obligations.

As a Private Sector user, I need to be able to search for, view and set up alerts for notices published by public sector users.

As a Data user, I need to be able to access search and download the notice data for re-use (by web user interface, XML, csv and JSON outbound API).

As the service owner I need reliable secure systems, compliant with the Government Digital Standards and comprehensive management information.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The current service has been developed over the last 12 months, will need to be migrated as-is and then is then expected to only require maintenance over the next 18 months.

Some discovery work has been done which outlines requirements and potential delivery models.

A comprehensive legal analysis of the additional notices required for the new service has been completed. In addition, a logical analysis of the requirements shows that the number of notices can be rationalised.

The discovery documentation and analysis will be made available to the successful Supplier.
Existing team
The CCS team consists of a policy delivery team based in Norwich and a Digital Services Team based in London.

The Digital Services Team comprises a dedicated Delivery Manager, Product Manager, User Researcher and Business Analyst.

The supplier will be required to work alongside both existing teams.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Norwich / London
Working arrangements
It is anticipated that day-to-day contact will be via telephone and/or email, as required.
Daily stand-ups and weekly meetings will be required, conducted via teleconference or Google hangout.
The supplier will need to visit Crown Commercial Service offices for meetings, as agreed and some co-located working may be required.
Travel costs should be included in the overall rate.
CCS will provide the backlog of development work that will be agreed on a per sprint basis as a Statement of Work against given estimates. Some discovery work may also be required and can be included in the SOW.
Security clearance
The delivery partner’s personnel should have Security Clearance or be willing to undergo Security Clearance. Evidence of existing clearance will be requested at the proposal stage and the selected supplier is expected to hold or have applied for CTC level clearance by the commencement start date of this work.

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
  • Evidence experience of delivering services and solutions in the public sector of similar size and complexity (4%)
  • Two years experience of working on agile projects as part of a multidisciplinary team, as outlined in the Government Service Design Manual and Digital Service Standard. (2%)
  • Two years experience of architecting and developing scalable services using public cloud technologies, service-oriented architecture, microservices, security and integration (4%)
  • Two years experience of database development, document storage and processing.(3%)
  • Two years experience of defining and structuring a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) (4%)
  • Two years experience of hosting and supporting ‘live’ operational services while implementing new functions (3%)
  • Two years experience of developing, web user interfaces, with APIs, JSON and XML interfaces for input and output of data (4%)
  • Two years experience of successful onboarding of data publishers using APIs, JSON and XML interfaces for input and output of data. (4%)
  • Two years experience of prototyping and testing with users and stakeholders. (2%)
  • Two years experience of combining user research, service design and developer expertise. (3%)
  • Two years experience of delivering solutions which take into account the varying needs of different user groups, including those with low IT literacy or accessibility needs (1%)
  • Two years experience of transferring knowledge to internal staff (1%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience and understanding of public sector e-noticing platforms or similar. (3%)
  • Two years experience of user experience (UX) design (1%)
  • Experience and understanding of Open Data principles. (1%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of requirements and policy goals (3%)
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs (3%)
  • Proposed technical solution - how you will approach delivering a minimum viable product to meet project aims (3%)
  • Timeframes - estimated time for the work to be undertaken (3%)
  • Team structure, covering product, infrastructure setup and maintenance, ongoing prototyping and design, software delivery and content (3%)
  • How they've identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (3%)
  • How value for money will be delivered (2%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience of successful collaborative working as part of a mixed supplier-client delivery team sharing knowledge within the team. (3%)
  • Experience delivering in an open, collaborate, agile way according to the principles outlined in the Government Service Design Manual. (3%)
  • Experience of working with clients / team members with low technical expertise (2%)
  • Demonstrate simplicity (e.g. do less but better, explaining complex issues in a clear, simple way, break down and prioritise complex issues) (2%)
  • Presentation (10%)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you clarify the Assessment Methods please? It is listed as 'Written Proposal' but the Cultural Fit criteria mentions a presentation.
The Assessment Method will be both Written Proposal followed by a Presentation. Shortlisted bidders will be required to present on their proposal.
2. Are you expecting the supplier to provide a physical hosting arrangement for this solution or to design, organise and supervise a cloud hosting solution for the duration of the contract period?
Bidders should be aware it is HMG Policy that cloud service shall be considered first before considering any other hosting options. Whichever hosting infrastructure is proposed, the Supplier shall need to include in the proposal appropriate resource to evidence that the security risk is within the Departmental risk appetite. The proposal must include any costs associated with the design, development, implementation, operation, maintenance and disposal of all components needed to deliver the services. This includes the provisioning of any infrastructure hosting facilities needed to support the delivery of the service.
3. Could you please explain the request for 'Two years' experience. Do you envisage the 'situation' (project) as having a duration of two years or is it the suppliers overall experience and capability in the given discipline? If so can we just state "We have > two years experience..."
This is in relation to the bidders overall experience and capability. Bidders will be expected to provide evidence of where / how the two years experience was gained and how this experience is relevant to this opportunity.
4. Could CCS please provide some additional information on the existing service, such as its public URL, software technologies involved, etc.?
The existing service, Contracts Finder [] is built as a conventional LAMP service [].
Code is deployed via RPM [] onto conventional virtual machines which in turn are deployed in secure environment with expected intrusion protection and other security devices.
User authentication through the Supplier Registration Service for Government is via SAML [].
5. Is it possible for non-DOS suppliers to bid for this opportunity?
This is a DOS Framework further competition and as such is only open to DOS Framework suppliers.
6. You mention the existing service will need to be migrated as is, is that just the transition of services to a new supplier to support or is there a requirement for it to be migrated to a new hosting platform?
This relates to the transition of services to a new supplier. It is expected that this will require migration to a new hosting platform.
7. Are you able to give examples of e-notices and situations where they would be sent?
Examples of existing notices are available via the current service []
8. Will the existing service continue on after the new service is developed? If so, will the two systems need to communicate with each other?
Yes. It is anticipated that the existing service will continue once development of the new service is complete. The two systems will need to communicate as it is anticipated there will be some shared content. Bidders are encouraged to consider how best to manage this in their proposal.
9. What type level of support do you require? e.g. UK business working hours, technical support only or user support as well?
Support will be required for technical queries and available as a minimum during UK business working hours with an option to provide out of hours cover.
10. Can you provide an indication of the volume & frequency of e-notices that get added to the existing system?
Approximately 40,000 notices are published to the site per annum.
11. Can you provide an indication of the number of private and public-sector users?
The current service has over approximately 40,000 registered public and private sector users.
12. Can you provide any analytics for usage on the existing system and any anticipated uplift on this for the new system (if any)?
In 2017 the current service received 8.7m page views from 900,000 unique visitors.
Approximately 40,000 notices are published per annum.
It is anticipated that uplift for the new system will be an additional 100%.
13. Considering the multiple elements required (UAT, onboarding, migration, hosting, licencing & support) is there a preferred split of the budget over the 2-year period?
There is no preferred split of the budget. Bidder's proposals must include any costs associated with the design, development, implementation, operation, maintenance and disposal of all components needed to deliver the services.
14. Would operational costs be taken from the budget given?
Yes, operational costs are included in the estimated budget identified within this advert.
15. Are we correct to assume that the next phase of work would be an Alpha, and if so, would the scope already be defined?
The next stage is an Alpha with some scope defined. The scope will also be informed by the successful bidders proposed solution.
16. When providing evidence of 2 years of experience (e.g. UX) are we permitted to refer to cumulative experience or evidence more than one project?
Yes, experience can cover multiple projects over a cumulative period. Bidders will be expected to provide evidence of where / how the two years experience was gained and how this experience is relevant to this opportunity.
17. Will the details of existing users need to be migrated across the new system or would you expect them to re-register?
Users of the existing service register via the Supplier Registration Service for Government and will continue to do so. Registered users data on the current service will need to be imported into the new system.
18. Are there any notices that result in a transaction process, or are notices purely informational?
Notices are published for information purposes. Related transactions take place on the systems used by public sector users.
19. What specific additional roles (over and above the existing team) would you see being filled by the supplier?
The proposal must include details of supplier based roles to meet the requirement working with the existing team. In addition, the supplier may be required to provide additional roles to work with the existing team as determined by the outcome of Discovery.
20. You have highlighted that the Assessment Method will be both Written Proposal followed by a Presentation and that shortlisted bidders will be required to present on their proposal. Can you confirm the planned timeline for the next stage, when is it likely to commence, how long shortlisted bidders will have to respond and when the presentations might be held?
We expect to notify shortlisted bidders on 22nd February.
They will be invited to submit a written proposal by 1st March.
Presentations are expected to take place between 7th and 9th March.

This is subject to change. Full details and confirmed timelines will be provided to the shortlisted suppliers.
21. Do you have any standards or compliance requirements for document management that must be followed, and if so, please reference?
The call-off contract includes clauses relating to document management.

Bidders are advised to consider the NCSC Security Design Principles [] and ensure that any documentation produced, received and stored shall have appropriate protection in place to prevent the confidentiality, availability and integrity being compromised.
22. Would the system need to handle any regulatory compliance, or would it be done offline?
With relation to the contract, regulatory compliance (e.g. Data Protection, FOI) is covered by clauses within the call-off contract.

With relation to the service meeting users legal obligations. It is the responsibility of the users to ensure the notices that they publish are compliant with the relevant regulations. The service will be expected to identify mandatory fields and prompt users when they have not been completed.