Awarded to Zaizi Limited

Start date: Thursday 31 May 2018
Value: £4,000,500
Company size: SME
Home Office, Border Force

Digitisation of Processes for Border Force Officers

12 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 7 large

8 Completed applications

5 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Wednesday 14 February 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 21 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 28 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Border Force Officers use a suite of legacy tooling, this work will digitise process around most common use cases – typically of the nature of data capture, workflow and present a Management Information dashboard.
The project will take design patterns from design phase to scale up to meet delivery needs.
Latest start date
Monday 9 April 2018
Expected contract length
2 years
Organisation the work is for
Home Office, Border Force
Budget range
Between £3.5m £4.5m over two years (excl VAT)

The initial statement of work is expected to be around £0.6m - £1m to deliver an exemplar into live service and need a cross functional team in place.
Further tools are then expected to provide a consistent look and feel to end users.
For the purpose of overall price evaluation, assume all roles will be required for work package duration of 126 working days*. Separate day rates and role details should be supplied with details of management processes, mitigations for poor service delivery, staff handover/turnover, quality maintenance and corrective actions.

About the work

Why the work is being done
This work is required to address many of the deficiencies in day to day operational use and digitise process alongside the rollout of new technology – new laptops, smartphones and integration with cloud based solutions.

The initial project expects to provide a new capability, replacing a legacy reporting solution, but will set the precedence and develop common services to roll out further solutions (through further statement of works).

We expect solutions to adopt mobile first and strong focus on user needs. All solutions should be built to standards and practices set by Government Digital Services (GDS).
Problem to be solved
Much of the incumbent solutions are locally built solutions based on Excel and Access which do not scale to meet the present multi-user requirements or meet our ambition for becoming a more data driven organisation.
The solutions should be driven by user and business need and consider open source solutions first. Technology choices to be made with the Border Force Technology Architecture team focusing on lowering the cost of technology and build and consume shared services .
Development of the applications must meet all Government Digital Service Standards and be well documented to meet reviews by the Technical Design Authority.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users are largely based in the UK, with some in juxtaposed sites and some further overseas. Solutions will therefore need to work (or degrade) to work over some lower speed links.
Early market engagement
There has been no early market engagement.
Any work that’s already been done
An initial solution is being built to prove out a proposed technology stack and help de risk implementation, showing use of Home Office tool and integration with PowerBI for MI. Training will be provided on the tools used for SDLC, the runtime environment and, where they exist, proven design patterns.
Existing team
Home Office will provide a Product Owner, Business Change Management and Technical and Data Architectural oversight/direction and support through the technical governance process. Further discussions will then be had with the winners of this outcome to ensure a successful outcome.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The work is predominantly based in Croydon, but may also involve attendance at other locations as necessary. Proposals of remote working at a different location will be considered as will a combination of co-location and remote working.
Working arrangements
Your response should set out how you could maintain the availability of your services over time, and your ability to supply a team to the required level.

The Home Office reserves the right to both extend and shorten the services provision period, subject to discussion with the preferred supplier(s).

Expenses will conform to HO internal policies and will not be payable within the M25 geographic radius.

The team is expected to work across the multiple sites, the main site is expected to be Croydon and to be available during standard HO working hours.
Security clearance
All staff engaged on the programme must currently hold or already be progressing through security clearance of Security Check (SC) level. Staff cannot commence work until SC clearance has been confirmed.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
This contract would probably be deemed outside the intermediaries’ legislation (IR35), HO assumes no liability and will grant no guarantee of status.
IPR and any Developed Technology will rest with HO. HO tools will be used for the Software Development Lifecycle

The Contractor will warrants to the Authority that all components of the Developed Technology shall: (a) be free from defects in material and workmanship; and (b) perform in all material respects in accordance with the agreed specifications

A written proposal is required at the stage of RFP and suppliers may be invited to provide a presentation of their response.

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
  • • Proven experience of developing user-led progressive web applications – capable of running on smartphones and browsers and require minimal user training.
  • • Discovery phase has identified a need to use workflow which we expect to open source tool (BPMN 2 compliant) – demonstrate experience to delivering solutions with this technology.
  • • Knowledge of Java 8, Spring Boot, NodeJS, HTML5/CSS, Docker and Kubernetes, SOAP, REST and GitHub/GitLab in line with Border Force preferred technology.
  • • Proven experience of building simple / lightweight microservice architectures and use of containerisations and cluster management, as well as integrating COTS/packaged solutions to best meet user needs.
  • • Provide evidence of resources capable of providing 2nd/3rd line support for the digital solution to support users during incremental delivery during office hours.
  • • Proven experience building services on AWS and Azure
  • • Microsoft partner and experience of successfully delivering solutions with PowerBI, Border Force’s chosen MI solution
  • • Proven experience conducting and documenting user research, and iterating project work accordingly.
  • • Demonstrate engineering excellence and data design experience and providing thought leadership to ensure solutions are well architected to meet business needs
  • • Proven experience delivering projects using the agile project management methodology
  • • Demonstrate understanding and ability to deliver digital services/products and proven track record of delivering solutions which meet the Government Digital Service standards.
  • • Demonstrate a ‘secure by design’ approach and experience of coordinating Security Health Check, Penetration Testing, Service Readiness, and release reviews as part of quality and acceptance tests.
  • • Previous successful experience delivering digital services within Government in line with NCSC standards.
  • • Proven ability to support and improve the solution once live.
  • Proven experience of building in house capability for the authority– support for recruitment, training and mentoring to leave a sustainable function for Border Force.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • • Domain knowledge of Border management - understand issues pertaining to applying security checks to individuals and freight travelling across borders.
  • • Proven track record of building cloud services with a High Availability and a focus on services being able to recover from interruptions automatically.
  • • Proven track record of building services automated testing procedures.
  • • A track record of successfully delivering IT projects within public sector organisations
  • • Provide evidence for how the supplier could cover 2nd/3rd line support for the digital solution may include extended business hours (0800-2000).
  • • Previous experience of working successfully with provisions for an offline user interface
  • • Use and knowledge of an appropriate data stores e.g managed services in AWS and Azure and appropriate db choice, to central data services
  • • Use and knowledge of CI tooling such Drone, Jenkins
  • • Focus on User needs will expect solutions to support single sign-on and integrate with Home Office tooling including Keycloak/RedHat SSO and AD/ADFS.
  • • Experience of tooling and monitoring solutions - preferred tooling of ELK and Sysdig
  • • Demonstrate experience of writing cloud native / 12-factor apps
  • • Demonstrate a knowledge of working with 3rd parties to develop standard interfaces and data exchange portals.
  • • Proven track record in the development of automated testing procedures.
  • • Have experience of successfully transitioning projects into a live service environment within a government department within the last 18 months
  • • Have availability of resources to be able to start as soon as possible
  • • Awareness and experience of wider Government work and services, eg. Notify, Registers.
  • • Ability to demonstrate how built an open collaborative relationship with the Authority.
  • • Demonstrate innovation to lower costs such as distributed working for parts of delivery.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • • All essential and nice to have requirements will be evaluated further as part of the overall proposal criteria below
  • • 2nd stage Evaluation criteria have 8 categories: Specific Competencies 40%, Plan for initial phase 25%.
  • • Specific Competencies: Includes all essential and nice to have technology criteria with evidence of using in services responsible for delivering. CVs of proposed team to demonstrate experience.
  • • Specific Competencies: Includes all essential and nice to have business and project plan
  • • Written response as to the type of agile delivery criteria method proposed
  • • Specific Competencies: Ability to transfer to Business as Usual and establish/build capability for the supplier.
  • • Plan: Quality of strawman approach/plan for first phase of engagement and statement of work, including user research and how will deliver engineering excellence.
  • • Policy: Solutions to run in Cloud, preference for Open Source
  • • Methodology: Agile in line with practices informed by Government Digital Service
  • • Security: Compliance with people security requirements
Cultural fit criteria
  • • Experience working with public sector organisations
  • • Work collaboratively with key contacts in Home Office
  • • Transparency in decision-making
  • • Strong pro-active approach to incident and problem management
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. You mention an existing team, what are your plans for that team going forward either in this format/composition or other?
A small team has been brought together under a central Borders CTO function to bootstrap the work and is likely to be around to support, advise and assure the delivery of solutions under this DOS outcome.
2. Have you got a preferred technology stack?
Yes, we have a preferred technology stack. For this engagement, the key technologies are listed under 'Essential skills and experience'
3. Cabinet Office has stated in the HMG Personnel Security Controls that Government policy is "that individuals should not be expected to hold an existing security clearance in order to apply for posts that require vetting", yet you ask for candidates to "already be progressing through security clearance". Can you explain why you are not following Government policy?
The Cabinet Office Policy you state is correct. It will be useful if specialists already hold SC clearance or are progressing this clearance. This will not form part of the evaluation process and the Authority will edit this requirement to ensure this is clear.
4. The term capped time and materials is applied inconsistently across DOS opportunities. - Some define a T&M project as one where there is a fixed budget and at the point at which the budget runs out the project stops. Good communication over the "definition of done" prevents poor project performance. Others definine project outputs at the outset, which are expected to be achieved by a supplier at their own cost, regardless of how long it takes to deliver. Can you give us your definition?
The definition of capped time and materials is provided in Schedule 3 Statement of Work of the call-off contract in the following clause:
3.4.3 If a capped or fixed price has been agreed for a SOW:
● The Supplier will continue at its own cost and expense to provide the Services even where the agreed price has been exceeded; and
● The Buyer will have no obligation or liability to pay for the cost of any Services delivered relating to this order after the agreed price has been exceeded.
5. We will process BPSS checks before starting but would need BF to support SC clearance, seeking waivers if necessary to start work while clearance is underway as we cannot guarantee it at commencement (consistent with other engagements at the Home Office). Is this acceptable?
Border Force will support SC clearance. Please note Clause 4. Staff vetting procedures, sub clause 4.1 will apply. This states "All Supplier Staff will need to be cleared to the level determined by the Buyer prior to the commencement of work."
6. What is meant by an offline user interface? Is this an application that runs on your device and continues to work in the absence of network connection?
For mobile apps, we may want to persist the state of a form locally (browser) on a mobile device and send through when network connection is resumed to give a good user experience.
7. In the relation to your bullet point: “Proven experience of building in house capability for the authority– support for recruitment, training and mentoring to leave a sustainable function for Border Force.” Can you please clarify who you mean when you state “the authority”, is it Border Force, Home Office or the UK Government in general?
For clarification, this is the experience of building capability for a large/complex organisation, ideally in the public sector – not necessarily Border Force. We see this as beginning to build an internal capability to continue to iterate and improve services. Please see: