Awarded to Automation Logic

Start date: Friday 22 June 2018
Value: £4,800,000
Company size: SME
Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO)

Home Office on behalf of Her Majesty’s Passport-Digital Services Support Team-extended hours support

5 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 1 large

6 Completed applications

4 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Tuesday 13 February 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 20 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 27 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The Application Support Team will provide Level 2/3 support for HMPO Digital Services. This requirement is for extended hours support.
Latest start date
Thursday 1 March 2018
Expected contract length
Up to 2 years
Organisation the work is for
Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO)
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
HMPO’s 2020 vision moves passport applications online for the majority of customers. New online services require a robust Level 2/3 support provision.
Problem to be solved
Level 2/3 digital services support provision to be in place to meet new online service requirements.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As part of the Digital Services Support Team, I need to be able to confidently provide level 2/3 support to ensure the integrity and reliability of digital passport application services.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Level 1 service desk is in place as a shared service
Level 3 application support is provided by the development team
Existing team
The supplier will be working with:
- An existing shared Level 1 service desk
- Two mixed (multi-supplier and HMPO staff) software development teams building and improving the services
- The Cloud platform team (multi-supplier and HMPO staff) providing development operations support to the teams, and managing the production and pre-production platforms on which they run.

The supplier will also be required to work with the other organisations (commercial and other government departments) that have interfaces with the services being supported.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Initially, Clive House, Petty France, London. There is potential for remote working following completion of training.
Working arrangements
We expect the supplier to :
- Work collaboratively with existing cross-functional teams transforming passport application provision
- Align service design and development with the HMPO strategic technical architecture and technologies
Security clearance
SC Clearance is required. HM Passport Office will support the clearance process

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
  • Experience providing application support and fault diagnostics to public-facing web services
  • Experience providing support to complex cloud-based applications using the following technologies: Java, Javascript (Node.js), RabbitMQ, Kibana, and Grafana.
  • Experience providing support to services that support high transaction volumes
  • Experience providing support to government online services meeting the Digital Service Standard
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • We want an established team who have a good working relationship – who can work well together and blend their skills set together to meet demanding objectives
  • Proven experience of working in an agile development environment
  • Experience providing incident support and contributing to problem management in ITIL-based service management
  • Jenkins and/or continuous integration

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets your organisation’s policy or goal
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Value for money
  • Evidence of ability to provide high quality professionals
  • Evidence of ability to manage team changes (eg succession planning/substitution plan) to minimise impact on service
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. CORRECTION TO SUMMARY OF ROLE. Please see response.
The summary of role should read - The Digital Services Support Team will provide Level 2/3 support for HMPO Digital Services. This requirement is for extended hours support.
2. What training is provided? What is viable training window (prior to remote working)?
Training will be on-site (London, 70 Petty France) and with the digital delivery teams. A period of co-working with the delivery teams will ensure that knowledge of the system(s) is obtained. Expected training window is 1-3 months with responsibility gradually increasing over this time.
3. What is future Change Programme?
The Future Change Programme is HMPO's transformation plan looking forward to 2020. It aims to deliver a digital passport application capability, which (for some user types) will be entirely automated. Post-transformation HMPO will implementing a new Target Operating Model including digital service support teams.
4. What are expected SLAs / KPIs?
The service does not currently have SLAs/KPIs in place as it is underdevelopment and not yet mature. However both SLAs/KPIs will be developed with development and support teams going forward.
5. What is scope of L2 Service and associated metrics - Expected Incident Volumes - Any service requests / Account / User management - Health-checks required / Event Management - Patching / Maintenance Schedule
Yes, Health checks: Yes, once training is complete it will be expected that support teams perform health checks on service to prevent incidents occurring, patching: yes
6. What is the underlying Infrastructure / platform?
DCS and DAP are both Node.JS and Java applications hosted on Amazon Web Services.
7. ''Experience providing application support and fault diagnostics to public-facing web services.'' - Please can you clarify what you mean by fault diagnostics?
'Fault diagnostics' refers to the proactive work to develop and deploy tools that indicate risks to the service and reactive work to investigate the root cause of service interruptions.
8. Experience providing incident support and contributing to problem management in ITIL-based service management Jenkins and/or continuous integration’’ - please can you confirm what you mean by this as it doesn’t read well?
Potential suppliers should have previous experience providing structured incident support (including resolution and triage). Suppliers should be familiar with continuous integration software and the pattern of deployment for agile teams.
9. You talk about requiring ‘’Experience providing support to complex cloud-based applications using the following technologies: Java, Javascript (Node.js), RabbitMQ, Kibana, and Grafana’’ - are these pre-existing services provided centrally or do these applications have its own instance?
Monitoring and analytics tools are dedicated instances provided solely to support DCS and DAP.
10. Please could you throw some light on size of the team and the skill-level of the resources you are looking at?
A team of 3-4 persons to begin with. This will form the basis of the Digital Support Team. Skills would be suitable for junior DevOps/Developers
11. Would the proposed resources work within a centralised team or would they be embedded in multiple work streams?
Across multiple Digital work streams for training, with potential to exist as a centralised team going forward.
12. What have been your sources to fulfill resources requirements on the project - is the existing team made up of only contractors, resources from multiple vendors or resources from a single vendor?
Combination of civil servants and contractors from multiple vendors.
13. What is the current team structure?
The current teams are composed of a combination of civil servants and contractors from multiple vendors. Delivery teams sit below a delivery manager and delivery is split between the platform, DCS (customer facing web based service) and DAP, (back end architecture and business facing components).
14. Would it be possible to clarify whether this is only for support for out of hours, or will it include daytime support as well?
Support is required for 'extended hours' - these are currently 8am to 10pm weekdays and 9am to 5pm weekends. We would expect the supplier to work with the project team to develop a support rota within these times that reflects the needs of the project at the time and evolves as needs change.
15. Would this team be a single team or would they be distributed?
During training / onboarding the supplier's staff would join the development teams (6 scrum teams) on rotation for knowledge transfer. After this the supplier's staff would work as a distinct application support team.
16. Do you need any other support roles over and above Engineering, for example: Delivery Manager?
No, not anticipated currently
17. Would the proposed team be managed independently or would they be managed by the Central Platforms team?
The application support team would be aligned to and managed by the project team delivering the new DCS and DAP applications.
18. Approximately what do you envisage the call volumes to be?
Incident and call volumes are currently low - less than 10 per week. The support team is being sought now to provide capacity for both DCS and DAP applications to scale in usage and complexity. We envisage the workload will initially - after knowledge transfer - be primarily concerned with iterating and improving application monitoring so incidents can be identified before they are service-affecting.
19. Can the extended hours support be carried out remotely or will you require the team on site?
Extended hours support to be carried out remotely once training period complete.
20. Can you please clarify the exact hours that this service needs to cover? For instance, is it core hours and extended hours OR just the extended hours?
Core hours and extended hours
21. What is the potential for remote working in multiple locations? Would this require dedicated networks or just dedicated IT devices (Laptops)?
Working from multiple locations is fine so long as they are appropriate for the work being undertaken and not at the total exclusion of contact time with the development teams.

HMPO will provide laptops with appropriate security measures and VPN access to the services.
22. Regarding the correction in the summary for this bid - does this mean the project is just for 'extended hours' (out of normal working hours), or is it both - during the working day and extended hours?
Core hours and extended hours
23. The submission date for the first stage is the 27th February but opportunity states the latest start date for the piece of work is the 1st March. Is this correct? There is no obvious time for the second stage (RFP, evaluation etc) if successful
There is no obvious time for the second stage (RFP, evaluation etc) if successful. Start date will be moved back to accommodate commercial process. Support teams to commence as soon as possible.
24. Are you looking for out of hours support only, if so what times or is it 24/7?
Core hours and extended hours . Examiners work until 10pm. Would need cover up until this point.
25. Please could you advise what the budget is for the work?
26. Do you have a budget in mind for this?