Awarded to Difrent

Start date: Monday 4 June 2018
Value: £950,000
Company size: SME
Public Health England (PHE)

Public Health England (PHE) Intranet

8 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 1 large

6 Completed applications

5 SME, 1 large

Important dates

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


Summary of the work
To develop Beta and potentially Live intranet for Public Health England based upon existing Discovery, Alpha, and technical appraisal work already conducted.
Latest start date
Monday 4 June 2018
Expected contract length
24 months
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Public Health England (PHE)
Budget range
Up to £1,030,000 (including VAT) for Beta and Live.

About the work

Why the work is being done
PHE is a young organisation, made up from a multitude of pre-existing bodies that have been operating (as an executive agency) since 2013. PHE’s current intranet is an interim solution, developed during the formation of the organisation. The intranet is no longer fit for purpose as it does not meet the needs of the organisation and was not built using GDS’s principles. This is an Exemplar project and its outcomes are intended to demonstrate and support the aspirations for cultural change within PHE.
Problem to be solved
The symptomatic problems to be solved are those of users not being able to find information or access the services. The more fundamental challenges are of having an intranet that meets the current and future requirements of the organisation. Including access to services people need (e.g. employing a new member of staff) in a redesigned way. The Intranet is expected to include functionality such as collaborative working and extranet.
Who the users are and what they need to do
PHE staff across the organisation and potentially people in other government departments, local government, NDPB’s, charities and suppliers.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
PHE has developed an existing intranet that contains much of the information that will be used in the future intranet. Discovery and Alpha phases of service design have been conducted. A detailed market and functional assessment of CMSs and other technologies has been conducted. There is also some work on information architecture and a digital review has been conducted that outlines the future role of PHE in a digital society.
Existing team
The work will be with the PHE Digital team, PHE ICT team and staff across the whole organisation and with a national network of stakeholders potentially including partner organisations and suppliers.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The work can be performed from any location, but it will be co-ordinated by staff in PHE’s London offices.
Working arrangements
Work may be carried out from multiple locations including the supplier’s offices. Attendance at PHE offices in London and in other locations around England will be required for meetings. Supplier staff are expected to be on-site at PHE locations sufficient to manage relationships with senior stakeholders; the exemplar project team and users; and, stakeholders and users in other organisations so that the outcomes of the project may be met.
Security clearance
Not required

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
  • E1) Recent and demonstrable experience of implementing a public-sector / corporate intranet that complies with the principles of the GDS Service Standard.
  • E2) Recent and demonstrable experience of applying the principles of user centred design to the development of an intranet as part of a wider cultural change programme.
  • E3) Recent and demonstrable experience in implementing an intranet using either Wagtail and / or Drupal.
  • E4) Recent and demonstrable experience of implementing an open source intranet platform with an underlying SharePoint 2016 search solution.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • N1) Recent and demonstrable experience of working with an organisation where the implementation of an intranet coincided with a strategic organisation change or re-alignment.
  • N2) Experience of working with a young developing organisation and incorporating the impact that that has on the project.
  • N3) Recent and demonstrable experience of SOLR or Elastic search.
  • N4) Recent and demonstrable experience of building on Discovery and Alpha created by another organisation.
  • N5) Recent and demonstrable experience of creating an intranet including a set of loosely coupled modular architecture.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • P1) Proposed approach to developing the Beta intranet incorporating user research and technical constraints (max score: 30); and
  • P2) Proposed approach to applying the principles of user centred design and user insights to the development of an intranet. (max score: 30).
Cultural fit criteria
  • The shortlisted suppliers will be invited to demonstrate cultural fit in the following ways:
  • C1) Working within the constraints of public sector organisations, including budgets, timescales and change (max score 6);
  • C2) Working with a range of stakeholders including ones that have little knowledge of agile or user-centred design (max score 6); and
  • C3) Working with stakeholders from a range of disciplines and parts of the organisation including science, technology and policy that may have opposing interpretations of project goals (max score 8).
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Will the provider need to design and implement the hosting infrastructure? If so do you have a preference of which hosting/cloud provider that will be used?
The provider will work with PHE IT to design the hosting infrastructure. The default assumption is that the solution will be hosted on PHE's internal infrastructure.
2. Out of Wagtail/Drupal is there a stronger preference for one or the other?
Wagtail is being adopted more widely across the Department for Health and Social Care and by national NHS organisations. Therefore, there is an initial preference for Wagtail but the final technical decision shall be subject to the findings of the initial phase of the project.
3. It is assumed as this is a Time and Materials contract that hosting costs will not be incurred by the provider and will be picked up by the contractor, is this correct?
Yes. PHE will provide the infrastructure.
4. The requirement states GDS principles however they typically apply to citizen-facing services only, Will a GDS (or similar) service assessment be required as part of this project? If so can you provide details?
Internal service assessments following GDS principles shall be conducted. These will follow the Service Standard, with the exception of those elements that apply exclusively to public services (unless there is an analogous standard for intranet users).
5. Are you absolutely committed to a hugely bespoke (and therefore) expensive Intranet solution? - using an open source CMS on top of SharePoint 2016 is a very rare strategy indeed?
Based on the initial technical appraisal we expect this to be the approach unless our user needs validation work indicates a better solution. This would be established as part of the early sprints.
6. Is there a product manager or product owner from PHE who will be working with the team developing the beta/live service?
7. Have any technology decisions been made about the new intranet?
Our preference is for a modular build, which is micro-service led.
8. Do you have a content team that will be responsible for content strategy, design and writing content for the new intranet?
9. Is the intranet being assessed against the Government Service Standard?
Internal service assessments following GDS principles shall be conducted. These will follow the Service Standard, with the exception of those elements that apply exclusively to public services (unless there is an analogous standard for intranet users).
10. Can you briefly outline what user research and prototyping work has been done during discovery and alpha?
During Discovery, an external agency interviewed over 150 users and stakeholders across PHE (both lab and desk-based staff), interviewed the intranet team and reviewed the intranet including the information architecture, content and usage.

We established the need for:
• Efficiencies in finding, using and updating content
• Functionality and tools addressing intranet user needs that are beyond the possibilities of the current solution (particularly in terms of collaboration features)
• Staff ability to access the intranet across a range of devices (in particular mobile devices)
• Improved ability for communicating and information-publishing: from day-to-day news stories and organisation-wide information sharing
11. Will PHE be recruiting participants for user research, or is this a responsibility for the supplier?
This will be done jointly by the PHE team and the supplier. As the users are internal, we are not expecting any recruiter costs.
12. Can you provide details about the roles from PHE that will be working full-time on the project?
We will have a dedicated Product manager, delivery manager and content designer.
13. You've mentioned - 'The work can be performed from any location'. Would you allow the development work to be done outside EU like India, if the supplier can provide enough evidence for data privacy and data protection?
We would prefer that it is not done outside of EU.
14. Would you please provide the list of HRMS modules which would be in scope?
Active Directory to feed into the Intranet.
15. We're very excited to see this opportunity listed and feel we will make a very strong case for picking us as your technical partners for this project. Would it be possible to have a telephone clarification call with the project team?
No. Please see your Framework agreement for details of the Award process and please set out any questions you have on this opportunity via the Digital Marketplace.
16. Can you provide more detail regarding the current architectural environment and the future CMS options being considered?
We would work with the potential supplier to agree on suitable architecture for the build.
17. Can you please confirm how far you are in the technical appraisal stage and who did the discovery and Alpha work leading up to this.
Both Technical Appraisal and Alpha phases have been conducted with external suppliers in conjunction with PHE IT. The findings of these phases are subject to the Beta phase. We are not at liberty to disclose details of the suppliers at this stage of the procurement.
18. Can you confirm your aspirations for this to be an agile based project and if so what current capability around this exists internally.
The project is to be Agile based, as far as is possible for a non-public facing site, on the GDS Service standard. PHE runs a number of Agile projects and has both in-house and service partners that are experienced in Agile. PHE is a varied organisation and not all stakeholders or users have participated in Agile projects thus far. This project is an Exemplar project and as such will serve to support the organisation's transformation to Agile methods.
19. Please can you clarify what you mean with regards to implementing an open source intranet platform with an underlying SharePoint 2016 search solution? Will Sharepoint remain beyond this project or is this part of a transition piece?
The Supplier is expected to define the overall Solution Architecture. Integration with / configuration of SharePoint2016 shall be completed in conjunction with PHE IT who run and host PHE’s SharePoint installation, unless this proves unsuitable wherein the Supplier shall work with PHE to define suitable cloud solutions.
20. Can PHE confirm which organisation(s) undertook the Discovery and Alpha phases?
See 17 above
21. Which other CMSs were considered (and omitted) as part of the Discovery?
Sharepoint, Wordpress, Joomla, and Node CMS.
22. Would you consider using an alternate CMS (other than Drupal or Wagtail) with similar/identical functionality?
Nothing has been ruled in or out, but given that Wagtail is now being widely used across the DHSC and other partners there would need to be a compelling reason for us to use Drupal or any other CMS, but this can't be ruled out.
23. Would you consider experience with Drupal / Wagtail outside of an Intranet project, but with similarities in user groups etc?
Experience with these CMS will be of value, but as specified in the advert, those with experience of them in relation to intranet development will have an edge over those without.
24. Is there a specific reason that O365 is not considered?
O365 is being considered for certain aspects of Intranet functionality but not as a CMS. Discovery suggested that this does not provide functionality suitable to the business requirements.
25. You state: E3) Recent and demonstrable experience in implementing an intranet using either Wagtail and/or Drupal. Does that mean this is the chosen technology or will others e.g. Office 365 be considered
See 2, 22, 23 and 24 above
26. The tender refers to the Alpha stage recently having been completed. Could you please share the outputs of this stage with us.
See 17 above