Awarded to Cyber-Duck

Start date: Monday 3 September 2018
Value: £187,000
Company size: SME
Financial Ombudsman Service

Financial Ombudsman Service website build and web CMS implementation

20 Incomplete applications

19 SME, 1 large

33 Completed applications

29 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Tuesday 5 June 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 12 June 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 19 June 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The supplier will design, build, test and deliver a new website and implement a new web CMS solution.
The supplier will provide training on the use of the CMS, support the website for an initial period including developing appropriate content workflows for use by our in-house team without coding expertise.
Latest start date
Wednesday 15 August 2018
Expected contract length
approx 8 months
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Financial Ombudsman Service
Budget range
Between £150,000 and £250,000, excluding any web CMS procurement and licensing costs.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Our website has had little significant development in recent years. As a result it appears outdated and no longer meets our needs or those of our customers. The new website should enable stakeholders to easily find the information they require, complete their tasks and understand our role and aims. The site also needs to better reflect who we are as an organisation.

We require a web CMS to provide our in-house team with greater control over website content, simplify our publication and review process and remove an existing dependency on coding expertise when we wish to make changes.
Problem to be solved
Our site does not currently meet users’ needs. There is outdated content, which is hard to manage and oversee. The lack of CMS means we need coding experience to make even basic updates – and legacy issues limit what we’re capable of doing digitally. To address this we need an agency to design and build a new website. This includes:
building on research from discovery phase
implementing CMS and provide staff training
test and develop proposed information architecture
recommend strategy for incorporating existing microsites
develop look and feel
carry out a full range of user, security and performance testing
Who the users are and what they need to do
The website is used by a range of external stakeholders, including:
- Consumers and their representatives
- Financial businesses
- Complaint management companies
- Researchers and consumer groups
- Charities
- Trade bodies
- Government

We have personas and user journeys for each of these stakeholders.

Stakeholders visit our website to find out: what we do; whether we can consider their complaint; register new complaints; make enquiries about existing complaints; and to find information about the complaints we’ve previously considered.

We have a small in-house team of site administrators responsible for publishing content to the website and maintaining content.
Early market engagement
We have obtained indicative estimates from the agency employed in the discovery phase based on our current scope.
Any work that’s already been done
The work that has already been done is aimed at helping us understand our users and how we can meet their needs. We have recently had a digital agency complete research into the performance of our current website and our overall social media presence. In addition to meeting with internal and external stakeholders the agency carried out an audit of our digital assets and developed user journeys and sample web pages for our future website design – we intend to build upon this work in this stage.
Existing team
The project is sponsored by our director of engagement and led by our Head of Digital Engagement. Support is provided by a small in house project management and business analysis resource and our stakeholder team.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Exchange Tower,
Harbour Exchange Square,
E14 9SR
Working arrangements
The majority of the work by the supplier is expected to be undertaken remotely, but we would expect project initiation meetings to take place at our offices. Regular weekly project meetings could be held remotely, but we would require regular face-to-face meetings throughout the course of the project and may require that you co-work with us at key times in the project lifecycle.

Key meetings where sponsors are required to attend and training for our staff should take place at our offices.

Expenses incurred in traveling to and working from our offices will be borne by the supplier.
Security clearance
The successful supplier will be asked to complete our information security questionnaire and a mutual non-disclosure agreement before the contract is awarded.

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
  • Deliver website development using a multidisciplinary agile team, using MoSCoW principles
  • Demonstrable ability to provide Alpha and Beta testing
  • Deliver digital services to at least a AA WCAG 2.0 web accessibility standard and an awareness of WCAG 2.1
  • Delivering rapid development of iterative prototypes, informed by UX testing
  • Demonstrable experience of website development that utilises a user-centric approach
  • Experience of working with a range of widely used web CMS solutions and ability to build modules to increase the functionality beyond what is available as standard
  • Demonstrate impeccable design credentials
  • Experience in implementing an effective internal search engine and best-practice SEO
  • Evidence of website development which supports a variety of rich media
  • Demonstrate experience of redesign and redeployment of websites with a high volume of users and content
  • Experience designing websites for users with low digital literacy
  • Experience of a building a website solution based on recommendations brought forward from a discovery phase
  • Experience of using agile methodology to deliver a website design and build project
  • Evidence of mobile first UX design
  • Experience of delivering training on use of web CMS
  • Evidence of creating content lifecycle workflows
  • Experience of carrying out migration of existing website content to a new website architecture
  • Evidence of setting up and maintaining website analytics for the purpose of evaluating website and content use
  • Experience in developing a suite of page designs and templates
  • Experience in migrating data rich content, such as interactive databases, between websites
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Evidence of delivering to scale
  • Experience of providing webchat capability
  • Experience of creating an asset library as a central repository for the storage of reusable content, e.g. templates, images, graphics
  • Have experience of integrating a CMS with MS Dynamics

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • the proposed technical solution
  • the proposed approach and methodology
  • how the approach or solution meets our business or policy goal
  • how the solution meets user needs
  • estimated timeframes for the work
  • how the supplier has identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • team structure
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Evidence of having tailored your approach to the values and needs of your client
  • Experience of working as a team with client organisations and other project stakeholders
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Promoting a no-blame culture and encourages people to learn from their mistakes
  • Accepting of responsibility for their work
  • Willing to share knowledge and experience with other project team members
  • Prepared to challenge the status quo
  • Ability to work with clients with low technical expertise
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Have you already selected a CMS or tech stack as part of Alpha or do you need the agency to recommend?
We have not identified a CMS system and will want suppliers to propose a suitable CMS. The CMS can be open source or proprietary.
2. For the CMS choice..... Do you have a preferred technical platform (.NET/PHP/Open Source) based on your internal skillsets and will those skillsets be likely to influence the CMS and technology platform decision?
We do not have a preferred technical platform. The choice of platform will not be based on our current internal technical skill-set. Part of the project will be to provide suitable training to our in-house staff.
3. Demonstrable ability to provide Alpha and Beta testing", do you mean user testing?
Yes, in part. Alpha testing would involve in-house testing allowing us to establish confidence with the solution, resolve bugs and make minor amendments to features. Beta testing would involve trialling the near-complete solution with external users to identify any remaining UX issues prior to a full release.
4. Please could you advise on who conducted the discovery research?
5. Which agency undertook the discovery? Are they tendering for this work?
The Discovery phase was undertaken by Cyber-Duck. We have no information as to whether it will submit a response. Please be assured that all responses will be evaluated fairly against the stated criteria
6. Did the Discovery produce a CMS recommendation?
No, there was no CMS recommendation made on conclusion of the Discovery phase, only a recommendation that a CMS be procured. We would look to the successful supplier to work with us to identify an appropriate CMS.
7. Can you elaborate on what you mean by "delivering to scale"
Experience of designing and building for clients of similar scale and providing solutions which provide for further future development.
8. Do you have a preference of CMS?
We have not identified a CMS system and will want suppliers to propose and work with us to identify a suitable CMS. The CMS can be open source or proprietary.
9. Have you made any technology decisions as part of the discovery work? Do you have a CMS in mind?
We have not identified a CMS system and will want suppliers to propose and work with us to identify a suitable CMS. The CMS can be open source or proprietary.
10. Have you got a preferred solution or technology, such as SharePoint in mind?
No, we would expect the supplier to recommend a suitable solution
11. Can you supply details and expected dates of next steps after the initial Digital Marketplace application. For example, will you require a more detailed proposal, will there be an opportunity to meet with you to present ideas and discuss requirements?
We intend to invite circa 6 suppliers who have provided an initial response to submit a full written proposal along with a presentation to discuss approach/methodology etc. We aim to have identified the chosen suppliers and publish our RFP by the 11th of July. We hope to have contracted with the chosen supplier around the 8th of August
12. Do you have any technical requirements for the CMS or are you open to recommendations that best suit your requirements?
No. We would look to the successful supplier to work with us to identify an appropriate CMS.
13. Which agency undertook the Discovery phase
14. Do you have a preferred CMS / tech stack?
No. We would look to the successful supplier to work with us to identify an appropriate CMS.
15. Do you have a content strategist or designer in your team that will be responsible for writing content and the information architecture for the new site?
We have a small in-house team responsible for agreeing our content strategy and generating new content, but we would look for input from the supplier on design of a new information architecture. We believe much of the existing content could be migrated to the new website - we'd require assistance from the supplier in arranging that migration. Other content is likely to require adaptation or creation from new. We have in-house resource which will provide that content.
16. Was any user research done during discovery? Can you tell us more about this? Was it interviews and contextual studies, or usability testing of the existing website?
Research completed during the discovery phase involved interviews and workshops with internal and external stakeholders. The results of that research will be available to those suppliers asked to submit a full proposal. Further research involved usability testing of the existing website
17. What full-time roles will be on the team from the Financial Ombudsman Service? Will there be a dedicated product owner or service manager working with the supplier team?
The internal project team will comprise:
Head of Digital Engagement
Policy and Communications Manager
Project Manager
Business Analyst

The individuals involved will likely have other projects/responsibilities, in addition to working on the Digital Presence project.
18. Will the agency you worked with on Discovery also be applying for this opportunity?
We have no information as to whether it will submit a response.
19. Do you follow Government Digital Services processes and guidelines? Would it be possible to provide us with your digital assets and developed user journeys, Personas and sample web pages for our future website design?
Whilst not bound by the Government Digital Services processes and guidelines we would look to follow best practice.
20. What are your expectations around content creation? Will this be in scope for this project?
Content creation will be handled in-house. We will require assistance with migration of existing content to the new website and development of workflows for content creation and publishing.
21. Do you have locations for usability testing in mind or are you open to suggestions?
We are open to suggestions for this, though would expect some usability testing to take place at our offices.
22. Do you have any existing design guidelines we should be aware of or we should follow?
We have existing brand guidelines which we would expect the supplier to adopt and develop to our new website on order to maintain a degree of consistency across media.
23. Will you be able to help the supplier recruit participants for user research and testing? Do you have mechanisms for reaching the different user groups you have identified?
User research was conducted during the Discovery phase with participants being recruited by both the Financial Ombudsman Service and through an external agency. The results of that research will be made available to the supplier, so we do not see a need for further user research. In relation to testing, we would be able to recruit users for the majority of the personas we have developed, but would be open to the supplier sourcing users.
24. Will you be able to provide participants for the usability testing?
In relation to testing, we would be able to recruit users for the majority of the personas we have developed, but would be open to the supplier sourcing users.
25. Have any existing suppliers been engaged in discussions about this piece of work
No. A supplier was contracted to undertake initial research into our and customers needs and to review our existing website in the Discovery phase. That work led to the development of personas, user journeys and a proposed site map - if you would like to view those assets please email our procurement team - using the reference TEN 221.
26. Please can I ask who did the initial discovery work, and can any outputs be shared ahead? Are you able to share a detailed list of requirements in advance for this project?
The initial discovery work was undertaken by Cyber Duck . If you would like a copy of the report please emial - using reference TEN 221
27. When you ask for experience creating an asset library, do you mean this as something that is usually managed within a CMS, or do you mean a Pattern Library - where assets/ instructions reside to enable your teams to continue to create pages etc which abide by all the requirements of the new design?
Our requirement would be for a pattern library where we can store reusable design elements together with guidance on how they should be used to ensure consistency across the site.
28. Did the 'Discovery' phase supplier recommend a particular CMS
No, the supplier didn't make recommendations as it was not part of the brief
29. Would it be possible to provide us with your digital assets and developed user journeys, Personas and sample web pages for our future website design?
Please see previous response regarding provision of developed user personas, user journeys and proposed site map. We would expect the supplier to develop sample web pages for our future website design. If there are other digital assets you would wish to see please clarify what these are.
30. Can you please clarify if the chosen supplier will be required to carry out further user research
We originally believed that there would be no requirement for further user research (see previous clarification response on this matter). On reflection there may be a need for such research particularly around Information Architecture
31. As you haven’t chosen your CMS, are you looking for an agency that is able to work with a number of CMSs?
As highlighted previously, we haven’t yet chosen a CMS and would like to work with the successful supplier to do so. We therefore would like a supplier who is open to using a range of CMS’s and can advise us impartially. We’d need to work with our internal colleagues and the internal users to pick the right CMS for us.
32. Will you be creating all the content for the site?
We expect to be able to create all written content. We will however be looking for external support to create multimedia content such as film, so an agency that could also work with us to create this would be an added bonus.
33. How many microsites are in existence which may require integration and what is the purpose of the integrations?
There are currently nine microsites. Six of these will be considered out of scope for this project. The two remaining microsites are currently hosted by third parties, but we would like to bring these in-house and have them form part of the new website structure. Those are:
• Complaints data – showing the volumes of complaint we have considered against financial businesses (
• Decision publication – anonymised copies of the final decisions we have issued on complaints (
34. Do you have a hosting preference, whether this is cloud or on-premise?
We have recently moved to cloud hosting, so would wish to continue with that.
35. Have you identified a preferred technology stack for the future site? e.g. .Net
We do not have a preferred technology stack. We would prefer to see a range of CMS solutions covering various options and work with the project teams and other internal stakeholders (including our IT team) to identify the best possible solution.
36. What are the hosting arrangements for the CMS website, will hosting need to be included or will you be hosting?
We have not decided on hosting requirements for the CMS solution - this could be on premise or cloud. Hosting costs would be budgeted for separate from this contract.
37. What are the outline support arrangements you would need from the successful bidder?
We have interpreted this question to mean what support would be required from the supplier in addition to the design and build of the website. We would require the successful bidder to provide a warranty over the completed solution post-delivery, but ongoing provision of technical support would be subject to a separate procurement process. In addition, we would require the successful supplier to work with us in identifying the most appropriate CMS solution and to provide training in the use of the chosen CMS to our in-house team.
38. Q) With regards to your question about a suppliers experience in implementing an effective internal search engine and best-practice SEO, please can clarify if you are referring to the site search engine, internal editor search, just SEO or a combination of these.
We would require the successful supplier to have experience of developing all of these.
39. Do you have any preference or specific requirements for hosting of the new website such as PaaS or on-premise?
We have recently moved to cloud hosting and would wish to continue with cloud hosting.
40. Will we be able to get access to the current website analytics data to help build our proposal?
Not at this stage, but that will be available to suppliers chosen to present a full proposal.
41. (1) Are there any integrations with other systems likely to be required for the new website?
We currently have several microsites, two of which we now wish to include as part of the main website. The remaining microsites are out of scope for this project, but links with those will need to be maintained. There are no current plans to integrate the website with other systems, but that is an option we would like to have for further development. That could potential involve integration with our case handling system, MS Dynamics, and consumer portals which we are currently developing.
42. Is the expectation to retain your existing newsletter/email marketing solution when launching the new website?
We do intend to review our current newsletter/email marketing strategy and would be open to recommendations on this issue.
43. Is there likely to be a requirement for users to register or login to the website?
Based on the recommended architecture and site design developed in discovery phase, this is not a current requirement, but we would be open to recommendation.
44. Will the career opportunity application process retain the use of the existing vacancies solution? If not, is this in scope of the new website?
There is currently no intention to integrate the vacancies microsite. The current solution integrates with our recruitment systems and we are not currently looking to make changes in that area. We would however want to improve the user journey for those stakeholders visiting the website to find out about careers at the Financial Ombudsman Service
45. Would you be able to clarify by what you mean for creating content lifecycle workflows.
We would wish to have process in place allowing us to manage the quality of the content published to the website. This should allow content to be created, edited, approved, published, reviewed and archived. There should be multiple workflows which can be activated, edited and deactivated individually. Workflows should also allow notifications to be created, e.g. notifying when published content requires review, when drafted content has been approved, etc.
46. Please can expand and clarify your question about a suppliers experience in migrating data rich content, such as interactive databases, between websites?
We wish to integrate the complaints data microsite with the main website. This is hosted by a third party and we want to bring it in-house. The microsite presents basic data on volumes of complaints we have received and determined. We want to migrate that content to the new website and review the way in which that data is displayed.

The complaints data microsite link is:

The other existing microsite we wish to include as part of the main website is decisions publication which allows users to search for final decisions we have determined on cases. Link below:
47. Is ongoing support and hosting part of the requirement and if so, would this be in addition to the build cost? Do you have a list of the required functionality of the CMS?
We would expect the successful supplier to provide a warranty over the developed solution for an initial period. Technical support beyond that warranty period will be the subject of a separate procurement process. Hosting and the procurement of a CMS is also budgeted for outside of this procurement. Detailed CMS requirements will be provided to those suppliers invited to provide a full proposal.
48. Is the delivery of this outcome subject to external GDS service assessment and compliance to the Service Design Standard and design guidelines?
We are not a government agency and so would not necessarily follow all requirements of the Service Design Standard and guidelines. Whilst we would be keen to follow best practice from such sources we are not bound by those requirements.
49. Is the job application journey (currently handled under the part of the scope of this project?
See previous respose to this.
Changes to the recruitment microsite ( fall outside the scope of this project beyond providing a link to the microsite for prospective applicants. We would wish to improve the user experience for those stakeholders visiting the main website to find out about careers at the Financial Ombudsman Service.
50. Are you seeking an additional proposal around hosting and technical support or do you have existing solutions in place you would like to employ?
We have existing hosting arrangements in place (Azure). We expect to continue with this, but would be open to recommendations from the supplier. The successful supplier would be expected to provide an initial period of technical support post-delivery.
51. Can you confirm the languages that the new site will need to support beyond English and Welsh?
We would like to improve access to our site for as many of our customers as possible. English and Welsh would be our minimum requirement, but we would like to explore ways in which our website and site content can be more easily made available to those with different language needs.
52. Could you elaborate on the ‘interactive databases’ which would need migrating?
See response to No 46 above
53. Can you provide a brief overview on the frequency and quantity of campaign related activity the new site needs to support (campaign and landing pages, for example)?
We currently have limited campaign activity, but this may be subject to change given the ongoing review of our broader digital presence and would welcome recommendations from the successful supplier.
54. Can you elaborate on the role of MS Dynamics. How do you see this integrating with the new site?
We have no immediate plans to integrate our website with MS Dynamics. This is not a requirement at present, but we may wish to integrate in future. We have recently introduced MS Dynamics as our main case handling system.
55. "Experience of carrying out migration of existing website content to a new website architecture." In what way and detail you would expect this essential requirement to be demonstrated; exact case studies, detailed descriptions of migration workflow or recorded demos?
See previous response to No 46 above
We believe that this experience could best be demonstrated through case studies where suppliers have successfully carried out similar work for clients, but would be open to considering other ways of demonstrating this capability.
56. You have specified approximate contract length of 8 months and planned budged range, should these numbers include any hosting costs? Where actually hosting of newly build CMS system is planned?
The cost of procuring a CMS and potential hosting costs for both the website and CMS are budgeted for separately from the build and developed costs specified.

The hosting options for the CMS have not been determined. We have yet to select a CMS and would look for the supplier to assist us in making that decision. Hosting options will be considered at that time.
57. Can you share the personas and user journeys for your key stakeholders?
Please see response to Q25 above
58. Can you supply the research from the discovery phase, or any further details on the project requirements?
Please see response to Q25 above
59. Would it be possible to share the full outputs of the discovery phase to help us scope our tender response?
Please see response to Q25 above