Awarded to Ernst & Young LLP (EY)

Start date: Monday 5 November 2018
Value: £2,404,563
Company size: large
Department for International Trade

Free Trade Agreements & Trade Disputes Alpha Beta

4 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 1 large

11 Completed applications

4 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Friday 3 August 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 10 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 17 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
To explore further how digital tools and techniques can support government officials in delivering new processes for Trade Disputes and Free Trade Agreements. The supplier will validate the high level user needs to create prioritised backlogs and Alpha prototypes that can be built out into live services/processes in Beta.
Latest start date
Monday 17 September 2018
Expected contract length
12 Months with option to extend 3 months
Organisation the work is for
Department for International Trade
Budget range
Up to £2.6m to complete beta by end of FY 18/19

About the work

Why the work is being done
To prepare for the UK acting as an independent trading nation, there is a need for new government processes to create and manage Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), and ensure the protection of UK businesses by raising or defending Trade Disputes (TD). DIT needs to design and deliver processes, digital tools and technologies that can support government officials in the handling of FTAs and Disputes. DIT has completed two discoveries that will be shared with applicants, and now requires a supplier to validate these needs in an Alpha phase, which can be delivered as Beta products and/or processes.
Problem to be solved
A supplier is required to define the new UK Trade Disputes and Free Trade Agreement capabilities. Providing product and service design and technical management, the supplier will validate the high level user needs from the Discovery and create prioritised backlogs and prototypes that can be built into live services.

The Supplier is required to help DIT reuse existing systems where possible as a preference, and define where custom build may be required to link existing technologies together.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a government official I need to be able to conduct analysis and prepare case material and work collaboratively with Other Government Departments so that I can submit and take part in a Trade Dispute with another country via the WTO (World Trade Organisation) process.

As a government official working on a Free Trade Agreement I need to be able to carry out and share analysis so that the country teams can factor in my analysis in negotiations. As a negotiator I must be able to work on documents collaboratively across government and share documents including with the partner country.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have completed 2 Discoveries, these discoveries found the following needs that could be met using digital solutions:
1. Ways of Working (Collaborative authoring and sharing of documents across government and with partner country/WTO)
2. Data and Analysis (Consolidating the work analysis are doing and finding the best way they can share their analysis for use in the processes)
3. Stakeholder Engagement and consultation (how can DIT feed in stakeholder views into new processes)
The discovery will be available to shortlisted suppliers.
Shortlisted suppliers will be provided with learning and insight from these discoveries in the further assessment stage.
Existing team
With DDAT there will be development capability across the existing technology stack:
1. Office 365/Microsoft Technology team (helping to build ways of working and collaborating on existing DIT technology stack)
2. Internal Data Science Platform team (who will be building the analysis tools and visualisations/outputs)
3. Project governance will include an existing Product Manager, Digital Service Manager and EU exit portfolio team to provide overall EU Exit portfolio level guidance.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Windsor House, 50 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0TL
Working arrangements
It is expected the supplier will work from DIT's digital hub in 50 Victoria Street however, there will be a need to work from 3 Whitehall Pl, Westminster, London SW1A 2AW where the trade policy teams and business owners are located.
Security clearance
The teams will need BPSS as a minimum. SC Clearance is preferable and any team members without SC clearance may be required to apply for it at a later date.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Shortlisted supplier's will be required to sign Non Disclosure Agreements before the invitation to the further assessment is issued.

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 in using service design principles to create new process, or transform existing processes that help people collaborate across departments and with third parties in challenging and complex environments (2%)
  • Demonstrable experience in working in agile and traditional product management including evolving user stories, creating product backlogs, managing feature roadmaps, creating acceptance criteria, quality assurance, managing technical debt/bugs/enhancements. (1%)
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering service design and technology planning in large scale programs and projects in organisations responsible for business critical services. (1%)
  • Experience of prototyping various different iterations of business process to find the right one to take into Beta (1%)
  • Experience working with internal or separate development teams on a shared and prioritised backlog (1%)
  • An understanding of the Government Digital Service Assessment process (1%)
  • Experience of working within organisations with a diverse range of stakeholders (1%)
  • Experience of working with data, including data science and analysis (1%)
  • Experience of working on technology transformation, including Office 365, Sharepoint APIs and Teams (1%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of building processes and systems that facilitate the collaboration and authoring of sensitive documents (1%)
  • Experience of delivering new business process in the public sector (1%)
  • Experience in creating services that help create case material to be presented at a legal or external government to government process.(1%)
  • Experience in creating services that help analysts work on economic models and share them with policy makers to inform policy design (1%)
  • Experience of passing Government Digital Service Assessments (1%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Outcome Delivery: Describe your overall approach to delivering our outcome, how you will plan, build and manage the project including risks/learnings that are important for successful delivery. 15%
  • Team structure: Describe your team set up (including roles) and how you would adapt the team to changing priorities during the course of beta and transition to live - 10%
  • Understanding user needs: Detail how you will ensure user needs are understood and met in the development and delivery of the service 10%
  • Knowledge Transfer: How will you ensure DIT staff are ready to take on operational control and support upon completion of the work. 5%
  • Architecture:How will you develop (and continue to develop and iterate) the service 5%
  • Delivery Plan: Provide a delivery plan to deliver within the stated time frames - 10%
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate your ability to deliver in an open, collaborate, agile way according to the principles outlined in the Government Service Design Manual - 3%
  • Demonstrate your ability to work and communicate with clients / team members with low technical expertise - 3%
  • Demonstrate your ability to deliver outcomes, applying an agile methodology, in non-agile environments and successfully bridging the two worlds - 2%
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver simplicity (e.g. do less but better, explaining complex issues in a clear, simple way, break down and prioritise complex issues) - 2%
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please could you confirm which organisation(s) carried out work on the 2 Discoveries?
Transform, carried out both discoveries
2. Are you able to share the Discoveries with applicants?
We will share the Discoveries with shortlisted suppliers
3. Who completed the Discovery phase, pls? Are they allowed to bid for the Alpha and Beta phases?
Transform carried out the Discovery phase and are allowed to bid for the Alpha and Beta phases
4. Which agency undertook the initial discovery work?
5. You have mentioned it is expected the supplier will work from DIT's digital hub in 50 Victoria Street and there will be a need to work from 3 Whitehall Pl. Is there any flexibility on this working arrangement? How many days / week will the supplier need to be working from the addresses?
The supplier will need to co-locate at DIT's offices at 50 Victoria street, where the DDaT team are based. There may be occasions when the team need to be based out of 3 Whitehall Place where the Policy team are based.The DDaT team operate flexible working practices, but for the vast majority of time there should be a physical presence in the office.
6. As part of the essential skills and experience, you mention you would like the provider to have experience of working on and delivering the Office 365 products set: including Sharepoint, Teams, etc. Are DIT considering only Office 365 products or would an alternative solution of Office 365 and an integrated Distributed Ledger platform be considered?
Office 365 is the IT system that DIT has committed to using, and the provider will need to provide solutions that work within this existing tech stack. However, we are keen to explore innovative and complimentary means of delivery where this makes sense.
7. 1. What is the expected timescales for announcing the shortlisted suppliers, and for the shortlisted suppliers to present their proposal?
Shortlisted Suppliers invited to Further Assessment - Wed 22nd Aug
Proposals submitted by Shortlisted Suppliers - Wed 5th Sep
Supplier Presentations to be held in Windsor House - Friday 7th Sep
8. 2. Were the two discoveries completed in house or by a 3rd party supplier?
The two discoveries were completed by Transform
9. Please could you confirm who carried out the two discoveries, were they carried out by an internal team?
10. Please can you clarify as to why two separate discovery's were done? Are you able to disclose who carried this out?
Two discoveries were undertaken, both by Transform, as Disputes and FTAs are separate products, but during discovery we noted a high degree of commonality in terms of both the capability and products needed to deliver the services for civil servants. Both are government to government services, supporting international trade. FTAs draw on data to define and negotiate a new trading position, Disputes happen when one party doesn’t follow the negotiated agreement