This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 17 September 2018
Department for Work and Pensions

UC Data Agile Delivery Team

6 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 4 large

22 Completed applications

11 SME, 11 large

Important dates

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


Summary of the work
DWP requires a team to work closely with a small in-house team and stakeholders at all levels to implement and iterate a transformative platform and set of services that delivers UC data in a safe and frictionless way to its users.
Latest start date
Monday 22 October 2018
Expected contract length
Up to 2 years with initial Statement of Work of 8 weeks
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
Department for Work and Pensions
Budget range
We envisage the team to work with us will be approximately 4 - 6 roles during an 8 week discovery phase, these roles include:

1 Agile Delivery Manager
1 Solution Architect (Data/Technical)
1 Business Analyst
1 User Researcher
1 Software Engineer
(Up to two more at Suppliers suggestion)

Additional roles may be required during subsequent phases of delivery if Discovery is delivered successfully by the selected supplier.

The indicative budget for all phases is up to £4m. This does not represent a commitment to spend up to that value.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Data driven decision making is key to DWP and we are transforming how we work, taking a user and product-centric approach to data. The DWP UC Data team provides Universal Credit data to DWP and its partners; as UC rolls out the need for highly available, good quality data is growing, and we need a team to transform the existing data platform and tooling, making sure it can scale with user need, including migrating it to a Cloud platform.
Problem to be solved
The current service ingests data from Universal Credit (UC) and provides data for analytical and operational services and to all other DWP data services requiring UC data. An API provides UC data to OGDs to support benefit entitlement decisions (e.g. free school meals). The services compete for platform resources and time from the team. We need the Supplier to transform the current platform and toolset, including migration to the Cloud, to allow reliable access to UC data and enable product teams to use UC data and work autonomously and deliver at pace, whilst maintaining a secure and GDPR-compliant service.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As an Analytical user, I need to provide the following information:

- Evidence to help set programme priorities for continual iteration
- Feature development
- Success measures
- Incident management
- Parliamentary Questions
- Policy decision making

As an Operational user, I need secure, flexible, scalable, resilient data so I can access up to date information to make good decisions, support, UCFS operations, outcomes and reduce cost to serve.

Systems (API for Other Government Departments) OGDs need answers to benefit entitlement questions.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The existing team have started the journey to product focused delivery within the Cloud and the first service surfaces data to Other Government Departments through an API.

The successful Supplier will be working alongside the existing team to transform what already exists in line with user need, responsible for defining and then delivering on the discovery phase.
Existing team
The supplier will be working within DWP offices alongside an existing team of DWP employees and contractors with varying levels of agile experience. The supplier will be expected to transfer skills and knowledge as the implementation and design iteration progresses. The supplier will be working closely and regularly with senior DWP leaders, including Director level.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Primary location will be the DWP Hub in Leeds but some travel to other DWP Hub locations expected.
Working arrangements
Team resource will be required to work minimum 7.5 hours/day, 5 days/week. On site presence at primary location is essential and expected to work Tuesday-Thursday in order for the supplier to maximise skills and knowledge transfer and enable close working and co-creation. With agreement, the Supplier can work remotely or at another Hub site Monday and Friday as agreed.

Some travel may be necessary to other DWP Hub locations e.g. London etc. However, travel expenses should be kept to a minimum and other methods of engagement must be utilised e.g. Lync, video conference, teleconference.The DWP travel expenses policy will apply.
Security clearance
SC Security Clearance is required to operate on this project and the team must hold or be eligible and prepared to undergo the security clearance (SC) process. All the team must be BPSS compliant.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The Call-Off Contract will be supplemented by additional DWP terms and conditions and can be found at by clicking on "View Opportunities". DWP is not seeking for Bidders to propose changes to the Supplementary T&Cs as part of the bid process, we will not be negotiating or deviating from these terms. Suppliers much comply with the DWP Travel & Expenses (T&S) Policy.

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
  • Immediate capacity to provide skilled resources (3 years+ experience) delivering and running successful Data products using agile techniques.2%
  • Immediate capacity providing skilled resource (3 years+experience) with senior level Agile Delivery Manager experience in enterprise product management environment, with recognised certification and delivery experience of Scrum, Kanban, Lean techniques.2%
  • Immediate capacity providing skilled resource (3 years+experience) with deep understanding and expertise in the behavioural and cultural change required to influence and deliver data change in a large government organisation.2%
  • Provide evidence of at least 3 years+ previous experience implementing data products in the cloud for public sector or comparable organisations, where security of data is paramount. Please give examples.2%
  • Has experience of ensuring that continual knowledge and skills transfer to the DWP team is embedded as part of the approach to build individual and team digital capability.2%
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Proposed approach and methodology to meet the Departments requirements.15%
  • Team structure – covering specific experience and skills in relation to implementation of digital data services. 10%
  • Experience of successfully driving product delivery and implementing cross team partnering whilst maintaining delivery pace. How expertise will be applied to benefit DWP.10%
  • Experience of the proposed team in relation to successful application of SAFe and/or DAD methodologies. How will this expertise and experience be applied to benefit DWP.10%
  • Description of engineering and architectural practices to be employed. 10%
  • How product Service Level Agreements will be defined and agreed and how these will be implemented and run to meet user needs. 10%
Cultural fit criteria
Driving behavioural and cultural change to deliver the requirement.5%
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. Q1. Could you define the expected technologies and programming languages for this platform?
A1. The services will be developed in AWS. It is expected that Lambda
• Possible AWS Technologies: S3, RDS Aurora, Lambda, API Gateway, Cloudwatch metrics, Cloudwatch logs, Cloudwatch events, Cloudtrail, Systems Manager Parameter Store, KMS, X-ray, SNS, SMS, IAM, VPC, Route53, ACM, SQS.
• Programming Languages: Python 2 and 3, Node JS and Go.
• CI/CD: Concourse
• Scheduler: TBC
2. Q2. 2. Could you confirm what expenses apply?
A2. The supplier will be responsible for travel and expenses to the primary DWP Hub location.
Any travel required in addition to/or outside of the Leeds Digital Hub location will only be paid if agreed in advance and in line with the DWP Travel and Subsistence Policy. Travel expenses should be kept to a minimum and other methods of engagement must be utilised e.g. video conference, teleconference.
3. With regards to UC Data Agile Delivery Team, we would like to request clarification on the following:
What roles do DWP currently have within the existing team?
Product Owner, Business Analyst x 1, Service Analyst, Data Engineer x 4 (various levels), Technical Lead x 1, Security Architect x 0.5, Network Architect/Engineer x 0.5, DevOps x 4, Delivery Manager
4. With regards to UC Data Agile Delivery Team, we would like to request clarification on the following: Is it essential for the whole team to be based at the DWP Leeds Hub for the Discovery and subsequent phases Tuesday-Thursday, or is there scope for certain roles, for example the software developers, to work remotely?
It would be better for the team to be co-located
5. For avoidance of doubt, the roles specified are those DWP require a supplier to provide (AgilE Delivery Manager, Solution Architect, Business Analyst, User Researcher and Software Engineer) and do not describe the existing DWP team?
They are the roles listed for the supplier to provide.
6. What are the roles that DWP will be providing during this 8-week Discovery period?
Product Owner, Business Analyst and Data Engineer.
7. The proposed Discovery with a duration of 8-weeks, is at the top end of the Government Service Manual suggestion that "Discovery should usually take between 4 and 8 weeks". What is the key reason(s) that an 8-week Discovery is being conducted, as opposed to a shorter Discovery?
It was felt that an 8 week Discovery period would be the right length to ensure that the successful supplier delivered the required outcomes for the Discovery Phase.
8. Can you please clarify what the acronym UCFS refers to?
UCFS stands for Universal Credit Full Service
9. Which key locations outside of Leeds, are users located, where the Discovery team User Researcher should travel to undertake any necessary user research?
Newcastle and London.
10. Is it correct to assume that the intended users (Analytical User Operational User) are based in Leeds? Alternatively, is the expectation that the key user representatives will travel to Leeds to assist with user research, or that relevant members of the Discovery team should travel to users?
Users are located in Leeds, London, Newcastle. Travel to users will be expected.
11. Suppliers will be evaluated in "driving behavioural and cultural change", does DWP have a clear view on the cultural change that it wants to effect, if so what?
For UC Data Delivery the work has been platform based and lots of work covering many services and customers. The work needs to become more user and product focussed ensuring that the offering is clear and meets user needs.
12. Can you please outline the intended dates for the procurement schedule, specifically 1) Proposal submission deadline 2) Presentation dates?
The timeline is indicative, however we are looking to be inviting shortlisted suppliers to submit their proposals on 27th September. If we intend to hold presentations, the dates will be notified to the shortlisted suppliers within the Proposal Form issued to them.
13. In order to compare suppliers, how will price be evaluated?
A cost model will be issued to Shortlisted suppliers in order to compare on a like for like basis.
14. Will scoring from the evidence stage be taken through to final evaluation scoring? As opposed to being used solely for the purpose of shortlisting.
Shortlisted suppliers scores will be carried forward to the final evaluation scoring.
15. Can we ask what criteria DWP will be using to judge whether an evidence answer "exceeded" requirements and therefore scores full marks (3)?
Marks will be awarded based on the granularity of evidence provided in responses, with higher marks awarded where this demonstrates experience considered to be beyond the base level stipulated.
16. Does DWP have experience of successful application of SAFe and / or DAD methodologies?
We are currently filling the DWP roles so cannot provide assurances around level of experience.
17. Please can you confirm the current solution overview and technologies
The current solution stores data in Hadoop in Ark, Crown Hosting and users use Rstudio and Python to query and analyse the data. The user needs to be met by this team may require a different tech stack. The intention is to move to cloud hosting.
18. Please provide the main (typical) analytics use cases deployed (or expected to be deployed) on the platform?
It is expected that this will be part of the outcome of the Discovery.
19. What proportion of the data ingest is real-time/batch data? How many different feeds are ingested?
Over 90% batch.
20. How many OGD organisations receive data from the platform?
Currently one.
21. Do all (or selected groups of) OGD's receive the same information or specific data sets?
Only one OGD receives data. Future OGDs may require different data dependant upon their business rules.
22. How is the data distributed pushed to OGD (with e.g. API used to register the target location), pull by OGD (e.g. through a query provided through the API) or streamed (e.g. with the API providing details of the connection)? What is the percentage breakdown for each mechanism?
OGD makes a call via API and the service answers the question based on the business logic and the data and passes back the answer. The business logic and API to OGD interface sits with another service/team within DWP. Surfacing the correct data via API to that team is part of this service. This may not move to the supplier. The discovery will determine what the team covers.
23. What is the typical data volume that the platform is projected to store on a year by year basis over the next five years?
Figures not known. Current data is 1.6TB.
24. Is there a requirement for a multi-regional/zonal model to support extended Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Process or is a single, localised Cloud Platform with inter-region/zonal availability sufficient?
Disaster Recovery arrangements not yet finalised.
25. Will delivering "at Pace" assume integration with existing DevOps and Agile people, processes and tools or will a new capability be required to support Continuous Integration, Deployment and Delivery?
The team will need to be a multi-disciplinary team including devops capability. The tooling must be agreed with the existing Product Owner/team working on UC Data Delivery.
26. Will a new logical data model be required or will we inherit an existing model?
The existing data comes without an Enterprise Data Model and it is expected that suppliers work with data that may change frequently dependant upon operational data changes.
27. Are the API's required to be secured and public facing?
Currently the api is internal with external APIs delivered by the business facing teams.
28. Could you please clarify if there is preferred target platform for the solution?
It is expected that services will move to AWS.
29. Could you please clarify if data residency / jurisdiction constraints apply to data to be migrated?
Moving data to the cloud is fairly new to the department and each service needs to gain approval for data to be processed in the cloud. Strong security controls and compliance with GDPR are required.