Awarded to Valtech Ltd.

Start date: Monday 24 September 2018
Value: £85,000
Company size: SME
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

Discovery for replacement for Energy Performance Certificate digital service copy

2 Incomplete applications

1 SME, 1 large

20 Completed applications

13 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Monday 30 July 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 6 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 13 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
MHCLG requires an agile, flexible team to complete a discovery for a new digital service to replace the existing Energy Performance of Buildings Registers service (EPB Registers).

Our focus is on data management, usability, operating cost and technical delivery.
Latest start date
Monday 17 September 2018
Expected contract length
3 months
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
Budget range
A budget within a range of £80,000 to £110,000 has been allocated for work on this project.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Energy Performance of Buildings (EPB) Registers contracts are due to come to an end shortly, and the Department is preparing to buy or build a new service to maintain continuous service delivery for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Department has done an initial discovery internally and now needs a team to build on that discovery to ensure new service meets the Department’s aims for improved usability, management & use of data, value for money, and technical delivery.

The existing service can be found here
Problem to be solved
Energy-Performance-Certificate's (EPC) are required for properties when constructed, sold or let. The EPC provides details on energy performance of the property and what's required to improve it.

The current-service allows users to find an accredited person to undertake an EPC and/or download an existing-certificate.

As well as current needs, the supplier needs to consider:

1. Using register's data is constrained by access, legal and quality issues; future service will deliver better data stewardship and usability;

2. Public-facing websites need to be improved to reflect best-practice design.

3. Current legacy-platform is aging and expensive; technical-service- delivery needs to be brought up-to-date.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Stakeholder user groups are:

(a) Internal Users/stakeholders - MHCLG data/statistical analysis team, Open Data Communities users, EPB policy team, Welsh and Northern Ireland stakeholders and users;

(b) External Users/stakeholders - EPB accredited schemes (x6), accredited energy performance assessors , Local authority enforcement teams; other Government Departments.

(c) Other interested parties - estate agencies, property investment industry, property conveyance industry, construction and home improvement industry, the property rental sector and general public.

*Approximately 1.25m EPCs and 140k DECs & ACIRs are lodged on the Registers each year. Since 2007 17.6m domestic EPCs and 380,000 non-domestic DECs & ACIRS have been lodged.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Early discovery work has been undertaken by an MHCLG internal team to determine priorities for improving EPB Registers services. This discovery work suggests the current service should remain largely unchanged (i.e. no fundamental re-think); however, it identified a need for further exploration into the areas of data exploitation and quality management.

The supplier team will have access to existing documentation, discovery work and the internal team.
Existing team
The successful supplier will work alongside an internal project delivery team (Project Manager, Programme Management Office, and associated management support); and departmental subject matter experts (SME's) (including IT, digital, data, legal, commercial, and policy).
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
All work will be delivered from the MHCLG office located at 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF
Working arrangements
The supplier is asked to maintain a team presence at the client site during the course of the assignment (to deliver all tasks and maintain a productive relationship with key project staff in MHCLG).

Team members may work remotely (some days of the week), but will be required to deliver workshops and attend meetings at the client site. The Department understands team size may also flex depending on requirement.

Travel/expenses to the primary site in 2 Marsham Street cannot be reimbursed by MHCLG.
Security clearance
Team members will require CTC clearance or above whilst working on site.

Please make it clear whether staff have CTC or not when submitting your responses.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
1. All materials/outputs derived from the contract shall be the property of MHCLG

2. GDPR requirements will be discussed and agreed once the successful supplier has been notified (as part of discussions to agree the wording of the call-off contract)

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
  • have experience of having delivered user-centred web-design
  • have experience of successfully designing and delivering Cloud-based MVP solutions
  • provide the Essential Skills: Agile Delivery Manager, User Research, Design & Content Design, Technical Architect/Developer
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide evidence of delivering similar types of projects with a similiar timescale
  • show experience of being successfully assessed against the Digital Service Standard;
  • show experience of having delivered data management frameworks, including practical strategies and policies, for the management of data – its use and quality;

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
  • Timescales to deliver the project
  • Technical solution
  • Flexible approach from supplier
Cultural fit criteria
  • Provide details (with specific examples) of where you have worked with Public Sector organisations
  • Demonstrate (with specific examples) how you work with internal and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrate (with specific examples) how you take responsibility for delivering to clients requirements
  • Explain (with specific examples) how you are able to manage difficult stakeholders
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. 1. We note that this was initially listed as an alpha - could you explain the reason for changing this to a discovery? For example, are you expecting to create prototypes as part of this phase of work?
Unfortunately, incorrect details was loaded initially on the DOS framework, however, this has now been rectified and updated today. No prototype is envisaged for the discovery phase, this will be commissioned in the alpha phase.
2. 2. What is the current architecture of the service?

What technologies are used? What are the hosting arrangements?

How much of this do you expect to remain the same?
The current system is an Oracle-based solution running on combination of physical (IBM) hardware and with virtual server application layer.

Application services deliver five environments (Dev, Test, UAT, OTE and Live). The live solution is hosted at a datacenter near Exeter, along with a secondary DR site hosted nearby.

Database storage is on a Dell EMC VNX Storage system, and a write-once Dell EMC Centera system is used for long-term data storage. The datacenter-networks-use-CISCO-switches and firewalls.

The-solution-employs-standard-open-technology (java, javascript, html, SOAP web-services), along-with-Oracle-Application-Express, and an-Oracle-database. The-service-also-uses-an-Experian-QAS-tool-for address-matching-service.

The-Department-has-not-ruled-out-the re-use of components, but-a-key-aim-is-to-transform-the-technical-delivery-of-the-service (e.g. to Cloud-based services), and-preparation-for-this-will-form-a-key-part-of Alpha-delivery.

More-detail-will-be-provided-about-the-solution-architecture-at-this stage.
3. 3. How did you come to the decision that the current service should remain largely unchanged, when it is described as "aging and expensive"?

Would you be open to proposals that propose a more significant change in architecture?
We are actively seeking changes in our architecture, and expect use of modern technologies.

The ‘scope’ referred to above is more around proposed functionality and data content, which are constrained by technical standards. Even here we expect to be challenged by additional research within this discovery phase.
4. 4. Is the total budget for this opportunity exclusive or inclusive of VAT?
Inclusive of VAT
5. 5. Please would MHCLG be able to confirm whether, through providing the Discovery and Alpha phases for a new digital service as part of this opportunity, the Supplier would be excluded from participating in any subsequent or concurrent opportunities that manifest as a result of this work?
MHCLG does not intend to exclude the supplier, selected to undertake Discovery (or at a later in the process Alpha) from participating in any subsequent or concurrent opportunities; this would be subject to that supplier being registered on the particular framework the department opts to use for subsequent phases of development or delivery.
6. 6. Is it essential the this discovery phase is over a 3 month period? From how it sounds, you already have identified the need replacement system and usual discovery would aim to be completed in 6-8 weeks.
It’s not essential that the discovery be conducted over 3 months. A shorter time would be preferable, if it provides us with the information that we need to move into alpha (or procure a new system) with confidence.
7. 7. Is it expected that the team of required consultants will be on-site delivering everyday for the 3 month discovery?
No. As stated in the brief, team members can work from home 1-2 days of the week if this works for the team.
8. 8. Will this project include the EPC open data on Open Communities? How does the current register interact with Open Communities? Do they run from the same data source? Are you considering adapting the Open Communities site to act as the public interface to the register?
There will be ongoing need to publish open data from the EPC Register.

Currently, the register operator makes the data available to the MHCLG data processing team/processer, which then uses the supplied data set to publish the EPB data to open communities from MHCLG.

We are not sure about how this could operate in the future we hope that as part of Discovery, we will be able to understand more how this could operate including, the likely impact and risk associated in providing more direct interface of the published open data.
9. 9. Please can you advise on the timelines for the proposal and presentation within the procurement process?
The proposed timeline is as follows:

- Applications to close 13th August.
- Finalised shortlist by 17th August.
- Case study, work history and written proposal received by shortlisted suppliers by 24th August.
- Presentations to be held week commencing 3rd September.
- Evaluation concluded and notification of winning bidder by 10th September.

Please note, this is an indicative timetable and may be subject to change