This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Wednesday 15 August 2018
Department for Transport, Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB)

Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) –Marine Casualty database

7 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 1 large

16 Completed applications

10 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Wednesday 1 August 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 8 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 15 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Develop and implement a database to replace and streamline the functionality of the European Marine Casualty Information Platform as used by the MAIB. Current data to be migrated and searchable. Provide suitable means of maintaining population of the database.
Latest start date
Monday 10 September 2018
Expected contract length
Alpha:6-8 weeks. Beta:TBC (Project including testing and training to be completed by 29 March 2019).
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Department for Transport, Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB)
Budget range
250k – 350k for both Alpha and Beta. The Supplier shall provide a price breakdown for Alpha, with Beta to be defined as an output of Alpha.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) is an EU agency which assists member states at an operational level on issues of maritime safety and counter pollution. One of the main services provided by EMSA to the UK is access to the agencies information systems, including the European Marine Casualty Information.

The UK needs to develop a domestic alternative which will streamline this system’s functionality, while enabling the MAIB to continue to fulfil their international legal obligations and maintain their core operations.
Problem to be solved
•Delivery of Alpha phase by 5th November 2018
•System to be in place and operational 29th March 2019
•Data migration of 40,000 cases (700 fields in 30 tables)
•Interaction with internal / external databases
•Build upon the user personas, creating backlogs and determining acceptance criteria.
•Develop and test prototypes or wireframes through UX research
•Develop/test chosen option, demonstrating it’s technical, contractual and legally feasibility
•Identify what we need to do in Beta, highlighting risks/dependencies
•Provide indicative costs for full system development
•Consider tools and training required to adopt the final solution
Who the users are and what they need to do
Principal inspector – Support decision making and notify foreign states of any accidents

Inspector – database queries, run MI reports, transfer data to external databases.

Investigation Support Officer – Create and edit records/reports and import external data

Analyst – query historical data and establish trends
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Government digital Service has mapped the current service, identifying stakeholders and touchpoints. MAIB expect to have a full taxonomy of the existing database and documentation relating to the logic and data quality tests. MAIB would also facilitate access to data currently held on the EMCIP database.
Existing team
The supplier will be working with MAIB colleagues in Southampton with specialist support and subject matter expertise provided by the database administrator.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Marine Accident Investigation Branch – 1st floor, Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton. SO15 1GH
Working arrangements
The team will need to work a professional working day, 5 days a week for 6 - 8 weeks.

Activities to be completed during Alpha will be agreed with the supplier when appointed which may impact suggested timeframes

Some events or additional meetings with users may be needed around the country. Expenses will be paid in accordance with DfT rates.
Security clearance
All contractors’ personnel should be cleared to the authority security clearance level of SC as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Tender documentation - CVs for the Suppliers Key Personnel involved in this contract will be required. CVs will be submitted along with the Shortlisted Supplier's Full Proposals and evidence of the required Security Clearances.

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
  • Proven, demonstrable experience delivering projects using the Agile project management methodology.
  • Proven ability to support a flexible way of working, making late changes to plans and re-formulating to maintain project progress against tight timelines.
  • Demonstrable evidence of excellent planning, coordination, communication and project management skills.
  • Proven, demonstrable track record of delivering projects at speed with clearly identified deliverables and timescales.
  • Have demonstrable experience of complex technical investigation to inform future project stage
  • Demonstrable evidence of incorporating latest technologies to enhance product specifications, resulting in increased functionality and improved user experience
  • Demonstrate evidence of successfully migrating databases onto new technical solutions
  • Demonstrable evidence of using clear development methodologies, outlining how this would work in conjunction with a client’s internal development team.
  • Demonstrable evidence of a robust risk management process, including risk identification, mitigations and governance.
  • Demonstrate understanding and ability to deliver digital services/products to the Government Digital Service standards.
  • Evidence of working with 3rd parties to develop standard interfaces and data exchange portals
  • Demonstrate evidence of Cyber Essentials/Essentials Plus certification relating to the processing of information under this contract(s),and when were you last assessed against this standard and were you successful
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Examples of working across multiple government departments, including data-sharing protocol.
  • Demonstrable evidence where innovative solutions have been applied to assist in project delivery.
  • Demonstrable evidence of adhering with Customer’s relevant policies and standards.
  • Demonstrable experience of utilising Open source technologies to affect change.
  • Demonstrable evidence of successfully managing and assisting in delivering IT projects within public sector organisations.
  • Demonstrate evidence of ISO 27001 certification (or other industry-recognised standard) in relation to the processing of information under this contract (if so when were you last audited against that standard?)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Suggested technical solution (10%)
  • Identify the approach and methodology to the Alpha/Beta project planning and delivery, identifying the main stages and activities proposed at each stage. (15%)
  • Detailed resource plan – demonstrating how in-house, supplier and external resource will be used and at what stage (8%)
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs (7%)
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (5%)
  • Estimated timeframes for the work (5%)
  • Demonstrate value for money (5%)
  • To protect Governmental information appropriately, classification of data (up to and including OFFICIAL SENSITIVE), Suppliers provide robust security measures appropriate to the nature/use of the information to NCSC standards (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience of working as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (2%)
  • Experience of transparent and collaborative decision making (2%)
  • Experience of taking responsibility for their work and resolving problems effectively (2%)
  • Evidence where status quo has been challenged resulting in an improved final outcome (2%)
  • Demonstrable evidence of working with clients with low technical expertise (2%)
  • Experience of working with Government departments (2%)
  • Evidence demonstrating an ability to transfer knowledge & skills to Civil Servant team members (1%)
  • Evidence of strategic thinking striving to deliver best possible solution/concept possible. (2%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you please confirm if you will be holding a supplier Q&A session?
The MAIB will not be holding a supplier day for this requirement due to the tight nature of the turnaround time. However we are happy to answer any questions through the clarification process.
2. Can you please confirm what technology the EMCIP database is?
The MAIB has access to the EMCIP database and will be provide a full extract of the data in a standardised format e.g.. CSV. Suppliers are not required to replicate the technology as long as the functionality is available. Our preference for the new system would be MS-SQL for compatibility with existing systems.
3. Please can the Authority confirm whether the work has to be done in Southampton?
The MAIB’s offices are based in Southampton and the work should be undertaken here where possible. However we understand that for the development phase of this project it may be more efficient for the work to be undertaken offsite. We are content with this approach on the requirement that any offsite work is maintained within the UK and there is a consistent and open dialogue between the project team and development team, with regular updates on progress, the timing of which to be agreed where required.
4. Can you outline the preferred technology platforms for the project?
The MAIB’s preferred technology platform is MS-SQL to sit within the Microsoft Suite of products and is intended to be hosted within the MAIB’s existing cloud infrastructure which is based within the Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Platform. However any system which can be integrated within the Office 365 suite of products and provide Single Sign On will be considered.
5. What roles are expected to be required on site? Is there an option for remote development work with key senior team members on site?
As per Question 3.
6. Please can the customer confirm if all work needs to be carried out at the Southampton office or if the work can be conducted remotely (e.g. at the supplier offices), with attendance at Southampton, as required, for meetings, workshops, reviews etc.
As per Question 3.
7. Do you envisage this service to be part of .GOV, or hosted elsewhere?
The service will not be part of .GOV and is intended to be hosted within MAIB’s existing cloud infrastructure which is based within the Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Platform.
8. How many users are there that use the current system, and what would be the estimated user requirements(how may users) of the new solution? What is the size of the existing database, what platform is the current database built on and how is it currently accessed?
The solution should be designed for use by 40 users. The MAIB has access to the EMCIP database and will be provide a full extract of the data in a standardised format e.g.. CSV. Suppliers are not required to replicate the technology as long as the functionality is available, the current access to this system is via a web portal. The MAIB’s existing data contains 40,000 cases comprising 700 fields in 30 tables. This is anticipated to be approximately 500MB of data.
9. Would you be happy to see more than one illustrative example offered for a given skill & experience area (e.g. evidence of using specific technologies) if available and where relevant?
The MAIB are happy to see up to 3 illustrative examples as a supplier feels will be appropriate to support their submission. The suppliers are reminded of the strict limits on the number of words that can be input at each section, per criterion listed. It is advised that the Digital Outcomes and Specialists: Suppliers Guide is followed as a guide to constructing evidence/examples.
10. The current "European Marine Casualty Information Platform (EMCIP)" is European - looking ahead to the UK’s exit from the EU, will the replacement system be focused on UK users?
The replacement system will be a national solution for which only internal members of staff to the MAIB will have access. All users will be UK users.
11. What existing database technology/technologies are you migrating from? Have new database technologies already been identified for the new system?
As per Questions 2 & 4.
12. To clarify, is the new system intended to pass on accident data submitted to it, to other relevant European systems?
There is a requirement that the system should be capable of receiving data from other systems and outputting data into other databases.
13. Regarding the existing internal development team: what are the existing roles? Are any current roles vacant? Which roles are filled by permanent staff, direct contractors, or are provided by a service supplier, and if provided by a supplier, who is the supplier?
The existing internal development team consists of the following roles:
• Project Manager
• IT Manager
• Database Manager
All roles are fulfilled by DfT permanent staff. The supplier will be responsible for provisioning a team to meet the full requirements of the specification. The internal team will be available for support and business questions along with providing the appropriate points of contacts where required, there is no provision internally for research, design, build, documentation within the scope of this project.
14. Are all four users identified for this digital service civil servants or in government, or are any users external to government (e.g. from the commercial shipping industry, non-government bodies)?
All users of the system are internal staff to MAIB.
15. Do you anticipate it will be possible to open-up direct channels of communication between members of the Digital Service team and EMCIP database staff during the project? (e.g. for rapid decision-making to enable fast delivery)
Access to the DfT Digital services team will be available throughout the project, however it is anticipated that the majority of decisions will be able to be made internally within MAIB. It should be assumed that there will be no access to EMCIP database staff during this project. As explained in Question 2 this should be a new implementation to meet our requirements.
16. How readily available will subject matter expertise in marine law be, to team members (e.g. business analysts, service designers), as required during Alpha and Beta phases? (e.g. for rapid decision-making to enable fast delivery)
The MAIB have the internal knowledge as to the regulations to which we are governed through the Merchant Shipping Act. It is not anticipated that any further understanding of marine law will be required. This knowledge is readily available internally through a number of individuals.
17. Is the new system expected, at some point, to provide anonymised information to the general public (e.g. via a new web portal)? Will public access to data captured by the new system continue to be made available via the European agency's web portal?
There is no requirement for anonymised information to be provided to the general public through a web portal. However there is a vision that the system would be capable of being able to provide anonymised data for responses to Freedom of Information requests in the future, although this is not currently part of the Minimum Viable Product. There is no requirement for the new system to continue to be made available through the EMSA web portal.
18. Regarding "mechanism to maintain population of the database" - to clarify, does this refer to ongoing sychronisation with data that will continue to be collected by EMCIP after the new UK system goes live? Does this refer to user interfaces through which data will be entered and maintained?
This is in relation to continually updating the new system with cases that are being received daily. There will be no synchronisation to the EMCIP platform after the new UK system goes live and this will be a standalone national system. This references the user interfaces through which data will be entered and maintained.
19. Regarding "Provide indicative costs for full system development" - to clarify, is this an expected outcome of the Beta phase? By "full system development", do you expect 'full system' functionality to be the scope-of-work completed at the time of first Public Beta launch?
Indicative costs for a full system development should be provided at the Alpha stage. At the end of the Alpha stage full system development will be undertaken which will provide the Beta release. As the system will be an internal system there will be no “Public Release” of the solution.