Awarded to People Source Consulting Ltd

Start date: Monday 1 April 2019
Value: £20,000,000
Company size: SME
HM Revenue and Customs

HMRC Messaging - Agile delivery and live support of service orientated components

21 Incomplete applications

16 SME, 5 large

66 Completed applications

41 SME, 25 large

Important dates

Friday 2 November 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 9 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 16 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
With this call-off MDG are looking for a service provider with specialist capability and experience in delivering Integration components / services, Service Orientated Architect, Cloud technologies and DevOps at an enterprise level.
Latest start date
Friday 1 February 2019
Expected contract length
2 years
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
HM Revenue and Customs
Budget range
Contract value up to £20 million
Individual statements of work will have an associated price.
Travel and Subsistence payments will be paid in line with HMRC policies.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Within Chief Digital and Information Office (CDIO) the Messaging Delivery Group (MDG) manages all of HMRC's core integration services that deal with over a billion internal and external transactions every year; connecting 100's of HMRC services, developed in a wide variety of technologies. MDG provides a fundamental framework for delivering Application Programming Interface (API) access to HMRC core systems and enabling our digital agenda, API strategy and transformation roadmaps for all our services. We are utilising modern open source products and working in agile methodologies and approaches to develop a modern exciting workplace that delivers flexible cost effective integration solutions.
Problem to be solved
MDG is delivering Integration components for HMRC's key Transformation Programmes / Projects such as Customs Declaration Service, Border Systems Programme, Making Tax Digital. We require a delivery partner to provide development and delivery specialists, working in scrum teams and delivering in phased sprints. We also require Live Support for our services; potentially 24/7/365 and/or on-call. This will be managed via outcome based statements of work for a variety of programmes.
Who the users are and what they need to do
HMRC's Digital Strategy is to accommodate the majority of interaction with customers through digital self-service. This will reduce the nation's tax gap through making the UK's tax system more transparent and reducing the overheads involved in supporting such a system. The MDG provides integration between customer facing digital front-end and Heads of Duty Services.
The supplier will need to demonstrate expertise in all the following areas:
Business and Technical analysis
Integration technologies
Cloud Transformation
Agile/ Scrum experience
Agile Project Management
Service Orientated Architecture
Cloud & Security Architecture
Architectural Governance
Solutions architecture / design
Service Management
Portfolio Management
Delivery Management
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Work of programmes / projects are at various stages in the development lifecycle. The Customs Declaration Service will be moving in to live service before the end of the 2018. Other projects are moving through Discovery. New projects may be added to the pipeline during the lifetime of the contract.
Existing team
MDG has a mixed team including in-house staff, an existing Service Provider plus contingent labour contractors.
There are currently a number of teams working on these services, across 2 sites. The successful supplier team will work with these existing capabilities. A part of the role of the supplier will be to assist HMRC in growing its own capability and we will expect a level of support for our staff at all levels from apprentice through to senior management.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
HMRC locations including Southend, Telford and London. We would also like to explore options for the supplier working off-site.
Working arrangements
The Supplier:
- will manage delivery of products/services as specified in SoW ;

- select suitably qualified/experienced staff

- have the right to substitute staff with equally qualified/experienced individuals.

- will provide mentoring, coaching and knowledge transfer to the in-house team with the ultimate aim of handing over to that team.
- be on site 5 days (40 hours) per week collaborating with the wider team unless work commitments require work to be done elsewhere. (We would also be open to explore off-site working providing HMRC's Security policies are adhered to.)

- T&S will be paid as per HMRC policies.
Security clearance
The supplier will ensure the relevant security checks i.e. BPSS are completed prior to arrival on site. SC clearance will be required for staff interacting with production environments.

HMRC will fund and sponsor SC Clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Any capability or behaviours concerns will be raised by HMRC to the supplier. However the supplier will manage the performance, attendance and conduct of their staff and will ensure they comply with all HMRC H&S, Security and behaviour policies.
- Individuals will be expected to adhere to the Civil Service code of conduct

We reserve the right to set payment method as appropriate to the project

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
  • Evidenced example of scaling up and down teams to accommodate either new requirements or changes within the delivery pipeline.
  • Evidenced example of providing additional and/or value added activities when acting in the role of a partner supplier to an organisation
  • Evidenced example of providing a multi team development capability across multiple projects
  • Experience of providing subject matter expert out of hours support
  • Provide an example of migrating development and services from physical/private-Cloud architecture to public-Cloud architecture
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Experience of working with a Public Sector body or relevant large organisation.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Able to start on the work immediately.
  • Have excellent communication skills with staff at all levels of the organisation
  • Be willing to collaborate and partner, including with other suppliers and HMRC staff at all levels.
  • Proactively share knowledge and experiences with members of team, especially with junior HMRC staff.
  • Be innovative and promote ideas and suggestions as applicable
  • Focus on achieving value for money in all activities
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Does the fixed price apply to the overall contract value of £20m, or is it a fixed price per SOW?
We will be looking for the supplier to provide fixed costs against each SoW, where possible. We do however reserve the right to request T&M pricing where that is more approriate to the project delivery under some SoWs.
2. Will the winning provider replace the existing provider (assume they don't win) or will the new provider work alongside the existing provider?
The winning supplier will be replacing the incumbent supplier. However, we expect there will be a period of time where the two will be required to work alongside one another to allow for knowledge handover and upskilling.
3. Which Public Cloud platform are you working towards deploying your solution?
Messaging Delivery Group are currently utilising AWS, but may well in the future deploy solutions to Azure (and potentially other Public Cloud providers).
4. Are you willing to accept SME's provide part of the solution with SoW dedicated for a specific capability for Architecture and review, or Service delivery? Or is it that you expect SME's to collaborate and provide a single proposal as prime and secondary suppliers with a single SoW?
HMRC require a single proposal to deliver all aspects of the requirement. We are not prescriptive, as per the terms of the framework this proposal could come from a consortium of suppliers who come together to deliver (with one lead supplier or a newly formed company, jointly owned by the members of the consortium) or by a single supplier supported by one or more subcontractors. We also welcome bids from suppliers who intend to fulfil 100% of the service through their own capability. Any consortium or subcontractor arrangements must be made clear in the bid information.
5. Is the intention to award this to a single provider, or may there be multiple successful providers?
Our intention is to award a single contract. As per the previously answered question this could be to a single supplier, a consortium or a supplier who subcontracts some aspects of delivery.
6. In the assessment methods for Round 2/ITT stage, there doesn't seem to be a presentation stage which is usually the case for most DOS opportunities. Can you confirm if the stage 2 evaluation would be based on written proposal/case study only?
We will not be completing a presentation stage. We will be evaluating based upon case study and written proposal responses. Suppliers who progress beyond the shortlisting stage will be issued with a scenario/problem against which they will provide a costed written response and case studies of when they have completed similar work in the past. Detailed format expectations and evaluation criteria will be included within the scenario/problem document.
7. Can HMRC confirm if they will be providing premises to deliver the work in the locations described?
Yes, HMRC will be providing accommodation at the stated locations. However, as stated in the requirement we would also consider options for working off-site in the supplier’s premises.
8. ''Evidenced example of providing additional and/or value added activities when acting in the role of a partner supplier to an organisation'' – Can you elaborate on what you mean by ''value add activities'' – are you looking for us to showcase value added with a financial element attached to it (for example: how we reduced costs and by how much) and would such an example be acceptable?
We are looking for all aspects of value add. If there is a financial element to the example then this should be detailed, but we are also interested in examples where the value add is around improvement to delivery and efficiency.
9. ''Evidenced example of providing a multi team development capability across multiple projects'' – do you mean examples of how we provided multiple teams working in different areas to the same client?
We would like to see evidence of where multiple teams, with our required skill-set i.e. integration, Cloud Transformation, DevOps etc, have been supplied to a single client, preferably in a single area.
10. ''Experience of providing subject matter expert out of hours support'' – what roles would you categorise as SMEs?
Roles for Out-of-hours support would include, but not be limited to : Service Management, Developer, DevOps, Business / Technical Analysts.
11. Will there be a second stage of clarification questions following down selection and the provision of the Scenario / Problem?
We will be allowing clarification questions around the scenario/problem itself to ensure that all suppliers understand what is required of them for that stage. All questions received will be published for all suppliers included in that stage to see and consider. This will not be an opportunity to ask further questions around the published requirement.
12. For the multiple SOWs mentioned, will the supplier be given sufficient lead time for form the required team with the right skills levels?
The successful supplier will work with HMRC to understand the needs, processes and pipeline of work (where this is known). As part of these discussions, Messaging Delivery Group will agree with the supplier dates for expected delivery and realistic timescales for both parties. However, there will be occasions where the supplier will be required to stand up expertise at short notice due to challenging deadlines set by Messaging Delivery Group’s customer lines of business.
13. Can HMRC provide any further detail around the content of future SOWs? e.g. Is there an existing pipeline of work HMRC intend to fulfill via this contract, or a plan to work with the successful supplier to develop a delivery roadmap?
Key projects have been detailed within the published opportunity. We are not in a position to release any further detail around the pipeline at this moment in time as the detail of it is changing on a weekly basis. As per my previous answer, Messaging Delivery Group will discuss these requirements with the successful supplier to agree delivery expectations and timescales.
14. Have HMRC defined the period of time between the issue and commencement date of future SOWs to the successful supplier?
We do not have a defined timeline at this stage. However, we are hoping for an award date of mid/late January with the potential to commence the first SoW by March. However, this is caveated with changing demands and developments within Messaging Delivery Group until that time.
15. What has driven HMRC's decision to go out to the market for a new supplier now? Are you mandated to do this?
HMRC are not mandated to go out to market at this stage. We are considering our future needs in this area and approaching the market now to allow sufficient time to complete a competitive procurement exercise prior to the expiry of the current call off. Messaging Delivery Group need to ensure that there is no hard stop to the current agreement, without the next agreement being in a position to deliver effectively.
16. When does the existing supplier contract expire, what is the expected period of dual running for knowledge transfer?
The existing contract expires at the end of June 2019. Therefore, if we can get the first SoW in place by March, as previously advised, we would expect the new call off to work alongside the existing one for approx 3 months.
17. Acknowledging that the work will take place across multiple locations, is there one central MDC team that the supplier will work with? Where are they based, and what are their roles/job titles?
The bulk of the service provison is currently based in Southend, but moving forward we expect the supplier to locate expertise in at least 3 other sites with travel between all of CDIO’s strategic locations. The 3 other sites are Telford, London and Bristol.
Current roles include:
Delivery Manager
Scrum Master
Integration Architect
Technical BA
Lead Developer
DevOps Engineer
18. Please provide detail on the previous resource profile over the last 24 months and whether this is indicative of future resource requirements.
As this is a service contract we do not want to be prescriptive on the roles required. However, the previous response provides the types of roles we currently utilise and we would expect the supplier to be able to deliver on around 10 projects at any one time. Our estimation is that this would require 12/14 scrum teams. This is on current forecast and is only indicative.
19. For the out of hours support and on-call is this for a limited duration while services are brought on-line or is it an on-going requirement to provide BAU support
We consider the out of hours requirement to be ongoing BAU activity.
20. Does the client have any existing tooling choices / strategy which will impact the delivery model approach?
A highly automated Dev-Ops approach to the delivery of code and cloud infrastructure using industry best practices. A non-exhaustive list of Dev-Ops tooling includes Terraform, Ansible, Git and Jenkins.
21. In the essential skills and experience, there is a requirement to provide an example of a migration of service to the public cloud. Can HMRC provide further detail on the scale or type of service that would best fit the example ?
In terms of scale and type of service we are currently migrating several thousand of our existing data flows from our legacy ESB technologies, off of hundreds of on-premise servers to multi-vendor cloud managed services, including the following clouds - Azure, AWS and Crown hosting.
22. Can HMRC outline the key technologies and skills required ?
These technologies include but are not limited to the following:
Java, Docker, Elasticsearch, Netflix OSS, HashiCorp Consul, Apache Camel and WSO2 Enterprise Integrator
23. What are the current team sizes and do HMRC have a view on how many additional resources are required and across what disciplines ?
We expect that the supplier will be required to deliver in the region of 10 projects which at the current rate equates to around 12/14 scrum teams. These scrum teams differ in size dependent upon the deliverables required for that project.
24. Any consortium or subcontractor arrangements must be made clear in the bid information.'' – assume this is relevant to Round 2 stage as it's nearly impossible to make this clear within 100 words at this stage?
That is correct. We would be looking for the supplier to make this clear in their stage 2 submission.
25. Is the draw down of the £20m contract value expected to be fairly evenly spread across the term and SOWs or will there be some larger projects or a ramp up period? If so can we have visibility of the expected timings for these?
We do not expect the spend to be spread evenly across the contract. It will obviously depend on the Messaging DG project pipeline. Some of our key projects relate to EU Exit and an element of uncertainty remains around the level of demand. We are specifically looking for a supplier who will be able to flex up and down to respond to fluctuating demand.