Start date: Tuesday 15 January 2019
Value: £126,554
Company size: SME
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

MHCLG need to deliver an Alpha phase for a new Energy Performance of Buildings service

10 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 2 large

24 Completed applications

21 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Friday 9 November 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 16 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 23 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
MHCLG requires an agile, flexible team to deliver an alpha for a new digital service to replace the existing Energy Performance of Buildings Registers service (EPB Registers).
Latest start date
Wednesday 2 January 2019
Expected contract length
8 to 10 weeks
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
Budget range
A budget within a range between £100k to £175k 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 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 current service facilitates the lodgement and retrieval of Energy Performance Certificates.

The Department needs to complete the Alpha phase using the recommended spikes from the Discovery Exercise completed in October 2018. The new service should meet the Department’s aims for improved usability, management & use of data, security, and value for money, future flexibility and technical delivery.
Problem to be solved
The current service/technology is insufficiently flexible-or-adaptable to meet the current/future-needs-of-MHCLG. The current legacy-platform is aging and expensive; technical/service-delivery need to be brought up-to-date.

In discovery we defined-our-product vision as:

The EPBR is a secure-register that provides the secure-lodgement of building energy efficiency certificates and the retrieval of lodged-EPCs for Home buyers, their agents and Government-Agencies. EPCs are required to comply with EU-regulations which improve energy efficiency and support the home buying, selling and renting of properties. This should continue to be self funding and Service-Standard compliant. It needs to be more cost effective, provide low maintenance, flexible and GDPR compliant.
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 18.28m domestic EPCs and 1.2m non-domestic DECs & ACIRS have been lodged.
Early market engagement
Covered below.

Further information can be found at


and the outputs from Discovery show and tell presentation slide pack.

Please note that this link will remain open for 7 days. Please download as quickly as possible,
Any work that’s already been done
A discovery phase has been completed. The recommendations for alpha are:

1. Greater understanding of the ecosystem at a large and small scale (Impact on the homeowner/tenant)
2. Insight into the needs and wants of citizens
3. Understanding data at the atomic level (Creating the right data frames and framework for data, Creating a tool to enable configuration of the data)
4. Identifying systems “touch points” (Creating the right APIs, Creating the right level of human oversight).

The supplier team will have access to existing documentation from the completed, discovery work and the subject matter experts within the internal team.
Existing team
The successful supplier will work alongside an internal project delivery team (Product Owner, 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 at the MHCLG office located at 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF
Working arrangements
We would prefer a co-located team, however team members may work remotely 1-2 days a week with agreement.

Travel/expenses to the primary site in 2 Marsham Street cannot be reimbursed by MHCLG.
Security clearance
CTC or above is desirable for suppliers as staff won’t need escorting on site. There is no requirement for supplier personnel to be security cleared. BPSS clearance will be required to access MHCLG's ICT systems.

Please make it clear whether staff have CTC security clearance or not when submitting 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
  • Demonstrate (with specific examples) experience for delivery of user-centric web design
  • Demonstrate experience of delivering APIs to meet the needs of technical users
  • Provide (with specific examples) your experience of successfully designing and delivering Cloud-based MVP solutions (for alpha-prototype, private-beta and/or public-live service)
  • Outline your experience of delivering Alpha outputs of similar project size, complexity and timelines.
  • Provide details of your experience of delivering Government data management frameworks, including practical strategies and policies, for the management of data – its use and quality
  • Evidence of delivering an alpha based on a discovery conducted by another supplier (or a beta based on an alpha by a previous supplier)
  • Demonstrate your experience working to the Digital Service Standard, ideally at alpha;
Nice-to-have skills and experience

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
  • Explain (with specific examples) how you are able to manage difficult 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
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please can you confirm if there is an incumbent in place?
2. Please can you confirm who delivered the Discovery?
The supplier who delivered the Discovery phase of this requirement was Valtech.
3. Would MHCLG accept proposals that have an earlier recommended start date?
Yes, This is acceptable. However, the actual start date of this work will still remain 2 January 2019.
4. Was the discovery work completed by an internal team or an external supplier?
Please see our response to Question 2.
5. The link provided for Early Market Engagement materials ( is timing out. Please could you check / repost?
Within the original requirement, suppliers were informed to download this link as quickly as possible to avoid this timing out. If you are interested in bidding for this, please ensure that you download this as quickly as you possibly can, as this will not be valid to download from Friday 16 November.
6. Will MHCLG be providing a Product Owner full time during the phase of this procurement?
7. In order to compare suppliers, how will price be evaluated?
At the appropriate time, we shall request this information from suppliers. Normally, we request number of days and day rates for each role suppliers shall provide to deliver the requirement. We have asked for a fixed price or capped time and materials model, but if there are elements which are already fixed (by suppliers), these should be noted within suppliers commercial proposals.
8. Will scoring from the evidence stage be taken through to final evaluation scoring? As opposed to being used solely for the purpose of shortlisting.
This has not yet been discussed or agreed with the Evaluation panel. However, previous experience of using the DOS framework suggests that long-list scoring will be taken forward to the short-list stage.
9. Is this opportunity outside of IR35?
Yes. We are procuring an outcome, rather than a specialist.
10. When suppliers are asked to submit evidence, the following advice is given: "You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement (unless the buyer specifies otherwise)." Do you want suppliers to provide one example for each evidence answer?
Please focus primarily on one example. But you can refer briefly to wider experience.
11. Can we ask what criteria MHCLG will be using to judge whether an evidence answer 'exceeded' requirements and therefore scores full marks (3)?
This has not yet been discussed or agreed with the Evaluation panel. However, previous experience determines an exceeded response as providing added value, a specific delivered outcome and details of what benefits were achieved.
12. What is the timeline for procurement after the first stage (suppliers to providing evidence to the listed skills and experience)?
The current, provisional timeline is as follows:

Proposals sent to evaluators – Monday 26 November

Long-listing to shortlisting takes place – Friday 30 November

Supplier presentations – Wednesday 5 December

Final decision made – Friday 7 December

Assignment starts – Wednesday 2 January 2019
13. What roles will MHCLG deploy during Alpha? Will these be full time?
Product Owner, support (with room booking, escorting, etc) and access to stakeholders/users.
Yes, it is likely that some of these roles will be full time.
14. Have MHCLG already identified users for user research and be able to facilitate access to these users during Alpha?
15. Will this service be taken through the GDS Service Assessment?
16. Will MHCLG accept proposals that recommend an alternate commercial model? (e.g Time and Materials)?
Please see our response to Question 7
17. Can MHCLG define a clear scope of work at proposal stage for suppliers to provide a Fixed Price quote against or would you accept proposals that recommend a Time and Materials commercial?
Please see our response to Question 7.
18. Was the Discovery exercise carried out by an external supplier and if so do you expect them to bid for the Alpha phase?
Yes. It is possible that the supplier who delivered the Discovery phase may bid for the Alpha phase. All proposals will be handled in an open, fair and transparent manner.
19. Is the budget listed exclusive of VAT?
20. The link provided for Early Market Engagement materials ( now gives a "Page not found" error; is there an alternative?
Sorry about this. Please find attached new link for this.

Please note that this shall expire after 7 days so please ensure that this is downloaded as soon as you can.
21. EPCs are required for EU-regulation compliance. After Brexit, are any changes expected to UK policy relating to EPCs?
During the EU Exit transition / implementation period the UK is expected to continue to comply with EU legislation, including any new requirements which come into force during this period. This might include additional changes to the EPB Directive.
In the long term the policies on EPCs could also change in conjunction with developing energy/green policies across the UK, but this would not impact the development of a new register services for the short term after 2019.
22. User Research – some internal stakeholder are described as being in locations across the UK including Wales and Northern Ireland; does the client anticipate that User Research would benefit from some travel to these locations?
No. Other methods of communication can be arranged to liaise with Wales and Northern Ireland.
23. Re. the proposed client team, given the budget, is it valid to assume that you would only need some of those on a very short-term basis during the engagement?
This is for the supplier team to advise based on the recommended Alpha team during discovery.
24. In the Discovery pack, this mentions four different aspects (such as greater ECO system and system touch points). Could you let us know whether this needs to be done as part of Alpha?
The purpose of Alpha for this requirement is to take forwards what was delivered as part of the previous Discovery phase. So key touch points of Discovery will be covered in Alpha.
25. How there been any Proof of Concept’s delivered in Discovery?
No. We are starting from scratch with prototype’s (or proof of concepts) with the work being delivered in the future Alpha phase.
26. What is your suggested architecture solution for the Alpha phase?
Current preference is for Open Source or Java. However, we are willing to hear what suppliers think and are open to suggested options, in terms of architecture and software which could be best utilised in future for this service.
27. Any thoughts given to future technological solutions?
No. We know that other Govt. Departments are using similar registers. Alpha phase can consider other technologies too.
28. Has MHCLG considered what cloud solution they would like to use for this future solution?
Government PaaS is currently being considered. However, no final decision has been made with this. Attractive, other options will be considered as part of the Alpha phase.
29. Is data migration an issue to be considered for the Alpha phase?
Yes. Future data migration is a consideration, knowing that there is an estimated 19m EPC records which need retention for 10 years.
30. Is the transferring of said data an issue to consider as part of the Alpha requirement?
No. The distinction between this question and Question 29 is that options on how to migrate current data should be considered. The physical data transfer is not being considered during Alpha but the exploration and options of how the data transfer should happen effectively has to be considered.
31. Is it a balancing act between being rigid in terms of meeting your timescales against the quality of work being delivered?
Quality of delivery is fundamentally important for the Alpha phase. In terms of rigidly sticking to our timescales, suppliers should tell us what is an acceptable timescale, supported by why this can be delivered within your proposed timescales.
32. Will the successful suppliers’ team be integrated with the MHCLG Digital team. Also how will the successful supplier for the Alpha phase work with the existing service supplier?
Internal team – Yes, the successful supplier will work closely and be integrated with the MHCLG Digital team.
External supplier – based outside London, possible that the successful supplier shall visit them to assist with the Alpha phase of this requirement.
33. We are assuming essential skill question 3 is referring to architecture developed based on iterative prototyping as opposed to prototyping to support user research. Can you confirm this is the case?
Alpha will be to develop iterative prototypes using user research to improve the new services .
34. Having delivered the register for the collection and validation of EPC's in Scotland can you confirm if the recommended technology stack detailed in the Discovery Phase of this opportunity (AWS, Java, Open Source) is fixed or whether an alternative solution delivered on a tried and tested stack (Azure,.Net framework) is acceptable.
Please see our response to Question 26. However, we are happy for suppliers to suggest other solutions which can be considered as part of alpha.