Awarded to Zoocha Limited

Start date: Monday 18 February 2019
Value: £39,950
Company size: SME
Harlow Council

Redevelopment of Harlow Council website and intranet

29 Incomplete applications

27 SME, 2 large

43 Completed applications

41 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Thursday 15 November 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 22 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 29 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We want to rebuild the Harlow Council website and intranet.
We need a supplier to design, build and implement a new website and intranet with a new CMS solution.
The supplier will need to provide CMS training.
The supplier will provide hosting and ongoing support for the website and intranet.
Latest start date
Friday 1 March 2019
Expected contract length
East of England
Organisation the work is for
Harlow Council
Budget range
£40,000 (not including ongoing support)

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Harlow Council website no longer meets the needs of our users. It is difficult to access information, cluttered and hard to read. We need a website that is accessible to all Harlow residents, structured clearly and designed as mobile-first.
Problem to be solved
The current website needs to be redeveloped. It was implemented in 2012 with a CMS using Drupal 7 and is no longer fit for purpose. The CMS needs updating. The visual design needs to be cleaned and updated. The navigation system needs to be simplified and made clearer. The search function needs improving.
We plan for the intranet to mirror the design of the main, external website.
We have no preference of CMS, but would like to use an open source platform.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As the Website Communications Officer, I need to be able to easily make content updates and small design changes.
As a Harlow resident, the website needs to be accessible, easy to navigate and provide a strong search function.
As a member of staff, the intranet needs to be simple to use, easy to navigate and link to our network.
Early market engagement
We have had some initial contact with providers of other Council websites.
Any work that’s already been done
We are reviewing all the content on our current website, decreasing the number of pages and rewriting the content following a new style guide.
We already have a transactional side of the website with a Firmstep forms package so we do not need the capacity to create complex forms and the website will link to this.
We have some basic designs of what we want the website to look like.
Existing team
The website is managed by the Council’s Customer and Media Services Manager and Web Communication Officer.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Harlow District Council, Civic Centre, The Water Gardens, College Square, Harlow CM20 1WG
Working arrangements
Mainly off-site, with occasional visits to our offices.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

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 designing and building public sector websites and intranets
  • Have experience delivering 'mobile first', responsive web designs
  • Have excellent knowledge of the content management system put forward
  • Have excellent understanding of WCAG 2.1 and experience of designing to at least AA level, and AAA where possible
  • Have experience in enterprise-level hosting solutions
  • Have experience providing business critical support
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • How the website design meets our user needs
  • Approach and experience
  • Value for money
  • Timeframe
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation
  • Be innovative and forward thinking
  • Open and transparent with decision making
  • Ability to work with users at all levels
  • Take responsibility for their work
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. One of the questions is "Have excellent knowledge of the content management system put forward" however the details of the outcome state that there is no preference for CMS. Which CMS has been put forward?
It's up to the supplier to suggest/put forward a CMS, and whichever one the supplier suggests, they need to have excellent knowledge of.
2. The budget states that it does not include support costs. However one of the questions asks for evidence of supporting business critical services.
Will support be a requirement and how should it be costed?
Support will be a requirement and it should be costed as an annual fee.
3. Are you looking specifically for an off the shelf solution or would you be open to using a bespoke CMS?
Yes we would still consider a bespoke CMS, although at the moment, it’s not our preference.
4. Is it possible to have access to any discovery outputs so far (e.g. user stories, feature requirements and suggested designs)?
We don't have any discovery outputs to share at the moment.
5. Do you have a preference on what technology stack is to be used? (e.g. ASP,.NET, PHP, Python, etc)
No we don't have a particular preference.
6. Is migration of existing content(from existing CMS) to the new system within the scope of this request?
We will manage the migration of content, as many of the pages will be changing in the new website and we want to largely start afresh with the structure and content, so this will not be something the supplier is expected to do.
7. Is testing of WCAG 2.1 standards mentioned expected to be within scope?
If it is in scope do you require use of actual users with disabilities for testing?
We want the website design to be built on the WCAG 2.1 guidelines and we would expect some basic testing as part of this, but we don't need the supplier to complete a comprehensive test or audit and we don't expect them to test with actual users with disabilities.
8. Will the buyer be bearing costs of any licenses or tools required to carry out this project? This includes cost of tools such as JIRA/Confluence for SDLC management and also any commercial tools that may be required for development/testing activities.
No we don't plan to bear the costs of any new licences or tools.
9. Should all travel expenses be accounted for within the fixed price mentioned?
10. Is redevelopment of the domain in scope for this project?
11. How many page templates, or content types, do you expect the new site to contain? If these are known can you outline what they are?
We envisage needing around 8 content types and we will explore these further at the next stage of the application process.
12. Have the initial design concepts that have been developed been approved by internal stakeholders, or are these at an earlier stage?
They are at an earlier stage, but we don't anticipate having any problems getting them approved internally.
13. You are keen to move away from Drupal 7, which you no longer consider fit for purpose. Are you open to the new site being built on Drupal 8?
Yes we are still open to using Drupal 8
14. Can you tell us about your expectations for the migration of content/data from the existing website to the new website, and the extent to which you expect this to be a manual/editorial or automated process?
We expect this to be a manual process, as we plan to start completely afresh with the content.
15. Our CMS is ostensibly a COTS system but is publicly documented (including the comprehensive APIs) and we encourage development by third parties. Is this a worthwhile basis for us to bid?
Yes - we would still be open to this option.
16. The contract notice describes the latest start date as 1 March 2019, which feels like a long way away given that you'll shortlist 5 suppliers sometime after 29 November. When do you actually hope to have appointed a supplier and for the project to start? When do you hope to launch the new website?
We hope to appoint a supplier before Christmas, start work in the New Year and would like to have the new website launched around June 2019, but this is not strict/fixed and it is dependent on the supplier.
17. Are all the payment/transactional features on also out of scope?
Yes they are out of scope.
18. Is your stated budget figure of £40K the maximum or minimum project budget? If the latter, can you tell us how much flexibility you have in terms of budget? Does your budget figure include or exclude VAT?
The £40k is the maximum, but it excludes VAT.
19. Can you tell us more about your intranet requirements, and whether this requires integrations with other Harlow Council systems (e.g. contacts directory, SSO, document sharing, messaging systems etc)?
The intranet will need to store a contacts directory - we don’t currently have a separate system for managing this and it's not linked to a telephone system - we have just created all profiles manually.
The intranet will need to link to our network, ideally so that people don’t need a username and password to sign on.
We don’t have a document sharing or messaging system at the moment.
We have some internal forms, built with Achieve, but these will only need to be hyperlinked to.
20. Have or are you undertaking a discovery phase prior to redesign?
Are you looking for user research to be carried out as part of this project or is the focus on design and build?
No we won't need user research to be carried out - the focus is on the design and build.
21. Do you have any specific Intranet functionality requirements?
The key functionality requirements are a simple sign on which doesn't require a username and password, and a staff directory system.
22. Whilst it has been stated the council would assume a manually migrating path, would the council welcome suppliers that could migrate some of the content for the council website in the event they come in on or under £40,000? (i.e. It can be done, so why doesn't this form part of the scoring?)
Mainly because we want to do it manually. We don't anticipate having very much content we will want to migrate on the intranet, and whilst there will be some documents on the external website we will need to carry over, whether this is an automated or manual process is not a key factor for us. We are using the redevelopment of the website as a chance to start completely afresh and don't necessarily need the ease/speed of migrating it - we would prefer to take time to make sure we get the right content in the right place.
23. Are hosting requirements in scope? If so, is it included in the £40k budget, or is this part of the ongoing support?
Yes hosting is in scope, but we expect the hosting to be costed annually. We envisaged the first year of hosting being included in the 40K, but not any subsequent years.
24. Does the council host the existing Drupal platform;
1. internally
2. in a supplier's data-centre/shared hosting environment
3. in the cloud
3. in the cloud
25. How should access to the Intranet be controlled? i.e. username/password, IP restriction, single sign-on, Active Directory.
We’d like access to be as seamless as possible, so want to avoid users having to enter a username/password if possible and instead use either IP restriction or single sign on.
26. Do you currently use Office 365 or SharePoint at all?
No we are not using 365 or Sharepoint.
27. Please can you clarify exactly what you expect the stated budget to cover?
We have tried to do this in our requirements and in the answers to all our questions. If you are still unclear on whether anything in particular is in or out of scope, please let us know and we can clarify.
28. 1. Please share detailed scope of work for website as well as intranet along with any 3rd party integration requirements
2. Is there any specific location for hosting server required?
3. Please elaborate your requirement for missor the design?
4. Can you please share designs which you currently have for better understanding.
5. Could you please specify exactly which supporting document (e.g. Purchase Order/ Work Order / Letter of Award / Copy of Contract/ Completion Certificate, Self Declaration on Supplier's Letter Head, etc.) are admissible?
1. We don’t have any specific integration requirements and cannot share a detailed scope of work at this stage.
2. Only that it needs to be within the EEA.
3. We envisaged the design of the intranet to use the same or similar design templates to the external website.
4. We will share this at the next stage of the process.
5. In relation to what specifically are you asking about the supporting document?
29. Are you open to working with agencies from outside the UK (e.g. Ireland)?
30. With regards to the single sign on for the intranet, what system would the website need to be integrated with to handle this? This would help us make an informed decision on the CMS to be used.
We're open to any kind of access control that avoids having a username and password. We currently use Active Directory which links to our network using a FAM.
31. What relational database system is the council website currently based on?
As we want to start completely afresh with a new website - we don't want to migrate any content - we don't feel like this is something that the supplier needs to be concerned about.