Awarded to PA Consulting Services Limited (UK)

Start date: Wednesday 9 January 2019
Value: £174,650
Company size: large
Department for Transport (DfT), Transport Appraisal and Strategic Modelling (TASM) Division.

Developing a VFM Data Collection and Management System (Alpha/Beta) copy copy

11 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 4 large

6 Completed applications

4 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Tuesday 20 November 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 27 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 4 December 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
• Conduct user research in Alpha phase and provide digital support for 1-2 years after Beta phase.

• Develop a flexible and imbedded data collection and management system that DfT will own and operate in, after support period;

Important Additional Information accessed via this link:
Latest start date
Monday 7 January 2019
Expected contract length
12 weeks for both Alpha and Beta phases and then additional 1-2 years digital support
Organisation the work is for
Department for Transport (DfT), Transport Appraisal and Strategic Modelling (TASM) Division.
Budget range
£125 000 - £175 000.

About the work

Why the work is being done
A centrally managed value for money data collection and management system would improve the way we collect, store and share data which will lead to better monitoring, analysis and reporting of data.
As a result, we will be able to:

- collect data more frequently
- reduce the burden of data collection
- enrich the quality of our analysis
- track project performance over time
- be more responsive to requests for ad hoc analysis
- increase strategic oversight of the department’s investment portfolio
- better support evidence-based decision making across the department.
Problem to be solved
Currently there is no central source of data on investment proposals either in development or that have been approved. We collect data from across the department at various points in the year via different mechanisms to inform a number of strategic work-streams. This can be both cumbersome to the central team and data providers, result in the production of multiple, inconsistent and incomplete data sets; and undermine the quality of outputs produced by the team. It also relies on requests for data coming from the centre rather than this being routinely provided by lead analysts.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The main users are the team (5 people) that manage the system and are responsible for the collection, monitoring, analysis and reporting of the data, as well as for the quality assurance of the system. The other users (around 30 people) analyst teams within DfT own the data that we collect and will need to submit the data through the data collection system. Some will also need to export data relating to their business area for analysis.
Important Additional Information can be accessed via this link:
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The discovery phase is completed. We have developed an Excel collection tool which will provide a blue-print for the system. When developing this tool, a lot of work was done in specifying the requirements, testing and actively using it. We have engaged with DfT’s Digital Service and identified the most appropriate solution: to develop a front-end portal for data submission, behind which there will be a database for storing data. That database will be available for onward processing using third party tools. Additional user research may be required but this can be covered by the Alpha phase.
Existing team
1 x internal Project Manager
1 x internal Product Owner

The supplier’s principle contact will be the internal Project Manager who will be supported by a small in-house team including a Digital Architect and a Digital Business Partner.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Work can be undertaken remotely however we expect the supplier to work on-site when required
(Windsor House, 50 Victoria Street, Westminster, London SW1H 0TL
Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, Westminster, London SW1P 4DR).
Working arrangements
The supplier is expected to work full-time, 37 hours per a week (7.4 hours per day), Monday to Friday for up to 12 weeks. The supplier must be available/contactable during core hours, 10am to 4pm.
Expenses must align with DfT Travel and Subsistence policy, with no expenses incurred within the M25 corridor with all other proposed travel approved by the buyer prior to mobilisation.
Security clearance
All contractors’ personnel should at minimum be cleared to authority security clearance level of SC and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award.

CV's including security clearance evidence is required for resource to be assigned to project and will be evidenced at written proposal stage.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The sign-off and payment for the Alpha and Beta phases are subject to the Digital Architect’s approval. A high-level design will be submitted to the DfT Digital Design Authority. DfT data platform is the Google cloud platform and the solution should be built using Google cloud components where possible including how data is stored and managed and how identity is managed and controlled. Following the development of the system, the supplier should house the system and provide digital support for 1-2 years.
Important Additional Information can be accessed via this link:

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 demonstrable experience in design and development of easy-to-use front-end portals for data submission and accurate data processing and management solutions
  • Have experience in delivering similar solutions in cloud -based environments and understand the security and management of cloud components.
  • Proven experience of providing digital support in an enterprise environment.
  • Proven experience conducting and documenting user research with a diverse mix of users, iterating project work accordingly
  • Proven experience delivering projects using the agile project management methodology. The department doesn’t require a specific Agile methodology to be followed.
  • Proven track record of delivering projects at speed with clearly identified deliverables and timescales.
  • Demonstrable evidence of excellent planning, coordination, communication and project management skills.
  • Demonstrable evidence of incorporating latest technologies to enhance product specifications, resulting in increased functionality and improved user experience.
  • Demonstrable evidence of a robust risk management process, including risk identification, mitigations and governance.
  • Demonstrable evidence of managing personal, commercially and/or politically sensitive data in line with security requirements and data protection legislation.
  • Demonstrate evidence of Cyber Essentials/Essentials Plus certification in relation to the processing of information. When were you last assessed against this standard and were you successfully awarded a certificate
  • Demonstrate understanding and ability to deliver digital services/products to the Government Digital Service standards.
  • ISSC1 Statement of Assurance (SoA) via link
  • Demonstrate evidence of ISO 27001 certification or equivalent (or other industry-recognised standard) in relation to the processing of information.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable evidence of successfully managing/assisting in delivering IT projects within public sector organisations.
  • Demonstrable evidence of successfully using Google Cloud Platform.
  • Demonstrable evidence of using open source database.
  • Demonstrate evidence of using NCSC’s Security Design Principles for Digital Services (

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution (25%)
  • Approach and methodology (10%)
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs and the organisation’s policy or goal (25%)
  • Estimated timeframes for the work (5%)
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (5%)
  • Given the sensitivity of the data, the supplier will need to indicate in the proposal their data management and data security approaches (5%)
  • Value for money - Cost awareness, forecast and monitor performance, identify and address inefficiency (25%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience of working as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (25%)
  • Experience of transparent and collaborative decision making (25%)
  • Experience of taking responsibility for their work and resolving problems effectively (25%)
  • Experience of sharing approach, knowledge and skills with other team members and with the department by example (25%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. 1. Can you advise, does this assignment sit inside or outside IR35?
1. The assignment sits outside IR35.
2. 1. Can you advise, does this assignment sit inside or outside IR35?
1. The assignment sits outside IR35.
3. What is the length of the contract?
The contract term will be a maximum of 2 years, with Alpha/Beta phases being delivered within the first 12 weeks to build and test the system. Following on from the delivery of Alpha/Beta into the Live environment, we expect the supplier to provide digital support until the contract is terminated or expires.
4. Are you looking for a Software Data Developer or a Data Analyst to collate the data received?
The data will be collated by Data Analysts who will do the analysis with a no code or a low code option.
5. The budget range mentioned is for the proposed 12 weeks Alpha and Beta phases only (OR) includes additional 1-2 years digital support also ?
The budget range includes additional 1-2 years support.
6. The Google document referenced in the tender appears corrupted. Can you please re-share?
I have checked the link(s) to all three google documents and all are working. Should you continue to have a problem, please contact Lilian Carroll 01792 662467 or 07977 418799, to be provided with the information to the link that cannot be accessed.
7. We note that the Discovery Phase is complete. In order to identify the most appropriate Case Studies and resources to deliver the work can you please provide a copy of the outputs from the Discovery Phase (including the Excel collection tool referenced)?
All relevant information related to the Discovery Phase will be made available to suppliers shortlisted to stage 2 (at the point case studies and written proposals are requested).
8. Kindly share the expectations for 1-2years digital support – scope, hours of support, team size etc.
We expect the supplier to be able to make changes to the system, to problem-solve and fix errors upon request and be available/contactable during core hours, 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. The team currently consists of five and will be less than 10 people.
9. With respect to the requirement that "full IPR of the solution including coding" goes to DfT, can you clarify the meaning here? All software solutions these days build upon open-source solutions that cannot be assigned to DfT.
We would like all code to be open source and ensure that the workflows, configuration and build can be replicated by DfT for other purposes within DfT.
10. Some software can have licences procured on a free, and open basis, which allows DfT to use and modify it perpetually but not to distribute or sell on, or have restrictions on onward distribution (especially GPLv3).
We are happy with licenses that allows DfT to use and modify it perpetually but not to distribute or sell on, or have restrictions on onward distribution.
11. Will a solution using such pre-existing IP (ours or others) be acceptable so long as it doesn't lock the DfT into an ongoing vendor licence?
A solution using such” pre-existing IP (ours or others) be acceptable so long as it doesn't lock the DfT into an ongoing vendor licence” is not preferable as we are recommending the solution is built within GCP using GCP components and DfT wish to be able to replicate any elements of the solution for other purposes.  However if a company could make a good cost effective case for this approach we would not rule it out, but preference is made to an open source solution
12. Can you please confirm you will sponsor SC clearance for the successful supplier in accordance guidance?
Yes we will sponsor clearance for the successful supplier if Security Clearance (SC) is not already held. Generally, potential suppliers will be considered, if they hold Security Clearance (SC) or be willing to undergo the SC process.
13. In terms of the proposed solution, what relevant third-party tools/software licences does DfT already possess?
DfT has already chosen and is using Google cloud platform as its core data centre infrastructure and will have the appropriate identity management and monitoring tools associated with that platform available. Development, test and live environments will be provided and recommendations of auto-release tools available.
14. Was the Discovery exercise undertaken by the Department or an external supplier? If it was an external supplier, are they excluded from bidding for this commission?
The discovery exercise was taken internally by the business partner team and digital services architecture.
15. Kindly share the expectations for 1-2years digital support – scope, hours of support, team size etc.
slight amendment to response;
We expect the supplier to be able to make changes to the system, to problem-solve and fix errors upon request. The Support service level agreement (SLA) is to be available/contactable 9am- 5pm, 5 days a week. The team currently consists of five, and will be less than 10 people.
16. You reference the knowledge and understanding of GDS standards. Are you requiring the proposed solution to meet the Digital Service Standards? Our understanding is these are for public facing services, whereas the proposed solution will be for DfT and a limited number of related delivery bodies.
We are requiring that the proposal meets the Digital Service Standards. Digital Service Standards is for digital services for public use but can also be used as guidelines for services that will be used internally by the department.
17. How do I evidence the essential skill (ISSC1 Statement of Assurance) and completion of the 33 questions in the self-assessment questionnaire within the 100 word restriction.
At the first stage we will accept confirmation of working to the required standards, with full completion of the self-assessment questionnaire being provided by suppliers successful in being short listed to stage 2.