This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Thursday 20 December 2018
Home Office - Digital Services at the Border (DSAB)

The Digital Services at the Border (DSAB) Advance Border Control Delivery Partner

23 Incomplete applications

15 SME, 8 large

22 Completed applications

8 SME, 14 large

Important dates

Thursday 6 December 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 13 December 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 20 December 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
DSAB requires a partner to help deliver the ABC Service, specifically focusing on the delivery of a digital capability to allow Border Force, Police and other key stakeholders to identify and assess the threat posed by individuals who are about to travel to, and from, the UK.
Latest start date
Monday 4 March 2019
Expected contract length
Up to 24 months
Organisation the work is for
Home Office - Digital Services at the Border (DSAB)
Budget range
Maximum of £20,000,000 (up to £10,000,000 p/a)

About the work

Why the work is being done
Existing Home Office (HO) threat assessment systems are approaching end of service life and service support.

The DSAB programme is looking to replace one of these systems with the new Advance Border Control (ABC) service. ABC will ensure continuity of business services through replacement of existing capabilities,& act as a platform for innovation to enable business transformation through the delivery of new capabilities.

The Home Office is rapidly evolving, requiring proactive efforts to meet new challenges as well as reacting to an everchanging landscape. Suitable foundation systems with the availability and capacity to evolve are essential in enabling this flexibility.
Problem to be solved
The delivery partner will ensure continuity of business services and provide a platform on which to continue to evolve the capability.

High-level requirements / expected outcomes will be provided and the Delivery Partner will be responsible for delivering outcome-based packages of work aligned to the DSAB Programme roadmap. The delivery partner will own the end-to-end delivery of each capability.

The delivery partner may also be required to supplement the programme team with specific specialist roles.

The delivery partner may also be required to provide specialist roles/ deliver work packages to other areas of the programme.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users include Border Force, Police and wider government agencies to secure UK borders, and detect criminal behaviour
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Discovery phase of each of the work packages has been completed. Including:

A mature Continuous Integration pipeline with a level of automation testing
A secure pre-production environment with initial security controls implemented and verified
Data transformation and matching processes have been built to store data in a Person Object Location, Event data model - yet to be verified with Live data.
An application to support the interrogation and visualisation of data. Ready for Beta launch
An application for checking travel history data. Ready for Beta launch
A partially developed ETL solution for migrating data from the legacy system.
Existing team
ABC is an in-flight programme consisting of Civil Servants, contractors and other suppliers. The delivery partner will be working alongside existing resources and other areas of the portfolio and programme.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The Supplier will be predominantly based at Home Office premises at Lunar House, Croydon, CR9 2BY, but may be required to attend or other locations as necessary.

Suppliers can propose using their offices…
Working arrangements
The programme currently employs both Agile and Waterfall methodologies in different solution areas. However, Suppliers will be invited to suggest alternative delivery approaches which may offer advantages either in terms of speed or cost of delivery.

The service will be required to work to standards and practices set by (Government Digital Service) GDS and Home Office teams.

The team is expected to be available during standard Home Office working hours. Expenses will conform to Home Office internal policies and will not be payable within the M25.

SoW / Work-Orders will be issued to define the outcomes of each project phase.
Security clearance
DSAB requires all individuals conducting programme business to be security cleared to Home Office Security Check (SC) level.

The Home Office may support the Supplier with this process, but clearance must be in place by employment commencement.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Travel and subsistence costs will not be reimbursed for any expenses incurred within the M25 area. Travel and subsistence will only be paid based on the Home Office Travel and Expenses policy & guidance. Those Travel and subsistence expenses that apply will be payable in addition to the day rate.

Key supplier staff included at the proposal stage will be expected to work on the programme.

These roles are deemed to be outside the scope of IR35 of the Intermediaries legislation.

The Home Office reserve the rights to vary the payment approach depending on the work package.

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
  • Demonstrable ability to scale up development teams quickly to meet customer demand
  • Experience and successful delivery of agile/iterative delivery and deployment into live service, ensuring quality standards are maintained
  • Experience and successful delivery in building and deploying scalable, event driven or high throughput solutions in commodity cloud environments
  • Experience of using secure development practices to deliver mission critical systems, business critical systems or Critical National Infrastructure
  • Experience and successful delivery of highly available systems (including solutions with disaster recovery capabilities) with complex integration requirements
  • Experience in: Containerised applications, microservice architectures, message processing systems, web-based applications, analytical systems, data modelling, relational and non-relational data stores
  • Experience of replacing legacy technologies including experience of data migration and reconciliation from legacy technologies to replacement systems
  • Experience of development and maintenance of pipeline tooling, specifically Git source code repository, defect tracking systems (JIRA and Confluence), continuous integration tools (Drone) and automated testing frameworks
  • Evidence that technical resources have experience of: Java 8, Spring Boot, Spring Data, Apache NiFi, Elasticsearch, Kafka, HTML5/CSS, React, Postgres, Kubernetes, Docker
  • Experience of building highly available solutions hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Experience in providing Early Life Support (ELS) and service management for high availability systems
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience and successful delivery of Statements of Works in fixed price contracts in an Agile environment
  • Experience of user centric requirements gathering to develop internal users facing applications
  • Experience of working on systems that contain multiple layers of security controls (application, data and infrastructure) and access controls (RBAC and ABAC)
  • Experience of completing development activities at secure supplier offices within the U.K.
  • Possess experience in building services to meet the Digital by Default Service Standard

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical Competence: The supplier score on all essential and nice to have technology criteria
  • Technical Competence: Methodology and approach to managing multiple streams of work delivering onto a shared code base.
  • Technical Competence: Capability and capacity to meet the delivery requirements in the medium to long term.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Ability to function effectively and collaborate in a multi-supplier environment
  • Availability of suitable resources, capability and capacity of standing up the team from the required date, and transition approach (including CVs, relevant experience and key staff)
  • Compliance with people security requirements
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there an existing incumbent supplier? if so will they be excluded from this opportunity?
Yes there is. The incumbent will not be excluded from this opportunity.
2. Could you confirm if the experience of completing development activities at secure supplier offices refers to OFFICIAL level or above OFFICIAL level?
3. Given the timing of this procurement over the Christmas period, please could you advise on the planned timetable for down selecting suppliers, completion of the next phase of supplier submissions and for awarding this contract.
Due to the festive period, the Home Office intend on completing the initial down select within the w/c 14/01/2019. We are aiming to invite the shortlisted suppliers to the further competition by the w/c 21/01/2019 and with the intention to award the contract by 18/02/2019. This is subject to change, however, any changes will be communicated accordingly.
4. Aside from direct contractors, which Suppliers have supplied staff for, or provided outcome-based delivery of the Alpha phase(s)?
The current incumbent delivery partner for the Advance Border Control project is BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. Cap Gemini, 6Point6, Marjolo, TDCS, and Methods Consulting have also supplied staff.
5. Is there an Architecture roadmap defined?
The Architecture roadmap will be detailed within the RFP/ Further competition stage.