Awarded to BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd

Start date: Wednesday 6 March 2019
Value: £32,500
Company size: large
Rail Porfolio Office, Department for Transport

Rail Portfolio Data Discovery

15 Incomplete applications

14 SME, 1 large

34 Completed applications

24 SME, 10 large

Important dates

Monday 21 January 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 28 January 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 4 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The winning supplier will be required to:

• Deliver a Discovery presentation with analysis and supporting evidence, where relevant
• Deliver clear recommendations within the Discovery, and a plan for how to proceed with the recommendations
Latest start date
Thursday 28 February 2019
Expected contract length
4-6 Weeks
Organisation the work is for
Rail Porfolio Office, Department for Transport
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
There is a lot of different sources of railway data, which are fragmented and not always complete, which can affect our internal Portfolio decisions. We need to be taking the best decisions possible across the Rail Portfolio of programmes and projects, which take account of possible effects on all parts of the railway management system.

To make the case for better use of data to support internal decision-making, identify specific opportunities to do so based on business needs, and outline a proposed plan and method for future work.
Problem to be solved
How to leverage data to make effective Rail Portfolio decisions?
To explore:
a) how decisions made in the rail portfolio could be better driven by data;
b) opportunities to use new data sources; data ownership/licensing limitations;
c) opportunities to bring different data sets together to inform Portfolio decisions, e.g. looking at correlations / causations between different aspects of the railway; and/or using past data to run scenarios and model effects of decisions.
Focus on internal management and interdependencies in the rail programme and project Portfolio, covering relationships with arms-length bodies, major infrastructure, renewals & upgrades, rolling stock, franchising, and timetabling.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Primary users of the Discovery outcomes will be the Rail Portfolio Office (RPO) and the DfT Analysis and Data Division (which includes the Developing Data Unit and the Data Science team).

Ultimate users of any product or model developed as a result of the discovery would be internal DfT users: Data Scientists and Rail Portfolio Office members of staff, seeking more insightful evidence to advise Rail Board of the effects of different decisions made on the railway.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The DfT is undertaking an ambitious technology transformation programme – a part of which is looking at migrating datacentre infrastructure, underlying applications and data into the Cloud.

The DfT is already looking to transform key databases within the Cloud which is expected to offer significant performance gains and cost reductions. The databases in questions will benefit from enhanced query performance, resilience and the rapid ability to build dashboards; supporting policy/DfT officials within their decision-making and legislative agenda.
Existing team
Rail Group sets the strategic direction for the rail industry in England and Wales. The Rail Portfolio Office (RPO) sits at the heart of the DfT's 500-strong Rail Group, providing oversight and analysis on the Group's performance and ensuring that the right decisions are made at the right time.
Three Rail Portfolio Office staff members will be the key contact points throughout the project. Their specialisms range from policy to governance and programme delivery. A member of DfT’s Developing Data Unit will also be involved in the project.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Preference for co-location for at least part of the time, either in Great Minster House or another DfT London property, or with the provider. It’s likely that a number of interviews with DfT staff and possibly other bodies will be needed, which we will try to host at Great Minster House or Windsor House.
Working arrangements
We are open to discussions around the best format for delivering the work. As standard, the team in DfT works Monday-Friday, with Fridays a frequent Working from Home day. Tuesdays are often very busy with Rail Board meetings. DfT working policy will need to be adhered to, and timesheets must be retained.
Security clearance
Baseline Personnel Security Standard that should be active from when the contract commences

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework 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
  • An understanding of the policy and Project Management context across government
  • Some experience with transport data, but without being limited to the transport sector
  • Experience with data audits and transformations, ideally with some of this experience in the transport sector
  • Practical experience of building models from data
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable evidence where innovative solutions have been applied to assist in project delivery
  • Demonstrable experience developing systems which combine functionality of multiple systems and open data sources.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology (15%)
  • How the approach meets Rail Group’s goal and user needs (10%)
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (10%)
  • How the approach or solution matches DfT’s existing skill set (5%)
  • How the approach will transfer knowledge to DfT staff (10%)
  • Estimated timeframes for the work (5%)
  • Team structure (3%)
  • CV (2%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience of working as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (3%)
  • Experience of the idiosyncrasies of the transport sector (7%)
  • Experience of interpreting the brief and applying sectoral knowledge (5%)
  • Experience of transparent and collaborative decision making (3%)
  • Experience of sharing approach, knowledge and skills with other team members and with the department by example (2%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. • give the date the team will be available to start work
• say which skills and experience the team have
• give evidence for all the skills and experience the team have we have to wait to be assessed or does this let us go into the rest of the proposal application? Or is the closing date for applications related to answering those initial Qs? This is not clear from the starting application page
The latest start date of the work is Thursday 28 February 2019 as stated within the advert. You will need to provide your availability of when you can start work.
DOS evaluation process is two stages once suppliers have completed the initial information for Stage 1 this will then be assessed electronically via the system and will be dependant on you providing the answers as set out in your query. If you don't meet the those criteria the system will not add you to the longlist of suppliers to be evaluated at stage 1.
2. Will research activities be restricted to the key contact team, or do you envisage a wider stakeholder group to be consulted?
Yes, we would want the discovery team to be engaging a wider group of stakeholders.
3. Is the data sensitive?
The discovery data could be both sensitive and non-sensitive, open and non-open, public and non-public. As such the supplier will need to put all the measures in place to be able to deal with different levels of data security and transparency.
The decision about whether to publicise the research output is for DfT to take.
4. Do you have a preferred or likely technical strategy in terms of cloud environments that will influence the architecture, or analysis tools already in use, or is this to be explored as part of this discovery
Exploration of cloud platforms is outside of the scope of this discovery. The department is moving to Google Cloud Platform so this is the preferred cloud environment. If technology considerations emerge throughout the discovery, we will facilitate discussions with our digital architecture team.
5. Would delivering this outcome preclude us from bidding for future phases?
6. 1. Where is the data stored
2. How much data do you have roughly
3. What type of content do you have
As it’s a Discovery project, we are looking for a contractor to explore the opportunities to better use data to support decisions, including looking at the most appropriate sources of data. This may include publicly available data as well as internal management data, so we can’t at this stage define the amount of data which is within scope, specify all the different ways it is stored or its content.
7. Is the £35k budget quoted inclusive or exclusive of VAT and expenses?
No, the £35k budget is excluding VAT
8. Does the Monday 4 February deadline apply to both stages of the evaluation process, or only the initial stage 1? If we are shortlisted to have a proposal evaluated, will this also need to be submitted by Monday 4 February?
The 4 of February is for submission of the ‘essential’ skills and ‘nice to have’ skill response ( stage 1 ). Evaluation will take place for this stage with shortlisted bidders being invited to a 2nd stage of evaluation. This will have a deadline for stage 2 submissions and will be set out in the stage 2 invitation email