Department for Education

Core Systems Finance System Development

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
2 SME, 2 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
6 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Tuesday 19 February 2019
Deadline for asking questions Tuesday 26 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Tuesday 5 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work We are looking for a delivery partner to continue to deliver / develop our Core Financial Services. This will be a mix of continuous improvement to existing systems, identification and delivery of new systems and service delivery on in flight finance projects.
Latest start date Monday 1 April 2019
Expected contract length Up to 2 years
Location West Midlands
Organisation the work is for Department for Education
Budget range A pipeline of activity is foreseen over the next 24 months. The current committed budget is £500K with the potential to extend to £1.8million for year 1.
The indicative budget against the requirements for this capability is £1.8m per year, but that scope could expand or contract.
Each SOW will give a cost to enable tracking

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The DfE is responsible for timely and secure distribution of £65bn of public funds to education providers / suppliers. A key challenge facing the DfE is a strategic move from a government shared service, this has resulted in the need to transfer a significant amount of shared services into the departments core ERP solution (Dyn NAV). As a result of this, business improvements and audit findings there is a programme of CI which includes upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central. New E2E services are required for eInvoicing, the implementation of payments services and the supporting integrations to other services.
Problem to be solved The DfE require a delivery partner to fulfil the delivery and development of the DfE's financial services. This will require a wide range of technical / delivery roles to successfully deliver significant change. The delivery team will form a programme of work and will be responsible for; the successful E2E delivery of a secure and timely exit from the existing shared service, deliver existing Dyn NAV backlog requirements including Business Central upgrade, implementation of a payments solution, eInvoicing capability and API's. We anticipate that the team will be required to deliver outcomes for 5-10 projects at any given time.
Who the users are and what they need to do As a Core Systems process owner I need to ensure that providers and suppliers receive funding for learning and education. I need to collect information from various internal allocation services, providers and suppliers to ensure accurate and timely payments are made. This is done to enable education providers (Schools, colleges, LA's, Academies, Trusts, Apprenticeship providers and suppliers, etc.) across England can continue deliver child and adult education.
Early market engagement Not applicable
Any work that’s already been done The Core Services has recently completed a considerable consolidation of the finance IT estate bringing together multiple products into a single solution and providing new BAC’s and EInvoicing capability. Discovery work is now complete for the strategic move away from the shared service offer and work on Alpha has commenced. The other projects are at various levels of maturity and delivery, ranging from Discovery through to Live. Existing services are in a state of continuous improvement with an ongoing pipeline of Agile releases already planned.
Existing team The supplier will integrate with the existing Finance Systems and Data team which is a blended team including; finance SME's, support staff, technical suppliers, architects and business change teams. The wider DfE's finance community also play a very active role in scoping and supporting finance IT change. We are looking for a range of standard GDS roles to supplement our wider team.
Current phase Not applicable

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Primary location will be Cheylesmore House Coventry. It is expected that most of the daily work will be completed on site, with travel to other DfE sites to support business facing workshops and meetings when necessary.
Working arrangements Due to the importance of the service, this will be a 5 day per week (Monday to Friday) commitment with detailed working arrangements, team location, size and make-up contained within each statement of work. Delivery progress will be governed via an existing Delivery Board chaired by the SRO, oversight will be provided by the responsible Deputy Director and weekly progress / performance reviews by the Head Financial Systems and Data.
Security clearance The successful supplier will need to be security cleared, or be willing to undertake SC level within 4 weeks of the Contract being awarded. This is due to access to sensitive material and occasional access to particularly sensitive material such as intelligence on national security threats.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE Travel and Subsistence Policy. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with DfE standard T&S policy. Primary work location stated in SoW will not attract expenses. No parking is available on site.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Significant experience in delivery of large-scale finance projects including ERP implementation.
  • Has a proven record of accomplishment of enabling rationalisation and consolidation and separation of organisation finance structures.
  • Experience of using GDS Design Principles and Digital Service Standard to deliver public facing digital services, outlining the principles applied, methods adopted and ability to deliver successful outcomes.
  • Experience of delivering / developing software that complies to Government security guidelines or equivalent.
  • Have experience of analysis of existing research, analytics and insight to ensure good understanding of users and their needs.
  • Experience of delivering and continually improving services that utilise MS Azure hosting & API Management.
  • Ability to easily scale resources up or down based on project needs and work effectively and collaboratively with other delivery teams to achieve shared goals and objectives.
  • Understanding of the education & schools landscapes specifically allocation and distribution of funding
  • Experience in Agile Business Analysis and product backlog creation and management
  • Demonstrable experience of working in multi-team agile and hybrid delivery programme
  • Experience in developing and delivering large scale financial data migration.
  • Strong understanding of technical and business use of Dynamics NAV, EInvoicing and BAC's technology
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working in partnership with technical delivery teams.
  • Demonstrated willingness to be flexible and adaptable to changing priorities.
  • Experience in designing services that meet both user needs and business objectives.
  • Knowledgeable of transition, upgrade, refresh projects in an Agile environment.
  • Experience of complex database management.
  • Experience of working within the public sector in the last 3 years
  • Experience of managing and proactively engaging internal stakeholders and building relationships to support digital/business transformation

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Technical competence in the identified technologies / processes and delivery practices
  • Experience and methodology in approach to agile project using Kanban
  • Demonstrable experience of working alongside clients in co-located and integrated teams
  • Demonstrate understanding/ability to deliver finance products/services to government
  • Demonstrate approach to knowledge and skills transfer
  • Demonstrate understanding of the challenges of implementing in a government agile / hybrid environment
  • Value for money: Demonstrate a transparent financial structure and fair pricing for the Service
  • Risk: demonstrate experience in the identification of key assumptions, dependencies, risks and issues, with robust mitigation plans
  • Provision a clear outline of team members (with representative CVs of key roles) and demonstration of how their skills and experience will deliver the requirement
Cultural fit criteria
  • Approach to developing a "One Team" approach
  • Demonstration of a proactive approach, taking responsibility for work and resolving issues quickly, without an over-reliance on the client team
  • Demonstration of working collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Focus on delivery – Focus on goals, take responsibility for delivery
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. How much development work will be completed by the clients in-house resources? The in-house resources complete minimal development work, at present we only have one Project on our pipeline that the in-house resources conduct development work for.
2. Will the initial contract cover the potential 1st year or just the committed value? The ambition is for the initial Contract to cover the 1st year, however, at present the commitment value for delivery is £500,000.