The Planning Inspectorate

Planning Inspectorate Digital Public Services Development

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
3 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
7 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 21 February 2019
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 28 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 7 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Build first Digital Public Service for Planning Inspectorate for appellants/agents to submit appeals on self-service portal which integrates with Casework Management System.

Iterative work may be required to bring new services into live subject to business requirements and supplier performance.

Must be compliant with GDS Design Service and Technology-Code-of-Practice.
Latest start date Tuesday 9 April 2019
Expected contract length
Location South West England
Organisation the work is for The Planning Inspectorate
Budget range

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The Operational Delivery Transformation project (ODT) is transforming the Inspectorate’s end-to-end casework management to:
o Make it easier for our customer to do business with us:
o Support our staff to work as efficiently and effectively as possible;
o Maximise the use of digital opportunities; and
o Provide excellent value for money to the taxpayer.

Detailed and robust ‘Discovery and Alpha’ phases have highlighted the key areas for improvement and an extensive prototype has been developed for the first Digital Public Service. We are now seeking to move into the ‘Beta’ phase for the Minimum Viable Product.
Problem to be solved This project is to develop
1. A platform for multiple digital public services
2. The first digital public service for the Planning Inspectorate that will enable us to collect the necessary information, submission forms and data that enables its Inspectors to make decisions related to planning appeals made by appellants and their agents. For full functional
and non-functional requirements please email
3. The service will be required to interface with our new internal Casework Management System.
Who the users are and what they need to do Appellants and Agents need to be able to submit a full planning appeal through a digital public service.
All collected data/information will be used by Inspectors to make their decisions.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done In depth Discovery and Alpha has been completed.

We now have a detailed prototype, 122 User Stories (functional requirements) and 66 non functional requirements. These User Stories cover a wide range of interactions necessary to enable customer (appellants, agents and interested parties) to submit appeals against Local Planning Authority decisions. The service shall enable the Planning Inspectorate to interact with and keep customers informed of progress of their appeal or seek additional information. All submissions will be sent to the case management system (backend).

For Prototypes, Users stories and Non-functional requirements please contact
Existing team Programme Delivery Manager
Project Manager
Product Owner
Project Support

The complete ODT blended team includes other specialist third party suppliers with which you will be expected to work.
Current phase Beta

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Temple Quay House, Bristol BS1 6PN
Working arrangements It is expected that the supplier will work closely with the internal team and therefore be present in the Bristol office. Some works may be undertaken at the suppliers own premises. To be agreed with the Programme Delivery Manager.
Security clearance BPSS

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions All products and systems created as a result of this Contract will be the Intellectual property of the Planning Inspectorate and source code may be published.

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
  • Have you developed Digital Public Services for Central Government?
  • Were these Digital Public Services designed and developed in line with GDS' Design Standards and Technology Code of Practice?
  • Was the output fully compliant with WCAG 2.1 (or 2.0 - please specify) AA guidelines ?
  • Provided Software architecture functionality (as opposed to providing contingent labour)
  • User Registration and Login functionality (individuals and organsations), user profile management by users and user account management by Public services owner
  • Form based digital service leads user through multiple steps for submission, allowing progress to be saved and documents submitted. Users can check back on the progress of their submission.
  • Provided Automated status updates and bi-directional communication and document exchange with case management system, and secondary submissions linked to original submission
  • Provided Search for a case functionality, including by anonymous users
  • Provided API integration with back office/mission IT systems, 3rd party services (e.g. post code lookup) and government services (e.g. Pay.GOV etc)
  • Provided Data management/archival (of users/submissions/files) functionality
  • Delivered a service that has passed a standard Government-standard Pen tests and has been ISO27001 Certified
  • Given the specified requirements, what technologies would you recommend for development of the PINS Digital Public Service; how closely are they with the technologies identified
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have designed and Developed services now available on .GOV.UK
  • Have you developed Digital Public Services for Other / Local Government?
  • Have you developed Digital Public Services that have been through a GDS (or other) Service Assessment?
  • Have you developed Digital Public Services that have been through a GDS (or other) Service Assessment that received a "Met" or "Met with conditions" Assessment?
  • Experience of the UK Planning / Planning Appeals sector

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 10
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution including recommended technologies to be used
  • Estimated timescales for the work
  • Team Structure, skills and experience of individuals
  • Approach to undertake the work
  • How the approach or solution meets the user needs
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • How do you propose working with us
  • Who will be providing the service, e.g staff, contractors, sub-contractors
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Can you share who completed the Discovery and who the Alpha phase please? Discovery and Alpha have been completed using the services of Rainmaker Solutions Ltd.
2. What does PINS stand for? PINS is the abbreviated name of The Planning Inspectorate.
3. Which application is used for the new internal Casework Management system? The new internal system is the Advanced case Management Cloud Software for the Public Sector provided by GoPro Consulting Ltd.
4. Did the same supplier deliver the discovery and alpha phases? Yes, the Discovery and Alpha phases were delivered with the assistance of Rainmaker Solutions Ltd.
5. Is the supplier who delivered the alpha phase eligible to apply for this tender? The Supplier engaged during Discovery and Alpha has been invited to remain on the client-side to support the Planning Inspectorate during Beta.
6. Given the specified requirements, what technologies would you recommend for development of the PINS Digital Public Service; how closely are they with the technologies identified Part A
We have conducted research across the public sector and identified what we believe would be a sensible fit to support the project requirements, is a fit to our architectural principles and is a solution that the planning inspectorate’s digital team can support in the future. These include:
• React (MIT licensed - free for commercial use)
• Next.js (MIT licensed - free for commercial use)
• Visual Studio 2017 Community - for open source projects is free.
• Visual Studio 2017 Professional - $1,199
• .Net Core - (free for commercial use)
7. Given the specified requirements, what technologies would you recommend for development of the PINS Digital Public Service; how closely are they with the technologies identified Part B
...Continued from previous answer
• Azure Infrastructure - paid / on demand
• Jest (MIT licensed)
• Enzyme (MIT licensed)
• XUnit (Apache 2.0 licensed)

We would like Tender's to propose what Technology to use to deliver the Services, providing reasons for using specific or different technologies should be provided.
8. What does this mean: "how closely are they with the technologies identified"? Looks like there’s a word missing? We are looking for Tender's to propose the technology they would use to deliver the Public Services. If the proposed technology is different from those we have identified (see questions/answers above) then an explanation as to the reasons/benefits/differences to using that technology should be provided.
9. Can you please advise the estimated budget for this work? There is no specific budget for this initial piece of work and the Inspectorate asks all Tender's to price realistically. The Price requested is for the initial work. Tender's may also provide their Daily rate card.
There will be additional casework types to be added in to the Digital Public Services and the whole project budget is approximately £500,000
10. Will the PI accept a partnership supplier arrangement? ie 2 suppliers working together to deliver desired outcomes? Yes - although it would be preferable to have a lead or prime contractor.
11. Do you envisage the public facing UI's of the portal to be served by the.GOV.UK website, or by a separate application? Yes, it will be served by the .GOV.UK website.
12. You've mentioned a number of technologies that you've suggested your staff are comfortable with for long-term maintainability. We have a COTS product with a suite of design tools, being used by a number of teams within central government departments and agencies allowing them to deliver their own digital services on GOV.UK that have passed GDS assessments, in collaboration with us. GDS have acknowledged that a COTS product can save a large amount of money, as well as abiding by the Digital Service Standard including avoiding vendor lock-in. Can you confirm that a COTS product would be considered for this procurement? GDS have advised that we must have flexibility to change, update the UI and system quickly in-line with evolving user and business requirements. They recommend that this is best delivered via a bespoke solution that can be managed, maintained or amended by the owning department/agency. GDS recognise the value-for-money conundrum and as long as a COTS solution provides the flexibility, control and ownership of the customer interface while also meeting their standards, we would consider this as a viable way forward. Use of a COTS product elsewhere across government sets a precedent, especially if it meets existing GDS standards.