Awarded to Kainos Software Ltd

Start date: Monday 13 May 2019
Value: £1,900,000
Company size: large
Department for International Trade

DIT Export Licensing System for the export of strategically controlled items - Beta to Live

5 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 2 large

10 Completed applications

7 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Friday 8 March 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 15 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 22 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The LITE programme requires a design and development team to deliver an updated export licencing system against a roadmap and regulatory framework using an Agile methodology. The scope covers design, application development and system testing.
Latest start date
Monday 22 April 2019
Expected contract length
12 months with an option to extend by 6 months
Organisation the work is for
Department for International Trade
Budget range
Up to £1.9m

About the work

Why the work is being done
The intention is to replace the current legacy service with an application which gives DIT the tools to approve (or not) the export of controlled goods while improving the exporting process for traders. The control of these goods is a statutory requirement under the Export Control Act 2008.

DIT has an existing contract for the delivery of a new controlled goods licensing system due to expire in May 2019. A triage product to identify the need for an export licence has been built and there is a defined backlog of work to complete the service established by the current team
Problem to be solved
The LITE programme requires a design and development team to deliver an updated export licencing system against a roadmap and regulatory framework using an Agile methodology. The scope covers design, application development and system testing. Work packages will focus on:

a licence triage product; licence applications built around the assessment of goods and people, content migration; reporting tools; other Government Department referral process; licence generation tools; HMRC customs integration and compliance assessment.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Internal users include but are not limited to staff in Export Control Joint Unit and associated staff in other government departments.

Business users include both SMEs and large corporations who manufacture or trade in controlled goods and export them to other countries.
Early market engagement
A webinar was held with suppliers, please find the slides and question and answers available here:
Any work that’s already been done
The existing team has completed the first phase of this project comprising of a search tool and registration application. This ensures users are able to apply for an Open General Export Licence.

Extensive research has been carried out on other areas needed for the completion of LITE resulting in a defined backlog of work.

It is anticipated further areas of work will have been completed ahead of the start of this new contract.
Existing team
There is an existing digital team in place but contracts run out in May 2019.  A service manager and delivery manager will remain as internal DIT staff to ensure continuity. A legacy system (SPIRE) is currently live, with a support team currently in place who will remain so under a separate support contract. The replacement system (LITE) is expected to progress into public BETA before May 2019.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Windsor House, 50 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1H 0TL
Working arrangements
Working arrangements are expected to be flexible and best configured for the project and supplier teams. Onsite work in Windsor House with regular meetings at 3 Whitehall Place and occasional visits to other UK sites for engagement with customs staff, e.g. ports and airports.
Security clearance
All staff must hold or be prepared to undergo SC Security Clearance to operate on this project.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Pricing will be based on time & materials but the Buyer will reserve the right in the contract to use alternative payment mechanisms e.g. Capped T&M or Fixed Price for future SoWs.

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
  • Data led transformation of an existing service, taking advantage of more modern approaches to licensing e.g. following the GDS principle of “design with data” (2%)
  • The supplier has experience and can provide evidence of the delivery of a mixed design and development team (1%)
  • Team experience of development using an Agile Scrum methodology, operating in sprints and aligning their development activities to the GDS Digital Service Standard (1%)
  • Practical experience of working within a complex test environment ensuring appropriate test coverage (1%)
  • Experience of secure development practices for high integrity systems, working with mature and controlled software development processes and legacy systems. (1%)
  • Evidence of working closely with a business unit that operates in a complicated regulatory environment (1%)
  • Credible and referenced proof of experience and excellent technical competence in Java using Play and/or Python and Django (2%)
  • Specific experience in delivering services that comply with legal accessibility standards (1%)
  • Specific experience of operating secure government services, complying with departmental security policies (1%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of ETL, data warehouse and reporting technologies and data migration from Oracle to Postgres (1%)
  • Teams should be self-motivated, having an ability to work on their own initiative and without constant direction, but also be able to work collaboratively with DIT staff. (1%)
  • Experience of working in relevant business domains i.e. Licensing and international trade (1%)
  • Migration of identity management tools (1%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate the ability to design and deliver a complex data driven digital service working with offline processes where required, to replace an existing legacy (10%)
  • Using the high level epics and existing backlog create a delivery and test plan to replace the current legacy service (15%)
  • Show how you would support the different components of the service from development to production aligning to the Digital Service Standard and the GDS Technology Code of Practice (10%)
  • Describe your team set up (including roles and CV's) and how you would adapt the team to changing priorities during the course of delivery (10%)
  • Outline how you would approach transitioning from a legacy service to a new service and how you would transition ownership to a live services team (10%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience in multi-department transformation (6%)
  • Experience working with public sector organisations (2%)
  • Ability to work collaboratively with key stakeholders (2%)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is the alpha complete and the service is heading towards beta or service is in Beta? is it private beta?
The alpha is complete. The CodeFinder element of the service will be released to a small sub-set of exporters as a private beta by the end of March.
2. How far are they in beta?
Currently in Private Beta
4. Was this GDS assessed
5. Java and/or Python is mentioned. Which one is preferred? We understand DIT have preference for Python?
Python is preferred by DIT, although part of LITE has been built in Java. The LITE team will work with DIT to pick the best framework on a microservice by microservice basis going forward
6. "Modern approach to licensing" – Can you please clarify if by licencing you are referring to Open Source Licenses or export licenses?
Export Licences