Buckinghamshire County Council

Building a digital adoption service

Incomplete applications

10
Incomplete applications
7 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

22
Completed applications
21 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Monday 11 March 2019
Deadline for asking questions Monday 18 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Monday 25 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Design and development of a digital service to support the recruitment of prospective adoptive parents.
Latest start date Monday 29 April 2019
Expected contract length 6 months
Location South East England
Organisation the work is for Buckinghamshire County Council
Budget range Up to £80,000

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done We want to improve the experience for prospective adoptive parents - from finding out about adoption, through the application process and post-adoption support. We want to develop a digital service that supports people throughout the processes of becoming an adoptive parent. We would also like to explore how we might use digital tools to improve the post-adoption experience.
Problem to be solved It can be challenging to recruit adoptive parents that match the needs of children in the county (and beyond). There's a lot of information available to prospective adoptive parents and we need to make sure we give clear advice that meets people's needs at different stages of the process.

The current application process is paper-based and lengthy. We don't have clear insight about where people might be finding things difficult to complete.

Post-adoption services are well-regarded, but are not supported by a digital offer.
Who the users are and what they need to do As someone interested in becoming an adoptive parent, I need to understand what adoption involves, so I can decide if it's right for me

As someone interested in becoming an adoptive parent, I need to know how to become an adoptive parent, so that I know what to do next

As someone applying to become and adoptive parent, I need to know if I can adopt, so that I know whether to apply

As someone applying to become and adoptive parent I need to be kept informed about how my application is going, so that I don't feel worried
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done This is a new project. We think there are similarities with the work that was completed by Hackney Council's Fostering Service https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1o6xBXgTqZhe6b6XjfDfE2u6c_DmVjTP3
Existing team Adoption Team Manager
Head of Digital
Business Analyst
Current phase Not applicable

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place County Hall, Aylesbury
Working arrangements We would like the supplier team to work onsite approximately 2/3 days a week during the project. This is so that colleagues can learn from the delivery team.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional 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.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Provide a multi-disciplinary service design team
  • Adopt user-centred and agile approaches consistent with the Government Digital Service Standards
  • Understand how to meet the needs of a range of users, including those lacking digital skills
  • Share their work freely and openly with the Council and wider government digital community
  • Experience of a similar project
Nice-to-have skills and experience Share digital and design skills with Council staff

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • Understanding of the policy context
  • Experience from a similar project
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
  • Identification of risks and plan to mitigate them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with the council and the wider government digital community
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Can you host a call with suppliers about this opportunity where we can have a live Q&A and the discussion notes are shared on this tender ad? This has proven helpful on other DM opportunities. A question and answer session has been published with this opportunity. It's taking place at 9:30am on the 13 March. Details are available when logged in to your supplier account.
2. Considering that Buckinghamshire CC's Head of Digital worked for FutureGov as Project Director at the time that Hackney Council developed the Fostering Service referenced in this ad (which contains FutureGov branding), how can suppliers be certain that this opportunity is not bias in favour of FutureGov? Are they open to bid for this opportunity? The scoring of suppliers will be carried out by a panel of at least three council employees, following the guidance at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/digital-marketplace-buyers-and-suppliers-information#buying-fairly . The opportunity is open to any supplier on the Digital Marketplace.
3. Please can you confirm if this contract is for user research and service design only, or if it includes building the solution as well? This contract is for research, design and building of a solution.
4. Are you working with any existing suppliers in relation to this tender opportunity? If you are, who are they? No. This is a new piece of work.
5. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold? The applications will be scored by:
Adoption Team Manager
Adoption Team Assistant Manager
Head of Digital
6. Please can you provide details of what the next steps are following this initial application i.e. deadlines for the written proposal/if there will be an interview and when? The timeline is:
- Shortlisting will take place week beginning 25 March 2019
- Shortlisted suppliers will be invited to submit proposals by the 8th April 2019
- Shortlisted supplier presentations will take place week beginning 8th April
7. On what date do you intend to award the contract for this opportunity to the successful supplier? 12th April 2019
8. Would you consider a working arrangement whereby all the "planning" of the system is done with you on premise in Aylesbury and once the project is in full swing we regularly meet (fortnightly) in person in Aylesbury, but the rest of the communications are done via Skype? Our development centre is in London & Farnborough, so we don't tend to place developers "onsite" due to the resources they have available to them in our offices. We see this as both a service design and software development project. It is important that the work is carried out collaboratively with the adoption team and users of the service. We think this is best managed by having teams onsite for approximately 2 or 3 days a week throughout the project.
9. Can you clarify what you mean by 'Share their work freely and openly with the Council and wider government digital community' in the essential criteria. Specifically how it relates to our IP in any tools and processes we use?

(Question from Q&A session held on 13/03/2019)
We believe that working in the open makes things better. We want to share any research outputs, design artefacts and code that's developed under an open licence. It is important that the rest of local government is able to see and build on the work that we do.

We will work with any supplier to balance this spirit of openness with the need to protect any existing IP that they bring to this work.
10. I cannot access the documents you reference from the Hackney Council Discovery.

(Question from Q&A session held on 13/03/2019)
The documents are openly published at the following URL:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1o6xBXgTqZhe6b6XjfDfE2u6c_DmVjTP3

You might want to try using the Chrome browser if you're having problems accessing.
11. Do you expect the new technology platform to be built into the existing website platform or as a standalone piece of technology? How will it be branded?

(Question from Q&A session held on 13/03/2019)
I anticipate this will be a separately hosted service that's presented to users as a sub-domain of the council's website. It will need to be designed and branded in a way that's consistent with the user experience of the corporate website.
12. If the design of the service identifies a need to change the content and information architecture of the current council website, how will this be managed?

(Question from Q&A session held on 13/03/2019)
We can work with the council's webteam to make the necessary changes.
13. Have you considered chatbots or guided user interfaces for delivering this service?

(Question from Q&A session held on 13/03/2019)
We've not made any assumptions about the best way to deliver the service and meet the needs of potential adoptive parents.

It is, however, important that we deliver a product that meets the needs of the broadest range of users, meets accessibility guidelines and would pass a local government digital service standard assessment.
14. The bid questions for this opportunity seem very similar to the recent published Hackney Council tender (https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/8977 ). There have been questions already raised about similarities with HCC / Future Gov involvement. Can BCC confirm whether this is going to be a fair evaluation? The scoring of suppliers will be carried out by a panel of at least three council employees, following the guidance at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/digital-marketplace-buyers-and-suppliers-information#buying-fairly
15. Is BCC open to moving to the cloud or already engaged with one? If so, is it AWS or Azure? The council works with a wide range of technology providers, who provide software as a service using cloud infrastructure - that includes both AWS and Azure.
16. You have stated this contract is for the research, design and building of a solution but the budget seems quite low for an operational service of this type. Can you please confirm if there is separate budget for the hosting, support and further iteration of the service? Yes. The hosting, support and any further iteration will be negotiated separately.
17. ‘Share their work freely and openly with the Council and wider government digital community’

This question is vague; can you please be more specific on what you want? E.g. are you asking in terms of: Open APIs; Sharing/Opening the underlying IP; Building digital-services that interact with multiple Government bodies; etc.
We are looking for a commitment to working in the open and making the outputs of this work available for reuse under appropriate open licences. Any service would need to meet the intent of points 8 and 9 of the service standard https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/service-standard
18. ‘Share digital and design skills with Council staff’

What’s your end goal with this question? E.g. at the end of the contract, do you want your staff self-sufficient in digital/design skills i.e. are you looking for supplier examples in collaboration and knowledge/skills transfer?
We would like council colleagues working on this project to learn new skills in digital and service design.
19. ‘We see this as both a service design and software development project. It is important that the work is carried out collaboratively with the adoption team and users of the service. We think this is best managed by having teams onsite for approximately 2 or 3 days a week throughout the project.’

What’s the rough percentage split you expect between service design (e.g. 80% – £64k) and software development (e.g. 20% -£16k)? The budget is quite low to do both at an appropriate level.
We do not have a rough split in mind. Shortlisted suppliers will be invited to describe the approach they will take to deliver the outcome within the budget.
20. Do you have a technology stack preference? No, but we would expect any software to meet the Government Digital Service Technology Code of Practice https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/technology-code-of-practice/technology-code-of-practice