Home Office, Border Force

Support and improvement to Operations Platform

Incomplete applications

14
Incomplete applications
7 SME, 7 large

Completed applications

10
Completed applications
5 SME, 5 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 28 March 2019
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 4 April 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 11 April 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work The Border Systems Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) has developed an electronic form capture and workflow
Latest start date Monday 20 May 2019
Expected contract length 24 months
Location London
Organisation the work is for Home Office, Border Force
Budget range £3.5m over two years (excl VAT)

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done This work is to iterate and support an inhouse platform and services, providing new business products on this core infrastructure.We expect products to adopt a ‘mobile first’ and maintain a strong focus on user needs.
Border Systems have built a private beta solution to meet its Operational needs and now need to scale this up to deliver live supported services. The solution uses open source software and technology choices made in conjunction with the Home Office preferred technology stack. We are focused on lowering the cost of technology and will look to both build and consume shared services as appropriate.
Problem to be solved This requirement sits alongside a number of other programmes to digitise ‘line of business’ processes alongside the rollout of new technology. Cloud hosted Form based data collection and reporting solutions, workflow and integration with other Home Office & Government solutions to solve Line of Business needs. Development of the solutions must meet user needs, adhere to GDS Service Standards and be documented to meet reviews by Technical Design Authority to a blueprint that has been put in place.
Roles needed are Delivery Manager, Technical & Security Architects, Business Analysts, Developers, User Researcher/Content/Interaction Designer, DevOps, Data Architects/Modellers/Specialists, Support Analysts, Test Engineers.
Who the users are and what they need to do Users are largely based in the UK, with some in juxtaposed sites and some further overseas. Solutions will therefore need to work (or degrade) to work over some lower speed links (3G, 4G, satellite)
Early market engagement No market engagement has been undertaken.
Any work that’s already been done A solution has been built and is in use for private beta, with the architectural and technology choices made. Training will be provided on the tools used for Software Development Lifecycle, the runtime environment and, where they exist, proven design patterns but the partner is expected to have deep technical knowledge of the technologies used
Existing team A mix on internal and external staff have developed the solution and they will continue. Over the period of the award, we expect the supplier to provide a small cross-functional team to deliver requirement and provide knowledge and skills transfer to civil servants so the product can become a sustainable solution in the long term, and partner with them on delivery of products.
Current phase Beta

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The work is predominantly based in Croydon but may also involve attendance at other locations as necessary. Proposals of remote working at a different location will be considered as will a combination of co-location and remote working.
Your response should set out how you could maintain the availability of your services over time, and your ability to supply a team to the required level.
Working arrangements Expenses will conform to HO internal policies and will not be payable within the M25 geographic radius.
The team is expected to work across the multiple sites, the main site is expected to be Croydon and to be available during standard HO working hours.
Security clearance The Delivery Partner’s personnel will require SC security clearance, and this will need to be in place before any work can commence. Current SC can be transferred from a relevant Government department with supporting evidence.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions IPR and any Developed Technology will rest with HO. HO tools will be used (and created)for the Software Development Lifecycle and supporting the solution.

Monthly financial reporting reconciled to a SFIA skill matrix

Monthly expense reconciliation

Monthly progress reporting against planned deliverables and other balanced scorecard measures.

Development and presentation of assessment packs for the GDS Alpha, Beta and Go-live assessments

Production of good quality release notes and other documentation to ensure a smooth handover to live service.
These roles are deemed to be outside the scope of IR35 of the Intermediaries legislation.

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
  • Technically competent and understanding of microservices architectures running using a containerised platform (Kubernetes) and delivering solutions that are secure by design.
  • Strong & demonstrable knowledge coding in the open, around the languages used (java and javascript), and the core opensource software used (Camunda, Form.io, d3.js)
  • Ability to develop tools and capability to support the products being built.
  • Ability to, and experience, of gathering, understanding and specifying technical requirements and interfaces – working with users
  • Understanding of the Integration of systems primarily using REST and where needed SOAP and RPA, and test approaches.
  • Experience of iterative/agile software delivery
  • Specific Competencies: Ability to transfer to Business as Usual and establish/build capability for the supplier.
  • Plan: Quality of strawman approach/plan for first phase of engagement and statement of work, including user research and how will deliver engineering excellence.
  • Security: Compliance with people security requirements
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to explain Border Systems technology strategy to key stakeholders
  • Ability to support services – in hours and out of hours
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Reference to work where the team have coded in the open using the core technologies Camunda, Form.io, d3.js in javascript and java (15%)
  • Technical competence: Skills and experience of architecting solutions using kubernetes on hyper scale cloud providers (10%)
  • Demonstration of approach of ‘secure by design’ and architecting solutions using keycloak for identity and access management (15%)
  • Technical capability - demonstrate engineering excellence, supporting governance processes (5%)
  • Experience of technical standards applicable for Border Systems, eg Security Mechanisms for electronic ID documents, PKI infrastructure, PNRGov standards (10%)
  • Demonstration of ability to innovate (5%)
  • Working successfully on complex programmes in law enforcement & public sector organisations (3%)
  • Team structure (2%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (2%)
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions (2%)
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes (1%)
  • Take responsibility for their work (1%)
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members (1%)
  • Challenge the status quo (1%)
  • Be comfortable standing up for their discipline (1%)
  • Can work with clients with low technical expertise (1%)
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

65%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

25%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Was a supplier engaged to help build the Beta? If so, would you advise who please? We have no single supplier – the work is led by the Border Systems CTO with civil servants, independent contractors and some suppliers provide building components that have been integrated to deliver the service we have today.
2. We can demonstrate experience of complex programmes in public sector, just not law enforcement. Therefore, please can you advise, given one of your proposal requirements, whether it would be appropriate for us to provide a submission. We are looking for suppliers with relevant domain knowledge, ‘public sector’ is too broad an area for us to comment whether experience is relevant.
3. The question "Plan: Quality of strawman approach/plan for first phase of engagement and statement of work, including user research and how will deliver engineering excellence" isn't something that can be answered within the 100-word answer limit. Please could you confirm exactly what you are expecting to receive against this question? We also work within the constraints of this framework, but are looking for evidence a supplier is able to make a credible proposition.
4. You say the existing teams will still be involved, Are these contractors or an existing supplier? As above, this is a mix. The Border Systems CTO owns the strategy and vision, and we are looking for partner to now support us deliver the core product and allow us to make commitments for the products and services we are delivering to end users
5. Is there an incumbent who has worked with the buyer staff to deliver the Discovery, Alpha and Private Beta, and is the expectation that the supplier will work alongside this incumbent? As above, this is a mix with no sole incumbent.
6. What is the likely scope of the initial work packet in terms of expected/required roles? Initially, we are looking to get the platform and core products into a supportable beta live phase so products are rolled out to staff across the organisation. This will need cross functional work to mature the service and put the processes in place to support effectively. The intention is to deliver great digital services, meet the data needs of the organisation and deliver in a lean & efficient way that maximises value to Home Office.
7. For the question that reads, “Plan: Quality of strawman approach/plan for first phase of engagement and statement of work, including user research and how will deliver engineering excellence.” is the expectation that the supplier will respond with (a) a description of where a this has been delivered before, (b) a description of the strawman approach that the supplier is proposing, or (c) an attachment describing the strawman approach that the supplier is proposing? As above, we also work within the constraints of this framework, but are looking for evidence a supplier is able to make a credible proposition.
8. You state ''The solution uses open source software and technology choices made in conjunction with the Home Office preferred technology stack.'' Can you share further details on the preferred technology stack please? Key technology we expect any supplier to have strong expertise in is listed in the advert
9. Can I please ask if there is an incumbent supplier and if they are set up to tender? As above, this is no one incumbent supplier but a mix of staff. Procurement is open any bidders and incumbents/existing suppliers are welcome to tender if they believe they can provide the required service.
10. You state that a mix on internal and external staff have developed the solution to-date and they will continue. Are the external staff independent contractors or do the come from a single supplier? If they are from an incumbent supplier who is the supplier? A mix – there is no single supplier.
11. You are asking for the ability to support services – in hours and out of hours. Please expand on what you require in terms of out of hours cover, is it full 24/7/365? The products will be used out of hours, and we will look to support this as efficiently as possible. This may be on call, if suitable arrangements can be put in place. We would expect to have a fast feedback loop to any incidents and not have a reoccurrence.
12. Will all support out of hours support require SC clearance and be based in the UK? All staff need to be SC. All staff need to be based in the UK.
13. Can you please provide clarity around Question 11. "Plan: Quality of strawman approach/plan for first phase of engagement and statement of work, including user research and how will deliver engineering excellence." As above, we also work within the constraints of this framework, but are looking for evidence a supplier is able to make a credible proposition.
14. For ‘Ability to develop tools and capability to support the products being built’ could you please clarify if this refers to tools which support the development process (e.g. DevOps lifecycle tools / development metrics), or tools that will support the products in live service? We will use core HO tools, but may need to expand on these to drive efficiency and deliver an effective support arrangement. The intention is to deliver the best and best value service we can for our users.
15. For ‘Ability to transfer to Business as Usual and establish/build capability for the supplier’ please could you clarify if this refers to building capability in the client team as opposed to building the capability of suppliers? Capability for the Home Office – we would expect the supplier to have the capability.