Awarded to PA Consulting Services Limited (UK)

Start date: Monday 17 June 2019
Value: £38,000
Company size: large
Department for Transport

Data Strategy Research - Discovery

23 Incomplete applications

20 SME, 3 large

38 Completed applications

24 SME, 14 large

Important dates

Tuesday 23 April 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 30 April 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 7 May 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We seek a scoping exercise to enable DfT develop a transport data strategy, by assessing where the department is in terms of data maturity/capability, engagement with the ecosystem, and its direction. It will provide recommendations in drafting a data strategy mindful of user needs, stakeholders’ views, and published data strategies.
Latest start date
Monday 17 June 2019
Expected contract length
6 to 8 weeks
Organisation the work is for
Department for Transport
Budget range
£20,000 to £40,000 ( capped at £40,000)

About the work

Why the work is being done
There is not a current Transport Data Strategy. However, there is a wide range of data projects underway in the department and wider transport sector, and strategic commitments where data plays a key role. There is a need to provide joined up thinking to these projects and commitments and ensure we have the required data infrastructure to support them
Examples of the range of data projects in scope and needing join up
1. The Local Data and Joint Rail Action Plans, Bus Open Data Programme
2. The Future of Mobility BEIS Grand Challenge, reliant on a deep understanding of data
Problem to be solved
Providing coherence and direction to Transport Data, and ensuring the underlying infrastructure is in place to support the future needs of transport. The work will determine the priorities for the strategy, rather than solve the specific problems.
The work from this contract should therefore run a set of scoping exercises and result in a set of recommendations to the Department along but not limited to the following questions/issues:
1. Definition of our data-driven business problems and transformation of legacy processes
2. Data catalogue, architecture/infrastructure, governance, and management
3. Support to the external data ecosystem.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Internal and external people working with transport data. The work will inform the development of strategy, policies, and digital outcomes.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The work will be led by the Head of Developing Data, working closely with the Head of Data Policy, and wider engagement with the Analytics and Data Division. The supplier will also need to engage with Digital Services colleagues, and policy and analytical teams across the department who hold and use data.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
Working arrangements
The team will need to work 5 days a week for the duration of the project.
Exact milestones will be determined once a Supplier is appointed.
Expenses will be paid in line with DFT policy.

Also, CV's of team members will be requested at written proposal stage
Security clearance
BPSS – Baseline Personnel Security Standard.
Evidence of which will be requested as part of the written proposals @ stage 2 (not part of the word count)

Additional information

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.

Essential skills and experience
  • Demonstrable evidence of delivering data scoping exercises
  • Demonstrable evidence of running agile discoveries
  • Demonstrable evidence of data strategy definition and implementation in large organisation with complex internal structure
  • Demonstrable evidence of process modelling, gap analysis and requirements engineering, within agile frameworks
  • Demonstrable evidence of turning business problems into data designs and strategy, and developing approaches to data supply chains
  • Demonstrable evidence of developing data architectures, data management and governance
  • Demonstrable evidence of change management
  • Demonstrable evidence of culture change with respect to data strategy implementation
  • Demonstrable evidence of communicating between technical and non-technical teams
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable evidence of transport sector experience
  • Demonstrable evidence of working with data in public sector organisations
  • Demonstrable evidence of working with transport data
  • Ability to mobilise at speed (within 2 weeks of selection)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology; you should be able to supply examples of successful Data Strategies you have delivered (Weighting 45%)
  • What will the Team structure look like and their CVs (Weighting 10%)
  • Estimated time frame, including resource allocations for the work (weighting 5%)
  • Demonstrable evidence of how you have identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (Weighting 5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrable evidence of working with agile project methodology (Weighting 5%)
  • Demonstrable evidence of experience working transparently and collaboratively during the decision-making process (Weighting 5%)
  • Demonstrable evidence of knowledge transfer to Public Sector staff members(Weighting 5%)
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please can you specify whether full-time co-location in London is required, throughout the duration of the task. If not, is there a minimum amount of time you would expect the supplier to be on-site with the DfT?
It is not a mandatory requirement for full time co- location 5 days a week in the office and the same rules on flexible working that apply to our staff members would apply. That said, we would expect the contractor to be visible and spend time at DFT during core hours on site. In order to provide skills transfer, knowledge share and get acquainted with the different data work streams.
2. The summary of the work says, ‘We seek a scoping exercise to enable DfT develop a transport data strategy’. However, the Proposal Evaluation section allocates 45% weighting to ‘Approach and methodology; you should be able to supply examples of successful Data Strategies you have delivered’
Will you please clarify whether you require a scoping exercise or a data strategy.
We require a scoping exercise, but in order to inform that scoping exercise we believe that previous experience in delivering data strategies is required, although that experience could be as part of a data strategy which was delivered and you have been involved in.
3. What roles do you expect the budget to cover?
We have no expectation of roles, we expect bidders to provide innovative responses on the makeup of their team to deliver this requirement and will evaluate the proposal comprehensively as per criteria listed.
4. Please can you explain more on what you are looking for by this criteria: "Demonstrable evidence of culture change with respect to data strategy implementation"
Delivering data strategies often involves major process transformation that require the organisation to rethink the way it operates. We would like to see examples of how such a rethink was facilitated.
5. Please can you expand on what is meant by 'engagement with the ecosystem' in the summary of work section?
We intend the data strategy to cover both internal and external entities, with which the contractor should engage. The external ecosystem is formed of agencies and entities that operate in the transport sector.
Some examples may include but are not limited to:
- agencies and public bodies (e.g. DVLA, DVSA, MCA, Highways England, Transport Scotland etc)
- transport authorities, for example the Department has recently run a data innovation competition for Local Authorities
- the Transport Data Initiatives
- the private sector, for example Network Rail, Train Operating Companies, SMEs, etc
6. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated
We would expect the supplier, as part of their proposal to suggest a team they feel capable of delivering our solution. How they resource this is their call.
7. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
Stage 1 evaluation scores are only used to shortlist suppliers as per the Digital Outcomes and Specialist Framework Guidance.
8. Has any other supplier been engaged with this specific project so far?
No other supplier has been engaged with this specific project – the Data Strategy Research – Discovery.
However, a range of suppliers have worked on different discovery projects including in the field of data in the department (for example the Bus open data work, the Local Authority Discovery project to name but a couple) and have input ideas on issues we would cover in a data strategy
9. What roles are DfT expecting to provide and will these all be full time?
The contractor will be able to consult extensively with the Developing Data and the Data Policy teams, but they are expected to provide a proposal that does not use these resources on an ongoing basis.
10. Will there be a full time Product Owner provided by DfT to this project?
We expect the contractor to offer the approach they deem most suited to this research exercise. The head of the developing data unit will act as an informal product owner, but not on a full time basis.
11. Are DfT able to recruit and provide access to users of the data for the purpose of user research?
DfT will facilitate access to internal users and users with whom there is an existing relationship, but the contractor may need to contact other categories of users where appropriate
12. Are DfT able to continue straight into the Alpha phase with the same supplier with no air gap between phases?
This ITT is limited to the stated objectives, and should be carried out as such. DOS does not allow for any sort of automatic re-selection of a supplier.
13. In the 'why is this work being done' section, you mention a wide range of data projects being underway. Are any other external suppliers already delivering these projects with DfT? If so, are you able to let us know who these are?
The section includes areas of work rather than projects. The only project mentioned, Bus Open Data, is being delivered by a variety of partners. Refer to the Digital Marketplace website search for full details.
14. Will new budget approval and a procurement exercise be needed to complete any work after this phase?
This ITT is limited to the stated objectives, and should be carried out as such. DOS does not allow for any sort of automatic re-selection of a supplier.
15. As there is a duration and budget specified, can we assume work for the Discovery phase been limited and prioritised?
Please could you provide more clarity as it is unclear what you are asking.
16. Will DfT be able to organise access to stakeholders throughout the project?
DfT will facilitate access to internal stakeholders, external stakeholders with whom it has an existing relationship and further categories of users, if applicable. However it will be the successful suppliers responsibility to set up meetings etc. to discover and engage with.
17. Will this project require engagement with GDS?
The contractor will have to engage with anyone appropriate to discover uses of transport data.
18. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would DfT expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed 'exceeding' and score 3 marks?
DfT follow the Digital Outcomes and Specialist scoring guidance as follows:
Score Description
0 Not met or no evidence
1 Partially met
2 Met
3 Exceeded

We are unable to provide you with more detailed information as we expect bidders to demonstrate and evidence their knowledge and experience as noted within the evaluation critieria set out within the advert.
19. As per DOS guidelines 'You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement', are DfT only requesting one example per skills and experience question?
DFT are following the DOS Guidance.
20. Is the listed price exclusive of VAT?
Yes, it is exclusive of VAT
21. The 'existing team' section lists roles that will be involved with the project. Can you let us know which roles DfT expect to provide full-time to this project?
DfT will not provide full time resources, or resources on an ongoing basis. The contractor should refer to the Head of the Developing Data Unit. Guidance as appropriate will be provided by other members of the team, the Head of Data Policy, the Deputy Director for Data and Analytics, and other colleagues
22. Can DfT organise access to all of the people listed in the 'existing team' section?
Yes, the existing team members listed will engage with this work. The Head of the Developing Data Unit will arrange for access as appropriate
23. How has the listed budget been derived?
The ‘indicative budget was based on the price of comparative discoveries undertaken for the Department or other similar organisations.
24. What are the steps and expected timeline for procurement after the initial evidencing round?
Estimated timeframes as follows
stage 1 evaluation 10/05/2019
Invite suppliers to stage 2 and send out declines to unsuccessful bidders 13/05/2019
25. DfT has published data strategies. Are these publically available, if so can please provide access / links to the most pertinent?
DfT hasn’t published data strategies thus far. Although you can find references to data in published strategies – such as Maritime 2050 , Future of Mobility – Urban Strategy, to name but a couple’
26. Is it correct to assume that DfT is NOT able to currently describe the relevant data landscape at a high level, incuding the nature of each data source in terms of terms of 1) volume 2) variety (i.e..CSV, relational database, unstructured data) 3) Velocity ( i.e. how often the data sources update, weekly batch, overnight, daily, hourly, near real-time, real time)?
DfT will be able to describe part of the data landscape; however, the research’s scope is beyond a mere description of existing datasets. On the known datasets, it won’t necessarily be possible to get to the level of detail that the question suggests. Note that the goal of this project is to research the landscape, and potentially unearth some requirements that currently available data sources cannot cover.
27. Are there any factors that would preclude DfT from conducting this Discovery exercise in less than 6 to 8 weeks i.e. access to subject matter experts / access to data? If so please describe what would prohibit DfT running a shorter Discovery.
We expect this project to last roughly 6-8 weeks, but the suppliers can provide proposals that deviate from this. It may be difficult to arrange access to some stakeholders at short notice
28. DfT outlines examples of data projects in scope that need joining up, such as "Joint Rail Action plans". For each of these examples, does DfT itself have access to data at its Horseferry Road premises?
We don’t expect the supplier to need access to underlying datasets for the discovery. If appropriate, DfT will share available data with the supplier. However, some of the projects stated may be at a stage that hasn’t enabled data collection yet
29. There are example data projects in scope that need joining up,such as Bus Open Data Programme. For each of these examples, during Discovery would DfT be easily able to describe project vision, roadmap, current status and key commitment dates?
Yes, for programme/projects that are past their initiation phase, all details will be made available.
30. We note that in addition to DfT centre the Department has a number of organisations that own multiple data sets of national strategic and operational importance. Do you expect that the supplier should meet with and include the work of any or all of these DfT organisations as part of its scope. Or should any or all of these organisations be excluded from the scope of this project?
Engagement with the Department’s agencies and public bodies should be part of the research, however in the time frame of the project not all of the agencies/public bodies may be appropriate for this stage and prioritisation will be agreed with the Head of the Developing Data Unit
31. How likely is that DfT will seek to procure further stages for this project e.g. an Alpha and then a Beta Phase after this first Discovery Phase
We cannot make this evaluation at this stage