Awarded to Softwire Technology Limited

Start date: Tuesday 1 October 2019
Value: £300,000
Company size: SME
The Met Office

Level 3 Support, Maintenance and Service Management to the Flood Guidance Statement IT application

11 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 3 large

6 Completed applications

5 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Wednesday 12 June 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 19 June 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 26 June 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The work will cover Level 3 Support and Maintenance service that has ran since the system application became operational in January 2017. Additionally there is a prioritised backlog of work that will be completed in development phases.
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 October 2019
Expected contract length
2 years
South West England
Organisation the work is for
The Met Office
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Met Office is looking for a supplier to provide a Lv3 Support, Maintenance and Service Management to the Flood Guidance Statement IT application. The winning bidder will work with Cloud Hosts and Lv1 and Lv2 Support providers to maintain a critical system. The supplier must also be able to deliver a series of application improvements via development sprints on a call off basis.
Problem to be solved
There are no specific problems to be solved. The winning bidder must be able to deliver application improvements, new features, code-updates required to fix or develop the application. The winning bidder must be able to identify and fix system bugs, glitches in priority situations.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As FFC Hydrometeorologist I need to use the FGS application to create and distribute Flood Guidance Statements.

As FFC Operations Senior Team Leader, I need to ensure the FGS application is robust, operational, compliant and fit to deliver day-to-day operations.

As an FFC Operations Officer I must administer customer and user accounts.

As a Category 1 & 2 Responder (customer) I need to receive the FGS via my chosen distribution channel to make key operational decisions AND be able to access the customer portal and update my preferences and distribution information.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The application is built and has been operational since January 2017. The winning bidder will support and enhance an existing service
Existing team
The operational system is owned and maintained by the FFC Operations Senior Team Leader on a routine basis and supported by the FFC Operations Officer.

System development is planned and overseen by the Category 1 and 2 Responder Theme Lead who works closely with the Operations Senior Team Leader supporting operations and leasing with Cloud Hosts, Level 1, 2 and 3 support through fault resolution.

During any development phases, the FFC will appoint a Project Manager and Senior User.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Flood Forecasting Centre, Met Office, Exeter, UK
Working arrangements
The working arrangements will vary depending on the situation.
Business as Usual: Monthly telephone or video-conference reviews. Annual face-to-face visits at Met Office or suppliers offices, including at contract start-up.

During system fixes: Email, phone, video-conference discussions as required though to resolution (minimum daily).

During development phases: Email, phone, video-conference conversation as required (minimum daily), face to face at suppliers office as required (minimum weekly and at start-up and close-down).
Security clearance
Suppliers who already hold SC Level security clearance would be preferable but not mandatory, as this can be arranged by the Met Office.

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
  • Demonstrate experience of JAVA development.
  • Demonstrate experience of Redux (React 15.6)
  • Demonstrate experience of implementing full code updates to existing systems to maintain resilience in an evolving IT world.
  • Demonstrate experience of SQL / Postgres.
  • Demonstrate experience of Ruby on Rails development.
  • Demonstrate ability to work to GDS standards.
  • Demonstrate experience of data security working to GDPD standards.
  • Demonstrate experience of working with HTML.
  • Demonstrate ability to triage and deliver emergency fixes to IT applications with short target response and resolution times (office hours only).
  • Demonstrate ability to provide support and maintenance of applications with other parties as part of a a collaborative support model.
  • Demonstrate ability to provide a dedicated Service Support Manager for general system enquiries.
  • Demonstrate ability to provide routine updates to the client through emergency and other fixes.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive testing experience including unit testing and working with the client to derive full regressions tests.
  • Demonstrate experience of Automated Testing e.g. Selenium
  • Demonstrate experience of Understanding outputs from IT Health Checks and how to resolve vulnerabilities identified
  • Demonstrate ability to put a development team together (approximately 2 engineers, 1 test engineer and 1 product owner) for a development phase with 2 months notice.
  • Demonstrate experience of provision of a Developer or Business Analyst : (Reference level : SFIA 3 or 4)
  • Demonstrate experience of provision of a Senior / Lead Developer: (Reference level : SFIA 5)
  • Demonstrate experience of provision of a Product Owner or Scrum Management to provide day to day management of development phases.
  • Demonstrate experience of Knowledge transfer (including maintenance of a run-book or similar containing essential system information) during and at the completion of contract.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of designing and building embelishments and/or new features for existing applications.
  • Demonstrate experience of identifiying and rectifying coding inefficiencies in existing applications.
  • Demonstrate experience of working with APIs and Open data to GDS standards.
  • Demonstrat experience of working with third party SMS service providers.
  • Demonstrate ability to call on design resource for customer facing applications or reports (e.g. pdfs).
  • Ability to flex developer, test and product owner/scrum master resources, manage changes so that disruption to quality and speed of service delivery is minimised.
  • Demonstrable project management skills in Agile, Kanban and scrum, so that team can deliver work in a planned and organised manner and align with wider Met Office project delivery approaches.
  • Demonstrate ability to undertake user research where necessary.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • Working patterns and arrangements
  • Preferred communication routes
  • Outline support model
  • Approach to development phases.
  • Development team composition
  • Skills and experience of core team
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Q: Can you advise whether the current team delivering this work is likely to be subject to TUPE?
A: No there are no TUPE concerns relating o the delivery of this contract.
2. Please can you define and provide further information on what Level 3 Support is/means?
This contract will not be providing 24/7 support. The main 24/7 support is provided by our cloud host company. The Met Office would expect the supplier taking on this contract to work with the cloud host company to resolve any issues that require software updates or fixes. This typically happens in office hours - and we would expect support for critical issues.
3. Given that the application is built and has been operational since January 2017, can you confirm how support and enhancements in the intervening period have been provided - is this by a third party or in house? What is driving the change?
There is no change - the existing contract is coming to an end and we are going through the procurement process again - as we are required to. Support has been provided by the existing provider. Enhancements have been provided by the same provider but under separate contracts. This contract is for support and maintenance only.
4. Is there an incumbent providing support at present?
Yes - this contract is approaching the end which is why we are going through the procurement process.
5. Can you explain what you mean by "Demonstrate experience of data security working to GDPD standards."? Did you mean GDPR?
Yes - this refers to GDPR, which we are audited on as our databases hold personal data.
6. One essential skill asks for us to "Demonstrate ability to provide routine updates to the client through emergency and other fixes". Is it possible to clarify what type of updates this is referring to (e.g. communication or software updates)? If software updates, could you clarify how emergency fixes relate to routine updates?
This is straightforward following an understanding of the application. Initially, there were a few fixes that required addressing. Recently it has been stable – issues have been when the cloud supplier applied patch fixing to their infrastructure which on occasion has caused issues. This is resolved by the cloud supplier liaising with the software provider and solutions sought. This is via teleconferences and then coding – testing etc. There are two instances of our application – a live and test environment and this has not caused us issues as a client nor been absolutely time critical (e.g. over a weekend).
7. Would it be possible to provide an indication of the current level of support required per month? Ideally in expected days, but otherwise number of support tickets raised or resolved?
It varies to any issues to resolve. While the system is stable the requirement is low – if unstable or needing fixing the requirement increases. In recent times the support tickets raised to the software supplier have been minimal.