BEIS seeks £4m digital partner to plug ‘capability gaps’ on demand

Written by Sam Trendall on 28 February 2022 in News
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Chosen provider will support ‘a range of projects’ over the next two years

Credit: Hebi B/Pixabay

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is seeking to retain the services of a digital specialist to plug urgent “capability gaps” via the on-demand provision of technical staff over the next two years.

The department has published a procurement notice outlining its intent to appoint a “technical delivery partner”. BEIS hopes to enter into a 24-month contract with the chosen provider on 1 April. 

The deal will be worth up to £4m to the winning bidder, although no minimum spend is guaranteed, as requirements will be issued as individual statements of work related to as-yet-unspecified future projects requiring “urgent” support. 

Once such statements have been issued, the delivery partner will be expected to supply the department with the necessary personnel within 10 days.

“BEIS is seeking to partner with a highly skilled and proven technical delivery supplier with extensive knowledge of working to government digital standards,” the contract notice said. “This contract will fill technical and delivery capability gaps within existing and new teams, supporting a range of projects from inception through to live and continuous improvement. This will be through the delivery of outcomes based on user needs and in line with government service standards.”


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The tender document added that staff required by BEIS are likely to include – although will not be limited to – the following roles: business analysts; user researchers; service designers; developers specialised in Microsoft SharePoint and Power BI;  automation test engineers; technical architects; full stack developers; database developers; DevOps engineers; data scientists; data architects; data engineers; and delivery managers.

The projects for which the chosen supplier will be asked to provide support will include the development of digital services for citizens, businesses, and staff at BEIS and its arm’s-length agencies. The digital firm will be required to work with a variety of “stakeholders in BEIS Digital”.

Bidding for the contract is open until midnight on 10 March.

The tender is an archetypal example of a so-called bench agreement, in which an organisation retains the services of a supplier on a long-term contract that does not specify any outcome or project, but rather covers the on-demand provision of individuals or teams to support unspecified future programmes of work.

Such arrangements, which have become ever-more widely used by departments in the last few years, have been criticised as being prohibitive for smaller firms, which cannot typically keep a large reserve of staff free for urgent deployment.

Of the 14 firms that have thus far begun filling out an application for the project on the government’s Digital Marketplace platform, nine are SMEs and five are large companies.

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology. He can be reached on sam.trendall@dodsgroup.com.

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