HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

HMRC's £20M Agile Delivery Tender

HMRC Messaging Delivery Group (MDG) is looking for a service provider with experience in delivering integration components and services, a service orientated architect, cloud technologies and DevOps at an enterprise level.

The MDG is delivering integration components for HMRC’s key transformation programmes and projects such as the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), the Border Systems Programme and Making Tax Digital.

HMRC Messaging - Agile delivery and live support of service orientated components

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
29 SME, 6 large

Completed application

Completed application
1 SME, 0 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Friday 2 November 2018
Deadline for asking questions Friday 9 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Friday 16 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work With this call-off MDG are looking for a service provider with specialist capability and experience in delivering Integration components / services, Service Orientated Architect, Cloud technologies and DevOps at an enterprise level.
Latest start date Friday 1 February 2019
Expected contract length 2 years
Location No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for HM Revenue and Customs
Budget range Contract value up to £20 million
Individual statements of work will have an associated price.
Travel and Subsistence payments will be paid in line with HMRC policies.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done Within Chief Digital and Information Office (CDIO) the Messaging Delivery Group (MDG) manages all of HMRC's core integration services that deal with over a billion internal and external transactions every year; connecting 100's of HMRC services, developed in a wide variety of technologies. MDG provides a fundamental framework for delivering Application Programming Interface (API) access to HMRC core systems and enabling our digital agenda, API strategy and transformation roadmaps for all our services. We are utilising modern open source products and working in agile methodologies and approaches to develop a modern exciting workplace that delivers flexible cost effective integration solutions.
Problem to be solved MDG is delivering Integration components for HMRC's key Transformation Programmes / Projects such as Customs Declaration Service, Border Systems Programme, Making Tax Digital. We require a delivery partner to provide development and delivery specialists, working in scrum teams and delivering in phased sprints. We also require Live Support for our services; potentially 24/7/365 and/or on-call. This will be managed via outcome based statements of work for a variety of programmes.
Who the users are and what they need to do HMRC's Digital Strategy is to accommodate the majority of interaction with customers through digital self-service. This will reduce the nation's tax gap through making the UK's tax system more transparent and reducing the overheads involved in supporting such a system. The MDG provides integration between customer facing digital front-end and Heads of Duty Services.
The supplier will need to demonstrate expertise in all the following areas:
Business and Technical analysis
Integration technologies
Cloud Transformation
Agile/ Scrum experience
Agile Project Management
Service Orientated Architecture
Cloud & Security Architecture
Architectural Governance
Solutions architecture / design
Service Management
Portfolio Management
Delivery Management
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done Work of programmes / projects are at various stages in the development lifecycle. The Customs Declaration Service will be moving in to live service before the end of the 2018. Other projects are moving through Discovery. New projects may be added to the pipeline during the lifetime of the contract.
Existing team MDG has a mixed team including in-house staff, an existing Service Provider plus contingent labour contractors.
There are currently a number of teams working on these services, across 2 sites. The successful supplier team will work with these existing capabilities. A part of the role of the supplier will be to assist HMRC in growing its own capability and we will expect a level of support for our staff at all levels from apprentice through to senior management.
Current phase Not applicable

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place HMRC locations including Southend, Telford and London. We would also like to explore options for the supplier working off-site.
Working arrangements The Supplier:
- will manage delivery of products/services as specified in SoW ;

- select suitably qualified/experienced staff

- have the right to substitute staff with equally qualified/experienced individuals.

- will provide mentoring, coaching and knowledge transfer to the in-house team with the ultimate aim of handing over to that team.
- be on site 5 days (40 hours) per week collaborating with the wider team unless work commitments require work to be done elsewhere. (We would also be open to explore off-site working providing HMRC's Security policies are adhered to.)

- T&S will be paid as per HMRC policies.
Security clearance The supplier will ensure the relevant security checks i.e. BPSS are completed prior to arrival on site. SC clearance will be required for staff interacting with production environments.

HMRC will fund and sponsor SC Clearance.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Any capability or behaviours concerns will be raised by HMRC to the supplier. However the supplier will manage the performance, attendance and conduct of their staff and will ensure they comply with all HMRC H&S, Security and behaviour policies.
- Individuals will be expected to adhere to the Civil Service code of conduct

We reserve the right to set payment method as appropriate to the project

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
  • Evidenced example of scaling up and down teams to accommodate either new requirements or changes within the delivery pipeline.
  • Evidenced example of providing additional and/or value added activities when acting in the role of a partner supplier to an organisation
  • Evidenced example of providing a multi team development capability across multiple projects
  • Experience of providing subject matter expert out of hours support
  • Provide an example of migrating development and services from physical/private-Cloud architecture to public-Cloud architecture
Nice-to-have skills and experience Experience of working with a Public Sector body or relevant large organisation.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Able to start on the work immediately.
  • Have excellent communication skills with staff at all levels of the organisation
  • Be willing to collaborate and partner, including with other suppliers and HMRC staff at all levels.
  • Proactively share knowledge and experiences with members of team, especially with junior HMRC staff.
  • Be innovative and promote ideas and suggestions as applicable
  • Focus on achieving value for money in all activities
Payment approach Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
Evaluation weighting
Technical competence
Cultural fit

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Does the fixed price apply to the overall contract value of £20m, or is it a fixed price per SOW? We will be looking for the supplier to provide fixed costs against each SoW, where possible. We do however reserve the right to request T&M pricing where that is more approriate to the project delivery under some SoWs.
2. Will the winning provider replace the existing provider (assume they don't win) or will the new provider work alongside the existing provider? The winning supplier will be replacing the incumbent supplier. However, we expect there will be a period of time where the two will be required to work alongside one another to allow for knowledge handover and upskilling.
3. Which Public Cloud platform are you working towards deploying your solution? Messaging Delivery Group are currently utilising AWS, but may well in the future deploy solutions to Azure (and potentially other Public Cloud providers).
4. Are you willing to accept SME's provide part of the solution with SoW dedicated for a specific capability for Architecture and review, or Service delivery? Or is it that you expect SME's to collaborate and provide a single proposal as prime and secondary suppliers with a single SoW? HMRC require a single proposal to deliver all aspects of the requirement. We are not prescriptive, as per the terms of the framework this proposal could come from a consortium of suppliers who come together to deliver (with one lead supplier or a newly formed company, jointly owned by the members of the consortium) or by a single supplier supported by one or more subcontractors. We also welcome bids from suppliers who intend to fulfil 100% of the service through their own capability. Any consortium or subcontractor arrangements must be made clear in the bid information.
Tax does have to be taxing.

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1 comment:

  1. All that and they forgot the important bit;

    Governance is an important concept within the enterprise.

    It ensures that stakeholder needs, conditions and options are evaluated to determine balanced, agreed-on enterprise objectives to be achieved and the direction set. It also monitors the performance and compliance against the direction and objectives of the enterprise.

    That is especially important in the scope of enterprise IT.

    This presentation focuses on leveraging the enterprise with governance of enterprise IT

    (courtesy -

    Run for the hills!