DWP seeks £36m partner to develop and support child-maintenance platform

Written by Sam Trendall on 22 March 2018 in News

Department looks to blend in-house with external teams as support contract with existing supplier approaches conclusion

Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive/PA Images​

The Department for Work and Pensions is seeking a supplier to work on a £36m programme to develop and support its digital platform for managing child maintenance payments.

The department’s Children’s Platform supports, among other services, the Child Maintenance Service site that was launched in 2012. Development and support services for the core systems that power the Children’s Platform are currently provided by an external supplier via a contract that ends during the 2018/19 year. The DWP now wishes to implement a model incorporating both internal and external support staff.

The department has issued a contract notice via the government’s Digital Marketplace seeking a supplier that can provide digital experts to work for the department over the course of a two-year deal, the worth of which may reach as high as £36m. 

“In accordance with its strategic objective, DWP intends to operate with a mixed delivery model, consisting of both a core team, which will be supplemented by supplier digital teams, and also a service-outcome delivery model,” the department said.

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The external workers will work on various applications, including the technology behind the Child Maintenance Service which, from the start of this year, is the DWP’s only service for arranging and mediating financial support agreements between estranged parents. Two other such schemes provided under the banner of the Child Support Agency were closed last year.

“Applications have been developed on the Children’s Platform technology estate in support of various child-maintenance schemes, including the CMS 2012 system that was developed for the latest scheme, which went live in 2012,” the DWP said. “Development work is ongoing to deliver against a range of additional business and technical requirements. Support of the production system continues to be required within a complex multi-application, multi-supplier environment.”

The department requires expertise in a number of technologies, including Siebel, BPM, OBIEE, Adobe, and Documentum. Additional skills may also be needed in due course. 

As well as allowing the DWP to call on additional support staff as and when required, external workers may also be tasked with delivering specific results.

The DWP said: “A supplier is required to provide flexible capacity and capability to support DWP by providing digital teams that can deliver outcomes in the areas of development activities necessary to satisfy the requirements for development, change, [and] repair across a series of releases, and live support necessary to satisfy the requirements for a stable performance application [and] system.”

Staff will be primarily needed to work at DWP offices in Leeds and Newcastle upon Tyne. They will typically work standard office hours, although “some weekend work will be required for discrete project work and support resource will be required to cover 24/7 on an on-call basis”.

The DWP added: “The new supplier will need to gain an understanding of the existing solution to be able to provide support, and to deliver future developments with minimal disruption. DWP retains the right to place resources into a team from other suppliers where a supplier or resource has a particular strength.”

Bids are invited until 3 April, with a contract scheduled to go live on 16 July.


About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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