WP1655: Global Digital Marketplace discovery of other nations' DDaT routes to market & supply chains

Write-up of supplier Q&A sessions 1 and 2, 08 October 2018

This document contains the write-up of two telephone-based question and answer sessions held for prospective suppliers on Monday 08 October 2018, as part of the ‘WP1655: Global Digital Marketplace discovery of other nations' DDaT routes to market & supply chains’ opportunity. Questions are shown in bold, with a consolidated write-up of responses provided based on the two sessions.

Please can you provide an overview of the Global Digital Marketplace Programme and what will be expected of the winning supplier to provide?        

This is the second supply opportunity that we've published in relation to the Global Digital Marketplace Programme, and we are mainly looking to see what we can provide by way of internal GDS capability and subject matter experts. But we are also looking to see how we can bring in supply-chain partners to support other elements where the supply-chain may be better placed or provide additional capacity as an extension of our team.

This is a discovery into other nations DDaT commercial routes to market and supply chains so very much consistent with the approach taken by the UK when we started on the journey of procurement reform (in the context of DDaT products and services). This means taking a forensic look at commercial routes to market which are available or non existent, to see how they're meeting the needs of buyers and suppliers who want to come together to meet these governments' digital transformation endeavours.

As the opportunity outlines, if these commercial routes to market - which are really key elements to the procurement, commercial and contracting relationship - haven't been designed and delivered to meet the needs of buyers and suppliers, then there's a high chance that they're not going to meet the needs of the people who need to come together in collaborative and constructive ways, to bring into government new, emerging and enabling technologies. and ways of thinking and working to support that transformation.

A key point of the Global Digital Marketplace Programme is that, when we're having deeper conversations with the national and subnational countries in scope, to understand what they already have that is potentially useful, and taking a look at those routes to market, we may identify that there are significant or minor gaps (and those minor gaps may be workable in the short term). If significant gaps are identified, we may do as we've done in the UK and recommend some course of actions that would help address those gaps, perhaps through fundamentally re-designed commercial routes to market, as really these are the things that provide the power to the platforms such as the Digital Marketplace.

We've found in the UK that if you take a user-centred design approach to the platform, but not to the underlying 'machinery' of the platform (i.e. the commercial routes to market) then that creates friction and a disconnect between the two elements, which together make up the user experience. That is one element. Then there's also looking at the supply chain, its maturity and the extent to which it's doing business with the governments that are in scope for the Global Digital Marketplace Programme.

So it might be that for various reasons these DDaT supply chains aren't doing business with their domestic national and subnational governments; there may be very capable suppliers available, but through reasons of bureaucracy or complexity of government processes, or perhaps they're not aware of opportunities. There may be certain barriers to entry for those supply chains again, so we may ask "what do we need to do differently by working with the partner governments, to enable more diverse and open markets to support the transformation of those governments?".

Can you provide a list of the six countries?

This discovery phase will involve 6 countries in the 3 regions stated in the Digital Marketplace opportunity. Due to the sensitive nature of the work being undertaken, GDS will share who those countries are as the commissioning process progresses.                                                                                

What travel will be required?

Minimal international travel is anticipated as potentially a good amount of research can be conducted remotely. We don't want to be prescriptive on this but ultimately it's likely that initial meetings and interviews face-to-face with key stakeholders will be most beneficial. GDS has had good engagement so far. GDS will introduce and firm up with the in-country stakeholders, with the backing of the British Embassies or High Commissions in those locations.

How was the 6-month delivery timeline allocated and is this a fixed timeline?

We've set the 6-month period mainly in line with current plans to complete the discoveries in those regions, but there is some flexibility. Some members of the Global Digital Marketplace Programme team may be present in those countries.

How will you expect the supplier to deliver this piece of work?

Focus on the outcomes and how potential suppliers will see them achieved. Regular reviews will be held with the Global Digital Marketplace Programme team in the UK and any in-country delivery teams.

Will GDS sponsor SC clearance, would clearance checks be expedited if needed, and how much will this cost?

It is preferred team members have security clearance however GDS can sponsor the security clearance process. The cost of the process will be charged to the supplier.

These can be approximately £100-£120.         The key thing will be to gain access to the right stakeholders in those countries. The Global Digital Marketplace Programme team will aim to accommodate any delays with some pre in-country inductions and associated activities.

Would you be open to one supplier possibly delivering all opportunities published around the same time, or more than one? If one supplier works on more than one opportunity it may provide an opportunity to condense the amount of user research needed for both. What are your thoughts?

Some elements across these opportunities do work together, and the timings are either identical or very close. Ultimately it will come down to capacity and capability to deliver, and prospective suppliers will be assessed on their merits to achieve the outcomes required for each opportunity individually.

What part of the opportunity is looking at legislative reforms of the countries that you are going into? As the Digital Marketplace has been born out of the UK policy context to help support transformation of UK government, is the approach you're proposing applicable? Is the Digital Marketplace the right thing for what you're trying to achieve within these countries and to what extent will it be adaptable?

The name of this delivery programme is the 'Global Digital Marketplace'; platforms and associated commercial routes to market, used to support supply and demand and the procurement approaches that bridge that, is just one of four high-level elements to the Global Digital Marketplace offer that's being developed incrementally based on our in-country engagements.

The other three elements are based on (1) the pre-procurement stage, (2) the post-procurement contract and supplier relationship management stage, and (3) building capability and capacity in the public and private sectors to work through the end-to-end lifecycle of ICT delivery. Collectively, these four elements are focussed on 'digital' in its broader sense, when applied to public procurement and contracting; not merely digital platforms, but the mindset and culture of digital - "Applying the culture, processes, business models & technologies of the internet era to respond to people’s raised expectations." (Tom Loosemore, 28 June 2017).

The focus and scope of this discovery is other nations' DDaT routes to market and supply chains, which prospective suppliers should focus on in their responses to this opportunity.

There's now an additional Global Digital Marketplace Programme opportunity published for a discovery of other nations' procurement policies and regulations (see ‘WP1656: Global Digital Marketplace discovery of other nations' procurement policies and regulations’).

Are you open to the outcome being delivered on shorter timescale than 6 months?

The Global Digital Marketplace Programme has set these timescales so that they align with the planned completion of our own discoveries, but there is some flexibility. It's possible that GDS teams will be working in-country at the same time. Whether the outcomes could be delivered sooner rather than later, would be subject to a better understanding of the scale and nature of the country requirements.

Will the user research element of this project be guided by the Digital Service Standard?

Yes it should be guided by the Digital Service Standard, and the principles and elements on what a good discovery looks like (as per the Service Manual guidance).

Will there be other teams within the Global Digital Marketplace Programme that the supplier will be engaging with?

It's likely that the Global Digital Marketplace Programme team and associated GDS teams would be in the same locations at the same time in some shape or form. Regular reviews will be held with the Global Digital Marketplace Programme team in the UK and any in-country delivery teams.