IT Services Defra

IT Services Defra

Future Options Programme.

UK-London: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support

2012/S 89-146377

Prior information notice


Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17 Smith Square, Nobel House
Contact point(s): Ruth Shackleton
SW1P 3JR London

Further information can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

I.2)Type of the contracting authority

Ministry or any other national or federal authority, including their regional or local sub-divisions
I.3)Main activity

I.4)Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities

The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: yes

Section II.B: Object of the contract (Supplies or services)

II.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:

The Future Options Programme.
II.2)Type of contract and place of delivery or of performance

Service category No 7: Computer and related services

II.3)Information on framework agreement
II.4)Short description of nature and quantity or value of supplies or services:

The European Commission expects to agree the overarching policy of the new Common Agricultural Policy in 2013 (CAP 2013). This will consist of a series of regulations that will determine how schemes for agricultural subsidies to support production (Pillar I) and programmes to promote rural development (Pillar II) should be administered.
In order to administer these schemes, future processes and requirements have been designed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Future Options Programme (FOP). This programme currently intends to initiate a procurement exercise in early 2013, subject to approval from the Cabinet Office, to source services from the market to help deliver these new schemes in England for commencement at the start of 2015. Prior to this, we wish to engage with the market to talk through our initial thoughts to further shape our thinking on what the best emerging solution(s) might be.
At present, Defra administers the two Pillars of CAP through a number of delivery bodies. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is the paying agency for all CAP schemes and under Pillar I administers the Single Payment Scheme for England, and, for the UK as a whole, measures to support agricultural markets. Pillar II is delivered through Defra’s Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) programme: Natural England (NE) has responsibility for delivery of agri-environment schemes in England, Forestry Commission (FC) delivers woodland management schemes and Defra delivers some of the socioeconomic measures for the current RDPE programme. All payments to beneficiaries (apart from for woodland schemes) are made by RPA, which is the paying agency for Pillar II.
Defra is now seeking to explore opportunities to develop a single delivery solution or set of solutions for CAP 2013 that delivers all elements of the required services and provides a joined up solution or set of solutions for customers. This work is being led by a Defra programme, reporting to the Minister of State with all the key organisations (Defra, RPA, NE, FC and RDPE) working together.
The required services that make up the solution(s) could be in the form of outsource business processes, IT outsource services or a combination of these and will reflect current Government guidance on contracting for such services. The length of the eventual contracting period will be commensurate with the CAP lifecycle and reflect the need to secure appropriate transition between cycles and more than one cycle, if necessary. We anticipate that we will procure one or more contracts of varying lengths each with an individual value estimated to be between 10 000 000 and 100 000 000 GBP.
Ministers will be using the outcomes from market soundings to refine the options around different delivery models, and carry out detailed analysis before making a final decision as the nature and method of procurement of the eventual solution(s).
Defra is committed to improving the customer experience as part of FOP and the implementation of CAP 2013; therefore the desired outcomes from the new systems or services should:
— provide a joined up CAP delivery solution for customers and an enhanced customer experience,
— drive the right customer behaviour (in line with CAP 2013 requirements) towards ensuring enhanced competitiveness, improved sustainability and greater effectiveness,
— place emphasis on the customer to ensure that the required data they provide (up front) to inform their claim is accurate so that payments can be made correctly and on time,
— reduce physical and telephone customer interaction through an efficient digital by default solution,
— provide early notification to customers regarding the amount of their claim (subject to validation) and likely date of payment,
— improve and continue to improve the volume of claims paid correctly first time reducing the amount or rework inherent in the current system.
In addition, the cost of delivering the new systems or services should be significantly less than the current cost of operating the CAP schemes in order to deliver maximum value to the public purse.
The eligibility criteria for CAP schemes change regularly and, as a result, the business rules will also change. The underpinning services or systems must be flexible and scalable to be able to cope with this regular change with minimal cost, effort or disruption. The services and systems should also minimise delivery risk and the financial penalties associated with maladministration or non-compliance with EU requirements. It is envisaged that any future procurement may be let in a number of lots. The exact scope and nature of those lots is yet to be determined, but may be structured around the business capabilities required to deliver the CAP 2013 schemes (such as claim processing) or components of the services (such as the online channel) or a combination of these.
II.5)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)


II.6)Scheduled date for start of award procedures
II.7)Information about Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)

The contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA): yes
II.8)Additional information:

A Supplier Conference will be held on 21.5.2012 at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre, Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire RG2 0FL. The purpose of the Supplier Conference is to provide a forum for potential suppliers of all sizes to gain a broad understanding of the requirements and emerging plans for future CAP services. It will also provide an opportunity to share and gain feedback which may be used to shape and refine the proposition before any formal procurement commences. It should be noted that any information provided on our current thinking should be considered formative in nature and no decision on the future solution or commercial approach has yet been agreed. Please note that in order to manage numbers, only two persons from any one organisation may attend the Supplier Conference.
A Prospectus, together with specific questions for consideration and debate, has been prepared and may be requested via the email address in Section I above.
Following the Supplier Conference and on dates to be advised in due course, key representatives from FOP will be available to speak individually with prospective suppliers in 1:1 interviews. These interviews will further explore the issues debated at the Supplier Conference and will allow suppliers to gain a more detailed understanding of our proposals. In addition, separate workshops for potential legacy and small and medium enterprise providers will be held on 28th May. All those organisations wishing to attend the Supplier Conference and/or participate in 1:1 interviews and/or the legacy or SME workshops should register their interest via the email address in Section I above on or before 16.5.2012.
This PIN supercedes and is not limited by the PIN issued by Defra in October 2010, which should now be disregarded.

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

III.1)Conditions relating to the contract
III.1.1)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:
III.2)Conditions for participation
III.2.1)Information about reserved contracts

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about European Union funds

The contract is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: yes
Reference to project(s) and/or programme(s): Common Agricultural Policy.
VI.2)Additional information:

The procurement of this opportunity in due course will be in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (as amended) and will be compatible with EU Law.
Address of the other contracting authority on behalf of which the contracting authority is purchasing:
Natural England, Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Riverside Exchange, Sheffield, S3 8NH, United Kingdom (UK).
Forestry Commission, 620 Bristol Business Park, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1EJ, United Kingdom (UK).
Rural Payments Agency, North Gate House, 21-23 Valpy Street, Reading, RG1 1AF, United Kingdom (UK).
VI.3)Information on general regulatory framework

VI.4)Date of dispatch of this notice:4.5.2012