Type of document: Contract Notice
Country: United Kingdom
1. Title: BDEC (BULK DATA EXPLOITATION CAPABILITY) PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT 2021-23
2. Awarding Authority: HMRC Customer Compliance Group, GB. Web:
3. Contract type: Service contract
4. Description: Ongoing maintenance, development and support for BDEC, a secure data exploitation platform running in AWS that is cleared to hold sensitive HMRC data.
5. CPV Code(s): 72000000, 72261000, 72262000, 72267000, 72212000
6. NUTS code(s): UKD, UKD3, UKD33, UKI
7. Main site or location of works, main place of delivery or main place of performance: No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Address where the work will take place The Supplier will be expected to work off-site with occasional visits in to HMRC offices, mainly in London and Manchester.
8. Reference attributed by awarding authority: Not provided.
9. Estimated value of requirement: Budget range: Up to £1,725,000.00
10. Closing date for applications 26.10.2021 (23:59).
11. Address to which they must be sent: For further information regarding the above contract notice please visit
12. Other information: Deadline for asking questions: Tuesday 19 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Off-payroll (IR35) determination: Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Latest start date: Wednesday 15 December 2021
Expected contract length: 2 years with optional 6 month extension
About the work
Why the work is being done: HMRC is a data driven organisation, and the Customer Compliance Group is responsible for ensuring that HMRC can identify and respond to compliance risk in a huge range of data. Some of this data may be unstructured, and the size and format of some of the unstructured data HMRC deals with presents a unique challenge. BDEC was developed specifically to enable Customer Compliance process and analyse bulk unstructured data of any size and format. BDEC has evolved as a secure cloud based data science platform and the work is required to continue developing the platform as it takes on more use cases and responds to evolving business requirements for bulk data exploitation.
Problem to be solved: HMRC Data Scientists, Analysts and case workers need a secure platform to access, analyse and exploit bulk data that can’t be processed on the main IT system for a variety of reasons. These reasons include data security, size and complexity of data and lack of appropriate tools and processing power on main IT network. HMRC staff need continued access to existing tools, an analytical environment where they can use tools like RStudio and Jupyter on large unstructured data sets, and access to new AWS services as they become available. New data needs to be processed quickly and securely with the most appropriate technology and made available to authorised analysts and investigators.
Who the users are and what they need to do Around 200 users who need to access and exploit the data on a secure cloud platform, and require day to day support around onboarding, upskilling and trouble-shooting. They need to be able to access, develop and use the tools and services available on the BDEC platform.
Early market engagement None
Any work that’s already been done Over the last 3 years HMRC has created and developed the BDEC platform into a live service, and is using it to support a number of live / active investigations and projects. It has already been rolled out to around 200 users and supports a wide range of tools and AWS services and functionality.
Existing team The existing BDEC team consists of 1 HMRC lead and a ‘virtual team’ made up of the different business areas that utilise BDEC, supported by up to 6 contractors depending on workload. BDEC is part of the larger Risk and Intelligence Service Data Analytics Team, that is responsible for delivering a range of compliance risking solutions for HMRC.
Current phase: Live
Working arrangements The Supplier will be expected to work off-site using their own devices or, where business reasons require, HMRC equipment. Use of supplier provided devices is contingent on this adhering to HMRC’s security policies.
Occasionally, the Supplier may be required to provide an on-site presence/attendance.
Standard working hours are 8am to 6pm. Out of Hours support i.e. 24/7, 365 will generally not be required.
Security clearance All team members must be vetted to the level of Security Check (SC), or willing to undergo the vetting process. No Offshoring of data or resource is permitted.
Additional terms and conditions All expenses must be pre-agreed between the parties and must comply with the HMRC Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy.
HMRC’s Mandatory Terms will also apply.
Skills and experience
Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.
Essential skills and experience
Ability to provide a cross skilled team of individual software engineers (4 to 6) with each member competent to expert in all the AWS technologies and programming languages described below.
Expert in AWS infrastructure management and IaC (using AWS Java SDK and Terraform)
Expert practitioner in the following AWS Ec2 (and VPC), S3, Iam and expert in best AWS security practices.
Competent to expert with the following AWS services: ECS, ECR, RDS/Aurora, ASG, CloudTrail/CloudWatch, Glue, SQS, Lambda, CodeCommit, AWS Config, Postgres
Competent to expert with OCR technologies, Elasticsearch/Filebeat (and other Elasticsearch offerings), Docker, Telemetry (Prometheus and Grafana)
Scala and Java expertise for infrastructure management (infrastructure as code), shell scripting and writing big data processing tools and pipelines.
Scala and Java expertise should include functional programming, Fs2, cats/cats-effect, Play framework and http4s, Ammonite scripting, Tika and Stanford NLP library
Capability to offer engineers with a DevOps mindset and expertise in using Agile Methodology to deliver products and features quickly and iteratively.
DevOps and Agile expertise and experience should include Test Driven Development, “Validate Learning” and a Fail Fast approach to engineering.
Capability to offer Software engineers who are competent and comfortable with pair programming.
Ability to upskill staff in the use of cloud technology and BDEC tools and services
Awareness of handling sensitive customer data.
Please provide evidence that supports your financial capability to deliver a contract of this size. Evidence includes annual turnover and previous contract examples of a similar value.
Nice-to-have skills and experience: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning expertise, experience of working with large unstructured data sets and data mining techniques.
How suppliers will be evaluated
All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.
How many suppliers to evaluate: 5
Technical and delivery capability as demonstrated in written proposal response (relating to the scenario requirement) and subsequent presentation. Criteria will relate to a selection of the following themes:
Technical solution/Technical Capability
Approach and methodology
How the approach or solution meets user needs
How the approach or solution meets your organisation’s policy or goal
Estimated timeframes for the work
How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
Demonstration of Social Value initiatives relating to improving health and wellbeing in the workplace aligned with the MAC 7.1 and 7.2 Sub-Criteria.
SOCIAL VALUE-MAC 7.1 Support health and wellbeing in the workforce: Demonstrate action to support health and wellbeing, including physical and mental health, in the contract workforce.
SOCIAL VALUE-MAC 7.2: Influencing support for health and wellbeing: Influence staff, suppliers, customers and communities through the delivery of the contract to support health &wellbeing, including physical and mental health.
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Technical competence 50%
Cultural fit 10%