DWP has released a written ministerial statement that affects the connection deadline for pensions dashboards.
Additional guidance will be published in due course.

Published by: Michael Wheeler  

Procuring the digital architecture that will make up a major part of the pensions dashboards ecosystem is a significant step for the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP).

We issued the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the contract to supply the major components of our digital architecture, including the pension finder service (PFS), the consent and authorisation service and the governance register on 13 April 2021.

This video explains more about the different elements of the pensions dashboards ecosystem and how they will fit together.

Pre-tender engagement and approval

In advance of issuing the Invitation to Tender we undertook significant engagement with potential suppliers, to shape our commercial strategy. Including a digital Request For Information (RFI) in July 2020 and webinars in February and March.

As part of the Money and Pensions Service, which is an arm’s-length body, sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, the PDP has to follow the Cabinet Office spend controls process when we want approval to spend money on specific activities.

We sought and obtained approval to proceed to a formal competitive procurement exercise from:

Procurement process and timeline

Early market engagement with suppliers interested in bidding for the central digital architecture requirements indicated procuring an end-to-end (design, build and operate) service solution would strongly incentivise bidders to submit their best technical service and commercial offer.

This delivery model option was only available through one government framework which has led to the Money and Pensions Service agreeing to undertake a procurement using the Crown Commercial Service Technology Services 2 (TS2), Lot 4a large programmes and projects framework RM3084 route to market to best meet the requirements. 

Any supplier on the TS2 framework will have the opportunity to bid for the contract. The full ITT documentation is available via the TS2 framework.

The high-level procurement timetable is as follows:

Publish tender opportunity and invite lot4a suppliers to submit ITT response13 April 2021
Tender clarification period opens for 5 weeks14 April – 13 May 2021
ITT submission deadline (17:00hrs)28 May 2021
Evaluation period04 June – 07 July 2021
Bidders notified of outcome21 July 2021
Contract approvals period22 July 2021 – 3 September 2021
Contract and implementation period commences06 September 2021  

Frequently asked questions

What is the programme purchasing?

We are procuring the digital architecture of the pensions dashboards ecosystem,  including the pension finder service, the consent and authorisation service and the governance register.

We will invite suppliers to tender for the contract to supply the identity service in a separate process later in the year.

Will the identity service form part of this procurement?

No. We will procure the identity service as part of a separate process later in the year.

Why is the programme purchasing this digital architecture?

The digital architecture is what will make pensions dashboards work. We are inviting specialist suppliers, which will have the necessary digital and technical skillsets required, to bid for the creation of this technical architecture.

How long will the procurement take?

We issued the Invitation to Tender on 13 April 2021 and we expect to sign contracts with the successful bidder in early September 2021.

What procurement platform are you using?

We selected Lot 4a (Programmes and large projects – covering Government official security classification) of the Crown Commercial Service Technology Services 2 framework agreement, for our competitive procurement exercise. This platform complies with all necessary government spend controls and provides a speedy, effective method to procure our digital architecture.