https://gdsdata.blog.gov.uk/contracts-finder-service-assessment-2/

Contracts Finder - Service Assessment

Contracts Finder will be the central repository for government contract information referring to future opportunities, current opportunities, awarded contracts and pre-procurement engagement with the market. The terminology for these states is currently being tested. The website will provide enough relevant business opportunity information for buyers and suppliers to able to manage and act on this and interact directly with each other using a number of channels. Contracts Finder will also present contract information to other interested parties and will provide features that will facilitate the publication of government contracts and their associated expenditure.

Department / Agency:
CO / CCS

Date of Assessment:
17/2/2015

Assessment stage:
Beta

Result of Assessment:
Pass

Lead Assessor:
D. Vaughan

Service Manager:
P. Sinclair

Digital Leader:
P. Maltby


Assessment Report

The Contracts Finder service is seeking permission to launch on a service.gov.uk domain as a Beta service.

Outcome of service assessment

After consideration the assessment panel have concluded the Contracts Finder service has shown sufficient progress and evidence of meeting the Digital by Default Service Standard criteria and should proceed to launch as a Beta service on a service.gov.uk domain.

Reasons

The team have shown that they have a good understanding of who their users are including buyers within government, organisations supplying to government, and those interested in how/what government are buying. They’ve made good progress over the last few months building a digital service to meet the needs of those disparate groups.

The Service Manager is empowered to make decisions and has worked closely with the multidisciplinary team to develop the beta service. Although reliant on an external supplier and spread across multiple locations, the team has shown that they work well together in an agile manner and can make changes to the service quickly.

The design of the service has been iterated based on feedback from users and lab based sessions over the last few months and now follows the GOV.UK look and feel. The team have shown that they have plans in place to continue this iteration during the public beta.

The team has worked hard to resolve some of the flaws in the original Contracts Finder service including improving the quality of the data about contracts and helping to define appropriate standards.

The team is in contact with the Performance Platform to ensure it’s collecting the required metrics and to identify how best to publish this data.

Recommendations

  • The service team should continue with its intention to test the service with users using lab-based sessions throughout future phases of development. This should include usability testing with people with disabilities.
  • The service team needs to commission an accessibility review to ensure development of the service is informed by advice that considers the full range of use-cases.
  • The team should start to forecast their traffic levels with a view to making sure they have the budget available for a paid for digital analytics solution if required
  • The team should ensure that IP anonymisation has been enabled for their analytics solution and that they have opted out of sharing data with 3rd parties.
  • The service team should ensure that the code for the service has been released prior to launch
  • The service team should engage with the cross-government design community to gain advice and contribute learnings from the development of the beta.

Digital by Default Service Standard criteria

Criteria Passed Criteria Passed
1 Yes 2 Yes
3 Yes 4 Yes
5 Yes 6 Yes
7 Yes 8 Yes
9 Yes 10 N/A
11 Yes 12 Yes
13 Yes 14 Yes
15 Yes 16 Yes
17 Yes 18 Yes
19 Yes 20 Yes
21 Yes 22 Yes
23 Yes 24 Yes
25 Yes 26 Yes