Functional Assessment Services (FAS) 2023

Publication reference: 2021/S 000-007476
Publication date: 9 April 2021

F01: Prior information notice

Prior information only

Section one: Contracting authority

one.1) Name and addresses

Department for Work and Pensions

1 Hartshead Square

Sheffield

S1 2FD

Email

RORY.MORGAN@DWP.GOV.UK

Telephone

+44 7464982651

Country

United Kingdom

NUTS code

UK - UNITED KINGDOM

Internet address(es)
Main address

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions

one.3) Communication

Additional information can be obtained from the above-mentioned address

one.4) Type of the contracting authority

Ministry or any other national or federal authority

one.5) Main activity

Health


Section two: Object

two.1) Scope of the procurement

two.1.1) Title

Functional Assessment Services (FAS) 2023

two.1.2) Main CPV code
  • 85000000 - Health and social work services
two.1.3) Type of contract

Services

two.1.4) Short description

DWP requires a range of functional health assessments. Functional health assessments help by providing advice to DWP Decision Makers to determine eligibility for a range of benefits paid to claimants. Currently, this primarily focuses on Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and Universal Credit (UC).

In July 2020, the Department published a VEAT notice advising the market of its intention to extend the current PIP and Health and Disability Assessment Services (HDAS) contracts for up to 24 months. This was a result of the impact of Covid-19 on the procurement planned for 2020.

The Department intends to procure Functional Assessment Service (FAS) contracts from 1st August 2023, to provide functional health assessments through a single supplier in each geographical Lot. This is part of the Department’s long term plans to transform health assessment services by creating an integrated health assessment service. Current functional health assessments primarily help to determine eligibility for PIP, ESA, and UC. These benefits may be subject to future changes in Government policy.

As a result of the Government’s commitment to improving support for disabled people and people with health conditions, there is the possibility of changes in Government policy relating to delivery and scale of health assessment services during the life of the FAS contracts. Suppliers will hold a partnership role in any reforms and the FAS contracts will be structured to facilitate change, including impacts on volumes and service design.

In March 2020, as part of the Government’s long term plans to transform health assessment services, we announced that the Department will initially develop the new single integrated Health Assessment Service (HAS), supported by a single digital platform developed by DWP, on a small scale in a controlled environment known as a Departmental Transformation Area (DTA). The first site in the DTA will be in London and is scheduled to start from April 2021. This approach recognises that our claimants include some of the most vulnerable in society and it is critical that we carefully develop the new integrated HAS.

The DTA will provide a safe environment to test and adapt HAS, whilst learning from new ideas and processes. Our intention is to roll out the HAS and associated learning on a greater scale into pre-defined areas of the country during the life of the FAS contracts, ahead of full roll out into Next Generation contracts. Further details on the DTA and its impact on FAS will be provided in due course.

two.1.5) Estimated total value

Value excluding VAT: £1

two.1.6) Information about lots

This contract is divided into lots: Yes

The contracting authority reserves the right to award contracts combining the following lots or groups of lots:

To be confirmed

two.2) Description

two.2.1) Title

Functional Assessment Services (FAS) 2023

Lot No

To be confirmed

two.2.2) Additional CPV code(s)
  • 85000000 - Health and social work services
two.2.3) Place of performance
NUTS codes
  • UK - UNITED KINGDOM
two.2.4) Description of the procurement

The Department intends to procure Functional Assessment Service (FAS) contracts from 1st August 2023, to provide functional health assessments through a single supplier in each geographical Lot.

Functional health assessment providers support the payment of welfare benefits to some of the most vulnerable in our society. Functional health assessments currently assess eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP); focusing on needs arising from a condition rather than the condition itself. These assessments are only one part of the evidence that the DWP Decision Maker will consider and decisions on assessment criteria and benefit entitlement will rest with the DWP Decision Maker alone on behalf of the Secretary of State.

PIP is a DWP benefit intended to compensate for some of the extra costs of those who have long term ill-health or disabilities. It is available to people whether they are in work, training, education or not, it is tax-free and is not means tested. PIP also acts as a gateway to other benefits and support in both DWP administered benefits. Most notably, additional premia in ESA or Carer’s Allowance and also wider services, including the Motability scheme and Local Authority services, such as the Blue Badge Scheme. Approximately 900,000 assessments are carried out annually under the current PIP contract (data from 2017/18).

Work Capability Assessments (WCA) currently assess eligibility for ESA and UC. A smaller number of other assessments assess eligibility to a range of benefits delivered by DWP and other Government Departments. Approximately 1 million WCA and a minimum of 100,000 other assessments are carried out annually under the current Health Disability Assessment Services (HDAS) contract (data from 2017/18).

HDAS and PIP assessment services are currently delivered through separate contracts by separate suppliers. FAS will deliver both assessment services through one contract with a single supplier, in each geographical Lot.

DWP will procure a Functional Assessment Service across England and Wales. We are currently working with colleagues in the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland to understand their future commercial requirements. We will be procuring Work Capability Assessments and some other assessments in Scotland, the Scottish government will take responsibility for administering a replacement for PIP assessments from 2022.

We anticipate the use of geographical Lotting and will share further details on the structure of these Lots at a later date.

Contract length and value will be confirmed in due course.

Our current working assumption is that DWP will provide IT Digital Services (through a managed service), this approach is to be confirmed in due course.

DWP’s approach to the provision of Estate will be confirmed in due course.

Supplier Event Details

We intend to hold a virtual supplier event on 30th April (further details will be provided in due course). The session will provide information regarding our proposed commercial approach and our transformation aspirations. We would request that organisations determine who would be best placed to attend.

Please register your interest via our Jaggaer e-Procurement System where further details of the event will be shared. If you are not currently registered on Jaggaer, please register following the instructions below.

Jaggaer Registration

To register, use the link below with supporting instructions. If you experience difficulties registering, please contact the Jaggaer helpline on 0800 069 8630 or help@bravosolution.co.uk.

https://dwp.bravosolution.co.uk

Register for Event

Log in and search for Project number –23953 or PQQ: pqq_28855 - Functional Assessment Services (FAS)- Virtual Supplier Event and express your interest in the event to receive updates.

https://dwp.bravosolution.co.uk

Please note that all future correspondence for the event will be via Jaggaer.

two.3) Estimated date of publication of contract notice

4 June 2021


Section four. Procedure

four.1) Description

four.1.8) Information about the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)

The procurement is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement: Yes


Section six. Complementary information

six.3) Additional information

This service relates to “social and other specific services” listed in Schedule 3 to the Public Contracts

Regulations 2015 (as amended) (PCR) and is therefore subject to the ‘light touch regime’ in accordance with Chapter 3, Section 7 of the PCR (Regulations 74 to 77).

This PIN is being published for information purposes only (under Regulation 48) in order to notify potential bidders of the supplier event detailed below and proposed procurement opportunity that will be set out in the Contract Notice, anticipated to be issued early Summer 2021. DWP is still in the planning phases of this proposed procurement. All information set out in this PIN, including the nature and extent of the services, as well as the timing and nature of the proposed procurement, could be subject to change.

DWP is not liable for any costs incurred by potential bidders in expressing an interest or in participating in the supplier event. DWP reserves the right to cancel or change the market engagement event and/or the proposed procurement (or any part of it) at its discretion.

DWP expressly reserves the rights(i)to use a reverse auction; (ii)to cancel this procurement at any stage; (iii)to not award any contract as a result of the procurement process commenced by publication of this notice; (iv)and in no circumstances will DWP be liable for any costs incurred by potential suppliers.

Suppliers Instructions:

How to Express Interest in this Tender:

1. Register on the eSourcing portal (this is only required once):

https://dwp.bravosolution.co.uk & click the link to register - Accept the terms & conditions & click 'continue' - Enter your correct business & user details - Note your chosen username & click 'Save'. You will receive an email with your password (keep this secure)

2. Express an Interest in the tender - Login to the portal with the username/password - Click the 'PQQs / ITTs Open To All Suppliers' link. (These are Pre-Qualification Questionnaires or Invitations to Tender open to any registered supplier) - Click on the relevant exercise to access the content. - Click the 'Express Interest' button at the top of the page. - This will move the PQQ /ITT into your 'My PQQs/ My ITTs' page. (A secure area reserved for your projects only) -You can now access any attachments by clicking 'Buyer Attachments' in the 'PQQ/ ITT Details' box

3. Responding to the tender - Click 'My Response' under 'PQQ/ ITT Details', you can choose to 'Create Response' or to 'Decline to Respond' (please give a reason if declining) - You can now use the 'Messages' function to communicate with the buyer and seek any clarification - Note the deadline for completion. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the PQQ/ ITT - There may be a mixture of online & offline actions to complete (detailed online help available). To submit your reply use the 'Submit Response' button (top of the page).

For further assistance please consult the online help, or the eTendering help desk.

DWP expressly reserves the rights(i)to use a reverse auction; (ii)to cancel this procurement at any stage; (iii)to not award any contract as a result of the procurement process commenced by publication of this notice; (iv)and in no circumstances will DWP be liable for any costs incurred by potential suppliers.