Invitation to tender: website maintenance and hosting services

03 August 2022
Vacancy - supplier
Invitation to tender: website maintenance and hosting services
WFD is seeking a provider for website maintenance and hosting services

Westminster Foundation for Democracy (“WFD”) is the UK public body dedicated to supporting democracy around the world. Operating internationally, WFD works with parliaments, political parties, and civil society groups as well as on elections to help make political systems fairer, more inclusive and more accountable. We are a problem-solving, practitioner-led organisation that offers:  

  • Specialist analysis, research, and advice to inform policy makers on a range of democratic governance issues; 
  • High quality and impactful programmes that directly support the full spectrum of institutions in political systems to develop inclusive political processes, more accountable political systems, protection of rights and freedoms, and more pluralistic societies; and   
  • International elections observation on behalf of the UK. 
Aim of this Invitation to Tender

WFD is issuing this Invitation to Tender (“ITT”) to a range of potential suppliers of goods and/or services and would welcome a bid from your organisation. 

WFD is seeking a provider of website maintenance and hosting services for the organisation’s website, and hosting of  

Bid submission 

All bids should be submitted by 23:59 on 21 August 2022 in writing, must comply with the requirements of this ITT, and must include the information requested in the Bid Requirements below.  

The bid should be sent electronically and addressed to: Stephanie Le Lievre at Please put WEBSITE in the subject line of your email.  

For any questions related to this ITT please email   

WFD’s standard terms and conditions for tendering and key policies are found at Policies | Westminster Foundation for Democracy ( and you can find a copy of WFD’s Code of Conduct at Code of Conduct | Westminster Foundation for Democracy (

Detailed Specification 

Scope of work and deliverables 

WFD’s new website was launched in January 2022. We are now seeking a provider to deliver ongoing hosting, technical support and maintenance of the website (including security), as well as hosting of a separate site, The provider will also provide ad-hoc services to design and build new features for the website, as required, on a day rate basis.  

Our website is a key WFD communication channel. It provides information about WFD’s experience, relevance, activities, and impact to a range of audiences around the world including citizens, governments, members of parliament, parliamentary staff and academics and researchers. must be compliant with all relevant legislation, including the Data Protection Act and the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. 

Website specifications 

  • Content management system (CMS) Drupal 9 
  • File tree size (excepting public files): 292M 
  • Public files: 2.8G 
  • Private files: 48K 
  • Database: 
  • MySQL dump size: 8.9M 
  • MySQL size on disk (including indexes, etc): 439M 
  • Number of modules: 
  • Contrib Drupal modules: 77 
  • Custom Drupal modules: 6 

  • File size: 152.00 MB  
  • 5,636 nodes 


For a period of up to three years, the provider will: 

  • Host  
  • Provide ongoing technical maintenance and services for including but not limited to: 
  • Ongoing maintenance of the CMS (including bugs and CMS updates) 
  • Annual usability/accessibility review 
  • Ensuring the website is secure and compliant with the relevant regulations 
  • Build new or change existing website functionality for as requested by WFD on a day rate basis.  
  • Host  


The contract will begin in September 2022 for a period of not more than three years.  

Minimum experience and expertise 

The provider should have experience of hosting, maintaining, and developing accessible websites. They should be familiar with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and public sector standards of digital accessibility. The supplier should hold Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 / 9001 accreditations. 

Bid process 


Below is the proposed timescale for the tendering process. Please note the dates are indicative and subject to change.   

Issue ITT 

3 August 2022 

Closing date for receipt of completed tender proposals 

21 August 2022 

Shortlisting of bids 

August 2022 

Supplier interviews/presentations to tender committee (if applicable) 

August 2022 

WFD announces preferred supplier 

September 2022 

Contract finalised and signed 

September 2022 

Bid requirements 

In general, the bid should include the following: 

  1. Organisational profile 
  2. Proposed solution and how it meets the specification  
  3. Financial proposal  
  4. References  
  5. Confirmation of compliance with General Terms and Conditions of Tendering 

Organisational profile:  

  • Company profile, including brief history and financial overview 
  • Case studies/credentials demonstrating relevant experience and skills profile  
  • Names and brief biographies of key staff  

WFD is particularly keen to receive bids from organisations which are – or are working towards becoming – living wage employers and that have a broadly representative and balanced Board from gender and ethnicity perspectives.   

Proposed solution:  

  • Clear explanation as to the proposed approach to meeting the specification set out in this ITT.  
  • Detailed project plan, including timelines, assumptions and dependencies, resourcing and risks.  

Financial proposal:  

  • Full breakdown costings for the proposed solution in sterling, including quarterly charges for hosting and maintenance and a day rate for ad-hoc additions and improvements.  
  • Separate accounting of VAT and/or any other applicable tax, duty, or charge.  
  • Detailing of any discount applied in view of WFD’s not-for-profit status.  


  • The bid should include details of two references relating to similar goods/services provided in the last three years. Please note – referees will only be contacted once Preferred Bidder status is assigned. 

Confirmation of acceptance of General Terms and Conditions of Tendering:  

  • All bids should include a signed copy of the Confirmation of Compliance form as annexed to this ITT (available in the full download) .  

All bidders should also note the following:  

  • all bids should be submitted in English;  
  • all bids should be submitted in electronic form only; 
  • this ITT and the response may be incorporated in whole or in part into the final contract; 
  • only information provided in response to questions set out in this documentation will be taken into consideration for the purposes of evaluating the ITT; 
  • bids which are poorly organised or poorly written, such that evaluation and comparison with other submissions is notably difficult, may exclude the bidder from further consideration; and 
  • any bids which do not fully comply with the requirements of this ITT may be disregarded at the absolute discretion of WFD.  

Evaluation criteria 

WFD does not provide a mathematical formula by which bids will be weighted evaluated, but the procurement committee will usually consider the following criteria, among others in the evaluation of all responses:  

  • Quality of bid document  
  • Service offer and solution fit to specification  
  • Quality, capacity, and track-record of bidders based on references 
  • Value for money and pricing factors 
  • Professional profile, track record, and references 
  • Relevant experience, including case studies 

WFD will score each criterion using the following table: 

The proposal submitted omits and fundamentally fails to meet WFD’s scope and specifications. Insufficient evidence to support the proposal to allow WFD to evaluate. Not Answered  

The information submitted has a severe lack of evidence to demonstrate that WFD’s scope and specifications can be met. Significant omissions, serious and/or many concerns. Poor 

The information submitted has some minor omissions in respect of WFD's scope and specifications. The tender satisfies the basic requirements in some respects but is unsatisfactory in other respects and raises some concerns. Satisfactory.  

The information submitted provides some good evidence to meet the WFD’s scope and specifications and is satisfactory in most respects and there are few concerns. Good.  

The information submitted provides good evidence that all of WFD's scope and specification can be met. Full and robust response, any concerns are addressed so that the proposal gives confidence. Very Good. 

The information submitted provides strong evidence that all of WFD's scope and specification can be met and the proposal exceeds expectation i.e. exemplary in the industry. Provides full confidence and no concerns. Outstanding 

Tender Queries 

Any questions related to this tender should be addressed to Stephanie Le Lievre at  

Equal Information 

Should any supplier raise a question that is of general interest, WFD reserves the right to circulate both question and answer to other respondents, either via WFD’s website or by email. In this event, anonymity will be maintained. 

Annual reports 

Please provide a link or copy of your company’s latest audited annual accounts with the bid. 

Other information 

If the potential supplier believes that there is additional information that has not been requested in the ITT but is relevant to your bid, please include that information as a separate attachment and explain its relevance to this ITT. 

Is the stated budget of £25,200 is for the duration of the contract (3 years), or is that budget is available per year?

The stated budget is for the duration of the contract (3 years).

Given the recent website launch date what is the reason for tendering for a hosting/maintenance/support partner?

The contract for the website design and build provides ongoing support and maintenance up to end-September 2022. Our procurement policy requires that we tender any new contract to provide support and maintenance for our website beyond September 2022.

Will the incumbent partner be helpful and supportive in migrating the sites to a new hosting provider? Have you budgeted for their time over and above ours for the migration?

We have not budgeted for the time of the incumbent partner for the migration. We anticipate and expect that they would be supportive during the process.

Were both websites rebuilt in D9 and launched in January 2022?

Only was built in D9 and launched in January 2022. was built earlier, by a different agency with a custom CMS. We are only seeking hosting for the latter site, not maintenance.

You've stated (p3) for a specific welcome for bids from organisations "which are – or are working towards becoming – living wage employers and that have a broadly representative and balanced Board from gender and ethnicity perspectives."... will this requirement be scored a) for SMEs and b) against your Evaluation Criteria (p4) which do not mention this specific wish?

The living wage and board credentials of each bidder will be considered as part of the ‘professional profile’ evaluation criterion.

Who is the SRO for this contract and what position do they hold. Does the individual have a technical understanding of the tender or is there an individual with technical knowledge within the team?

The designated contract manager for this contract will be our Senior Campaigns and Communications Manager. They have basic technical understanding of the tender. Other members of the wider WFD team, assisted by its IT managed service provider, also have some technology-related knowledge but are not technical experts on website maintenance and support.

Where are the websites currently hosted and who currently manages this hosting environment? Please tell us more about the type of hosting provided (cloud, VM, dedicated server etc.) and any preference you have going forward.

It is hosted on the cloud. We would prefer to host on the cloud in future.

Are there any 3rd party systems that should be considered when the site is migrated.

Our applicant tracking system for recruitment, which is powered by the PeopleHR app.

Are you aware of any embedded hard-links that will need amending within the current set-up to ensure a fully functioning website?

Yes, there are some hard links.

Please could you provide more info on the custom modules?

Drupal core is installed via the standard composer setup and there are no custom patches to core. There are six custom modules for small tweaks and custom functionality.

Commercial details of current arrangement

Contract awarded date: 22 March 2021

Contract start date: 25 March 2021 (development); 1 October 2021 (support, maintenance, hosting)

Contract end date: 30 September 2022

Total value of contract: £6,900 plus VAT

Name of supplier: Big Blue Door Ltd.