Hansel supported successful ICT procurement

An extensive development and digitisation project for government grants is underway at the Ministry of Finance When a project is large, help is needed. The Ministry of Finance trusted Hansel’s support in tendering the development and maintenance tasks of the data system services produced in the project.

The aim of the development and digitisation project for government grants is to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and consistency of activities. This way, applying for and granting government grants will be smoother and more transparent in the future. The project develops a common operating model in stages, as well as the data system services that support it for all of the central government and applicants of government grants.

“After lengthy investigation, it was clear that there was no readily available data system for our requirements. We discovered that we needed a development team that would create a system corresponding to the requirements of government grant operation and which could be renewed with agile methods”, says Tuula Lybeck, Project Director.

However, acquiring agile programme development work is not a simple matter. The Ministry of Finance turned to Hansel for tendering specialist services, and consultant Pekka Alahuhta offered the ministry a dynamic purchasing system, DPS, for IT consulting.

“DPS suited our requirements excellently, both by schedule and its agility. We asked for some references from those who had used DPS before, and the experiences had been good”, says Merja Irjala, Project Manager.

Specialist assistance releases resources for core functions

A large project causes a lot of work. Even though the Ministry of Finance’s own team has procurement skills, they wanted to focus their own resources primarily in the project’s core functions. Other large projects of the Ministry of Finance’s administrative branch had previously used Hansel’s specialist resources, so they naturally looked to the same direction now as well. For the internal tendering of DPS, called mini-competitions, the Ministry of Finance decided to buy the MinikisaPlus service, which brought Hansel’s own team for their use. Hansel’s consultant Pekka Alahuhta and legal counsel Petra Huhtala became well-known acquaintances in the close cooperation and received many thanks from the Ministry of Finance.

“We felt it smartest to use specialists who work with these matters on a daily basis. The customer’s responsibility is great of course, and you must know what you want to procure yourself. However, Petra and Pekka supported us throughout the procurement process and shared their valuable views”, praises Joose Niemi, Systems Specialist.

“We felt it smartest to use specialists who work with these matters on a daily basis.”

DPS customers always receive a large number of model documents to use. However, they might not answer for each customer’s requirements as they are – a customer has to apply them from the point of view of their operation and practical situations. Particularly, the agreement texts of agile programme development caused a lot of work for the Ministry of Finance’s team.

“An agile agreement model also requires traditional contractual terms. We could not directly use the templates for this part, as they are mostly written from the point of view of procuring a finished product. We spent a lot of time in defining both the competence and agreement contents, and the State Treasury’s specialists gave valuable help to us. Careful preparation made work easier at a later stage and reduced the risks”, mentions Joose Niemi.

Careful preparation is worthwhile

The suppliers of data system services were very interested in procurement from the start. We were surprised by the number of suppliers that participated in the information event.

“The thought of organising an information event for suppliers came from Hansel. It was a good intermediate stage that provided excellent ideas for the process. As a memorable detail, the event happened on the same day when nearly all of Finland started working remotely due to COVID-19. We moved the event to the networks on a quick schedule”, says Merja Irjala.

COVID-19 did not bring any other changes to the project, as in DPS the entire tendering process is implemented digitally. We received a total of 11 offers. The careful preparation was visible, as the offers were mainly of a high quality and responded to the customer’s requirements. We also managed to stay on schedule, and the work is now proceeding with the selected supplier as agreed. Cooperation with Hansel gains praises from the Ministry of Finance.

“The groundwork in DPS was done well, and MinikisaPlus gave us the procurement competence and legal support we needed. The service did not end to us finishing our procurement. Instead, they helped us even after it. It felt like Hansel has a genuine desire to help the customer”, Joose Niemi rejoices.

A successful project comprises of many subareas, but there are a few that raise above the others.

“The importance of planning, preparation, and groundwork cannot be emphasised enough. You must know your agreement thoroughly, in order to live with it and utilise it the best way possible. You also need tools for in case something does not go as you had planned beforehand”, hints Tuula Lybeck.

Read more about the project on the Ministry Finance’s website (in Finnish).

Dynamic purchasing system (DPS)

  • Both customers and suppliers can join at any point during the agreement period.
  • Customers make the supplier selection through mini-competitions.
  • Hansel ensures the supplier’s applicability, offers the customers a wide range of templates for mini-competitions, and supports the customer also during the agreement period.

IT consulting 2018–2022 DPS

  • Provides specialist services for designing, managing, developing, maintaining, and data security of different IT services and data systems.
  • The agreement period is active until 28 August 2022 (customer’s procurement agreements no later than until 28 August 2026).