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The Rainbow programme
The significance of the name Rainbow is twofold: It highlights NS&I’s commitment to diversity; and its drive to realise significant stakeholder value at the end of its transformation journey
NS&I’s vision statement for Rainbow is
In 2026, NS&I is the UK’s most trusted savings provider. We deliver securely and cost-effectively for customers and stakeholders
NS&I’s future organisation will be different across the enterprise, from how customers interact, to how suppliers are engaged. NS&I – as per the Rainbow aims – will become a fundamentally more digital, cost-effective and agile organisation.
This means services to customers which are simpler, more digital, more accessible. These will shift to be delivered increasingly through channels such as mobile and web and away from telephone and post. Assisted Digital will be provided to vulnerable and excluded and likely during business hours as opposed to 24/7.
NS&I’s product development will become much more agile and centred on customers’ Jobs To Be Done with dynamic, agile product development and co-creation with customers. A near real time service management will allow for service levels to be maintained in live and product changes to happen swiftly upon identifying an unmet customer need or pain point.
NS&I’s broader organisation will adapt to become nimbler in how it makes decisions and how it orchestrates and derives value from a multi-vendor environment, enabled by more joined-up data and insight. It will also take on more in-house responsibility for Enterprise Architecture as it moves from the current prime vendor arrangement.
NS&I’S incumbent supplier
NS&I has no intention of extending the present Business Process Outsourcing agreement. The contract is due to end on 31st March 2024 and no further extension periods are available. NS&I has launched the Rainbow Programme and its associated procurement projects with the intention of awarding the contracts which will replace the present agreement, in time for transition to the new business model in time for April 2024 and is optimistic about achieving this.
Robust ethical walls are a requirement of our current contract with the incumbent supplier and NS&I is currently taking steps to ensure these are in operation.
We are developing our transition requirements across the programme and these shall be refined as part of developing detailed requirements for the service, and procurement opportunities.
We will be engaging the incumbent supplier to ensure that the appropriate Exit and transition arrangements are in place to support the delivery of our requirements. This includes the appropriate handover of services.
The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and established principles of public procurement law require NS&I to seek to ensure equal treatment and non-discrimination in any procurement process. In view of this, our existing business process outsourcing provider, Atos IT Services UK, is entitled to apply and participate in opportunities offered to the market. However, it is also important for us to ensure a level playing field, to the extent that this is possible.
One consideration is that the future business model, based on a dis-aggregated model in several packages, is very different from the current outsourced model. This partially counterbalances any incumbency advantage that Atos might have, as what we will be procuring is far from a like-for-like replacement for the services they currently deliver. In addition, in each procurement exercise we will be releasing a detailed pack of information regarding the current operational state, including processes and systems – some of this information is commercially sensitive and will therefore only be released to bidders once each procurement commences.
Finally, measures in our existing contract with Atos require the creation of ethical walls between Atos’s bid team and the operational staff delivering the current contract, and NS&I is taking steps to ensure that these ethical walls are fully in place, and are robust and effective, in order to safeguard the integrity of the process.
The procurement process
NS&I primarily uses BRAVO to conduct Further Competition exercises. NS&I has its own e-tendering system in place via which all of these procurement exercises will be conducted. Full registration details will be provided to interested bidders in advance of the first procurement package launching in July 2021.
A link will also be provided on this website.
Interested parties who have taken part in the market engagement activities will, as a courtesy, be notified when this happens.
Yes. NS&I is governed by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and as a central Government body additionally adheres to the Cabinet Office Controls rules. All of the procurement packages are above the relevant thresholds and NS&I will ensure that all applicable regulations and controls are adhered to.
NS&I is legally obliged to be entirely transparent regarding selection and award criteria and these will be very clearly articulated in each of the procurement exercises.
The selection process has not yet commenced. The overall Rainbow programme has been openly communicated to the entire market via a Prior Information Notice published on the UK Find A Tender Service website on 11th March, available to view at
Yes. NS&I has appointed PA Consulting Ltd to act as its strategic advisor for the planning of the overall programme. In addition, NS&I has appointed Actica Consulting Ltd to provide specialist advice and support in the specific area of Enterprise Architecture. Legal support for the procurement process is being provided by NS&I’s solicitors, Bevan Brittan LLP.
Yes. NS&I is actively engaged with the Government Digital Service (GDS) and will be following their guidance and obtaining approvals, as appropriate.
Following the formal commencement of each procurement exercise, potential suppliers will be able to raise questions via the e-Tendering system.
In order to provide the services in the various packages, supplier staff will require a range of appropriate security clearances or vetting, including Security Clearance (SC) and Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) or equivalent. This will not apply to all supplier staff and will depend on a number of features including the security implications of the specific services in question, whether supplier staff have access to NS&I customer or staff data, etc. The full details of NS&I’s security requirements will be set out in the tender pack for each procurement package in due course.
No, this will not be required at the bidding stage. Security requirements for the selected supplier(s) will be made clear in relation to each package, in the tender pack for that package.
NS&I is still working through the exact details of the security requirements for each of the packages. Full details of the requirements in each package will be made available in due course.
The procurement packages
We will be releasing further details associated with contract value in due course and, in particular, at the launch of each procurement event.
One of the advantages of the four procurements we are proposing is the ability to change our pricing model to adapt to specific metrics and hanging structure relevant to the services being delivered. We will be testing the options in the market engagement events and make further details available in the procurement package requirements
There will be three separate procurement events, as detailed during the event and set out in the slides. Potential suppliers will be welcome to participate in all of these.
With specific regard to the Competitive Dialogue procedure for package 1: Customer Contact & Operations, and package 2: Core Banking, Payments and Reporting, NS&I reserves the right, as permitted by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, to provide that a potential provider may *not* bid for, or be awarded, both of those packages. However, a final decision on this is yet to be taken and this procurement will not launch until next year.
The three separate procurement events are discrete award procedures in their own right. Where there are benefits to the winner of one package, in terms of their pricing for a subsequently-launched package, this will be for them to factor into their commercial approach.
Each separate procurement package will interact with each other and provide crucial elements of an end-to-end service. Successful bidders for each process will be expected to cooperate and work together with successful bidders from other packages, third party suppliers and NS&I itself. The successful bidders from the Rainbow packages will be required to enter into a collaboration agreement which will establish processes and ways of working across the end-to-end service.
NS&I does not currently intend to sub-divide the four proposed packages. Specialist suppliers who provide only one smaller area of a given package would have two options. First, to seek to form a consortium or partnership bid, or secondly to seek to offer their services as a sub-contractor to a bidding organisation capable of delivering the whole package.
Yes, a consortium/partnership bidding approach in this package would be entirely acceptable. NS&I does not currently intend to sub-divide any of the proposed packages into smaller separate contracts. Specialist suppliers who provide only one smaller area of a package would have two options. First, to seek to form a consortium or partnership bid, or secondly to seek to offer their services as a sub-contractor to a bidding organisation capable of delivering the whole package. NS&I is very much open to bids constructed on either basis.
NS&I are aware that the sequencing of the procurements may mean that adjustments and adaptations to contracts in operation may enable to systems to work more efficiently and as such will be structuring as many of these anticipated changes within our requirements; incorporate change control provisions; and achieve improvements through collaboration flexibilities.
The nature of NS&I’s outsourced business is such that these packages are all relatively large in scale. It will be noted however that this does represent a move away from a prime contractor model currently in place, which creates a greater number of opportunities than before. The nature of the services involves a very large volume of customer transactions and therefore a level of scale is required to handle them.
NS&I is open to interested SMEs forming consortia in order to bid directly, should they wish to do so. The main SME opportunities may exist at the second tier of the supply chain. It may be possible for NS&I to evaluate bidders’ proposed approaches to creating supply chain opportunities as part of the Social Value element of the tender process; this is currently being scoped.
NS&I will be retaining the assurance of the overall supplier solutions and deliverables. There may be specific needs for additional representation where this expertise isn’t currently within the scope of NS&Is current team
This will be defined in the procurement packages.
The tender process for this package is expected to launch in Spring 2022. It will not be run through a CCS Framework – a Competitive Dialogue procedure will be used.
NS&I is still working through the exact details of the requirements for the Customer Contact & Operations package. Full details of the requirements in this package will be made available in due course.
Data and Insight services form part of the Core Banking, Payment and Reporting package.
Corporate services such as FM, estates, HR and payroll, etc., do not form part of Rainbow and where these are procured from third parties, this will remain part of NS&I’s operational procurement landscape.
Any future B2B services will be incorporated into the outlined packages where they are to continue beyond the expiry of the current contract in 2024. Phasing and migration of any services is still under discussion
Digital integration and ServiceOps
We have sequenced the Rainbow programme to minimise the risk and impact on operational service delivery and our customers. As such our plan has three phases
- Digital Integration and ServiceOps –
Implement and embed the new integration capabilities
- Digital Experience and Digital Enablement –
Develop and deliver our new digital experiences
- Contact Centre and Operations, and Core Banking, Payment and Reporting –
Transition and modernise our operations and core systems (two proposed contracts, but one procurement phase).
Phase 3 requires significantly more planning to be deployed seamlessly from a customer perspective. Undertaking the core systems transformation later allows time to select and implement the right solutions. In the meantime, we can develop our digital experiences based on our current core services.
After Phase 3, we can move to an iterative delivery model to continue evolving our business, our experiences, and our customer offer.
For further details please watch the recordings of our market engagement events, where we discuss the details of our required services.
There is no initial requirement for the Integration Platform to provide an ETL capability, as we do not anticipate it carrying out bulk data loads into storage platforms until later. We anticipate that ETL will be more relevant to the Core Banking, Payment and Reporting procurement package, and we would procure it through that package. However, if it happens to be available in a proposed Digital Integration and ServiceOps solution, we will evaluate it at that time.
No, we do not have a preferred cloud provider. Our intention is to be agnostic to the underlying platform choice that suppliers propose, as long as they can meet the availability, resiliency, scalability, security and recoverability requirements set out in our Statement of Requirements which will be released when the procurement formally launches.
If NS&I were procuring this service as a stand-alone or linked to a smaller sub-set of subcontracted services requiring the use of an integration platform, the Digital Outcomes and Specialists Framework may have been suitable.
We did consider using it, and consulted on our procurement strategy with CCS, Cabinet Office, and HM Treasury as our sponsoring Department. In NS&I’s view, and in the expert legal advice we obtained, the standard framework call-off terms and conditions would have meant making a number of amendments (including in respect of the extensive and detailed collaboration requirements) to allow the proposed new operating model to function, and to ensure the successful integration and operation of multiple business-critical services.
NS&I has gathered feedback from suppliers via the market engagement questionnaires following the event on 18 May. During June, NS&I may invite selected respondents to clarify details of their responses in follow-up discussions. We will choose the respondents based on points of interests to NS&I, and on ensuring we have a representative sample of views to inform the procurement planning process.
Once the formal tender process has commenced in mid-July, there will be no scope for dialogue or negotiation with potential bidders until we reach the negotiation phase of that process.
NS&I will have a strong preference for cloud data hosting to be in the UK. NS&I may accept data hosting in the EU, subject to additional due diligence. Hosting outside the EU is unlikely to meet NS&I’s envisaged data security requirements at the present time.
We envisage that a relatively small number of staff currently employed by NS&I’s incumbent provider may have the right to transfer under TUPE, if a supplier other than the incumbent provider wins the proposed contract. NS&I will endeavour to make information on potential TUPE liabilities available to candidates when the procurement launches.
Digital experience and digital enablement
The market engagement event on 18 May will give more detailed information on how the various Transition States will look from a technology perspective. Our current intention is to minimise customer disruption during the various transition states by using the Service Integration Platform to integrate the digital experience platform transparently with both the incumbent systems and Rainbow’s new platforms, and to minimise the degree of coupling between platforms at any given time.
Customer contact and operations
At the Dialogue Stage. The purpose of Selection Stage is to identify a qualified pool of bidders; this would not be the appropriate stage to request submission of a financial offer.
It is our intention to provide Customer Personas and Service Journey details during the procurement process, we will confirm the timing of this in due course.
The opportunity is on the basis of a single prime contractor – it would be acceptable to us for the prime contractor to sub-contract elements of the services.
Package B (Digital Experience and Digital Enablement) is entirely separate from this procurement and there will be no restriction on bidders for Package B also partcipating in this procurement.
We intend to publish such available information as part of the procurement information.
The expectation is for the supplier in Lot C to use an ‘enhanced interface’ version (provided by supplier B) of what customers’ will see and use.
NS&I’s overall objective from this procurement is to ensure that the new services to be procured are flexible, efficent and cost effective.
NS&I’s overall objectives from this procurement is to ensure that the new services to be procured are flexible, efficent and cost effective and reducing headcount would be part of this.
We are currently finalising our approach and will make this clear when the opportunity is live at the latest.
Chatbot is in the scope of Lot C.
Customer Facing services such as contact centre will be required to be UK based, however we are interested in potential suppliers solutions. Whilst data can be processed offshore, the data must retain UK sovereignty and be hosted in UK data centres together with the ability for any offshore services to be repatriated as required.
We do not have a preference on systems and none have been ruled out internally.
We are currently working to etsablish the numbers of potential TUPE personnel. This information will be released to those shortlisted providers at ITPD stage.
We expect mainly BPSS with some Security Clearance.
Customer Facing services such as contact centre will be required to be UK based, however we are interested in potential supppliers solutions for other services. Whilst data can be processed offshore, the data must retain UK sovereignty and be hosted in UK data centres.
With regard to home-working, NS&I will consider proposals that include such arrangements, these must of course operate with due regard to appropriate systems, controls and security.
Currently there are sites in Glasgow, Durham, and Lytham. As well as a sub contracted contact centre in Birkenhead.
As a Government Agency, rather than a private banking institution, NS&I is not formally regulated by the FCA. However, as a matter of good practice, we base our compliance regime on FCA guidance. NS&I gives due regard to the FCA handbook and in particular the Banking Conduct of Business Sourcebook (BCOBS), Senior Management, Arrangements, Systems and Controls (SYSC) and Principles of business (PRIN).
Additionally we observe and have the FCA’s six “Treating Customers Fairly” outcomes at the forefront of all our decisions.
No, it is not a requirement of the proposed contract that the bidder must themseleves be a FCA Regulated institution, however, as a matter of good practice, we base our compliance on FCA guidance.
This will be provided as part of the procurement documentation.
Target is early April. We cannot confirm the date for when the formal procurement will be launched as yet, but we will confirm the date in due course.
The supplier will provide services to manage fraud and financial crime.
The supplier in Package C will be responsible.
NS&I’s intention is to publish this during the procurement process.
No, it is our intention to run this as a commercial dialogue.
This information will be provided in the procurement documentation.
There will be some requirements for Welsh Language.
Core banking, payments and reporting
At present, our preference is for cloud services as cloud native solutions to provide the necessary flexibility and scalability to create a nimble and efficient estate to support the Rainbow vision. Where cloud services cannot deliver the business outcomes, we can review the exceptions.
Yes we have asked organisations who have attended our Market Engagement Events to consent to sharing their details with other organisations if they are willing to do so. This list will be available via TechUK.
All of NS&I’s products can we found on our website here: https://www.nsandi.com/products
No we do not have a preference.
The end-to-end observability platform is in scope for Package A. Any limitations will be reviewed as we onboard package providers and deal with exceptions.
We are currently finalising our approach and will make this clear when the opportunity is live at the latest.
Yes, it is possible to bid for a single package. A bidder isn’t required to bid for both procurement packages or Lots. Bidders can select to bid for one package or a Lot i.e. either LOT 1 (Customer Contact and Operations or LOT 2 (Core Banking, Payments and Reporting).
Yes, we are creating an Internal Service Integration and Management capability and a partner to manage this for us. We are appointing a partner for this role this year, and will announce the appointment of the supplier to the market shortly after.
NS&I is open to a range of bidding models including from consortia. Full details of the requirements and conditions for bidding as a consortium will be included in the tender documentation when the procurement is launched.
We are currently working to establish the numbers of potential TUPE personnel.
It is inevitable that some element of TUPE, and other transition costs, will arise, as the incumbent provider currently has over 1,000 FTEs working on NS&I’s account. In the interests of transparency and equal treatment NS&I will endeavour to provide as much information regarding TUPE liability and transition planning at the appropriate phase of each procurement process.
The incumbent provider currently has over 1,000 FTEs working on NS&I’s account. In the interests of transparency and equal treatment NS&I will endeavour to provide as much information as is reasonable possible, regarding TUPE liability and other elements of transition planning at the appropriate phase of each procurement process.
In the relevant procurement requirements, NS&I will state the capabilities we require each package to provide. It will be up to the bidders to determine which of the as-is platforms they wish to migrate from the incumbent supplier to meet those capabilities, and which ones they feel will be best placed to be replaced.
Modernisation and transformation of our legacy IT is a core part of the Rainbow Programme and this will be addressed in each of the relevant procurement packages. The majority of our core IT systems are likely to be covered by the requirements of the ‘Core banking, payment and reporting’ package, although other packages are also affected.
In line with GDS principles, we are aiming to procure as many of the target platforms as possible following a “cloud first” strategy. We also recognise in order to improve business agility and responsiveness, that we can no longer carry out bespoke development on platforms to meet our requirements – as far as possible, we will be looking to “configure, not customise” which aligns with a SaaS (and other) models.