Hackney Council

Building REST APIs for our API platform

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
23 SME, 1 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
30 SME, 5 large
Important dates
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Published Sunday 19 January 2020
Deadline for asking questions Friday 24 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Sunday 2 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Providing a team of developers to build high quality REST APIs, with support from in-house development team.
Latest start date Monday 2 March 2020
Expected contract length 6 months
Location London
Organisation the work is for Hackney Council
Budget range We want to procure a team up to a total value of £200,000 but would expect to agree a budget for each API.

About the work

About the work
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Why the work is being done Hackney has been developing service and platform APIs to its API standard (the distinction is explained: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nvfUsdNGz08yPyOQKIB8ZM8Qb0DJFwEgS855f3WAjhA/edit&sa=D&ust=1579464761889000&usg=AFQjCNHDLqXYoQbTu2_38-lyJbM0X0B09A). These are increasing our speed of development, the resilience and security of how we manage data so that we can better meet user needs from our digital services.

This team will help accelerate the pace with which we develop APIs by augmenting our capacity whilst ensuring APIs meet our standards.
Problem to be solved We have identified a set of user needs for platform APIs - particularly for tenant and leaseholder information (https://www.google.com/url?q=https://docs.google.com/document/d/1unk2CML8GSnG9LgVta1oNNPvf63fnD3qX3OCQKLzQpo/edit&sa=D&ust=1579464761890000&usg=AFQjCNHqfy1ANymVtOKLewaeCdsyfA5HOA), repairs and document management. These APIs will support the development of our digital services.
Who the users are and what they need to do As an application developer I need to access master data via Hackney's platform APIs so that I can GET and POST data via a digital service.
As a third party developer, I need to connect to Hackney’s APIs so that I can provide a digital service.
As the API Platform Product Owner I need APIs that meet our standards so that we can maintain and continuously improve our APIs
Early market engagement We have developed APIs through other projects over the last 18 months, in partnership with a range of digital agencies and the API Playbook has been scrutinised by technical leads of five digital agencies.
Any work that’s already been done Hackney's API Platform: https://developer.api.hackney.gov.uk/

The API Playbook: https://github.com/LBHackney-IT/API-Playbook-v2-beta

We are in the process of conducting pre-discovery for each of the prioritised APIs which will be complete as this procurement concludes
Existing team Development and Integration Manager, three lead developers and four junior developers along with 2 apprentices who are trained on tech stack. All of the team is familiar with .NET and the associated Microsoft stack.

The team is also supported by three additional developers on fixed term contracts to support the teams developing digital services for tenants and leaseholders.
Current phase Alpha

Work setup

Work setup
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Address where the work will take place Hackney Council offices in Mare Street, E8
Working arrangements We would expect the team to spend some time co-located to develop relationships, but other support can take place via Google Meet and Slack.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional information
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Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
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Essential skills and experience
  • Have experience of working to the user-centred, Agile methods advocated in the Service Design Manual
  • Have experience of developing the technical architecture for secure, scalable data platforms
  • Have experience of designing and developing minimum viable solutions
  • Have experience of developing ‘in the open’ - using tools such as Github
  • Be able to advise on the best technology to adopt given the council’s aims
  • Demonstrate experience of developing REST APIs to open standards
  • Have experience of working with .NET core, Docker, AWS and Terraform
  • Have demonstrable experience of supporting knowledge-transfer
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Developed a service to meet the national, or local government digital service standard
  • Experience of master data management

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How suppliers will be evaluated
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How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of user needs from the service
  • Clarity of the approach
  • Experience from an analogous project
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with team members and the wider service
  • Demonstrate simplicity (e.g. do less but better, explaining complex issues in a clear, simple way, break down and prioritise complex issues)
  • Hackney is a diverse organisation, reflecting the diversity of our borough. Describe how you would successfully work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers in a diverse environment.
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. How many people are you hoping to have on the team, and do you have a particular set of specialisms required, or simply API developers? We're open to different suggestions, but imagine a team of c. 3-5 API developers will add significant capacity whilst avoiding co-ordination overheads.

Hackney would be able to provide a Delivery Manager, if required. Whilst we believe our cloud infrastructure is now sufficiently established that we won't need specialist skills, we would be grateful to have the option to draw on these on an ad hoc basis.
2. Is there an incumbent in place? No
3. .Net is mentioned as a technology currently in use. Would other technologies (Java, Python, etc) be considered? Our in-house developers' core skillset is .Net core so developing APIs in .Net helps ensure we can maintain and continuously improve the APIs.
4. Are you wedded to.NET (C# ?) for implementation of the new APIs? Would you consider the use of open source alternatives, e.g. Spring Boot, Java 8/11 etc? We're not wedded to .NET but it's a strong preference because it enables our in-house development team to maintain and continue to improve the APIs.
5. Please can you share a procurement timetable outlining steps (which would typically include evidence response evaluation, shortlisting of suppliers for next stage, preparation of supplier proposals, evaluation of supplier proposals, announcement of successful supplier, contract completion, contract signatures, commence work), bearing in mind the dates published: evidence submission on 2nd February and commencing work on 2nd March? Shortlisting of suppliers: 3rd Feb
Invitation to shortlisted suppliers to produce proposals: 3rd Feb
Proposed deadline for submission of proposals: 14 Feb*
Evaluation of proposals: w/b 17 Feb*
Appointment of successful supplier: 21 Feb
Contract completion: 21 Feb - 28 Feb

* We provide some flexibility to shortlisted suppliers where necessary and typically only invite suppliers to a face to face presentation in the event of 2 close scoring proposals
6. Has the supply of additional developer resources been assessed with regard to off-payroll working / IR35 rules? We’re expecting to appoint a company to achieve an outcome not a set of individuals to perform tasks under direction so IR35 rules are not relevant.
7. When you say "Have experience of developing ‘in the open’ – using tools such as GitHub" please can you explain your definition of 'in the open' to save any confusion. We expect the team to:
* Be confident in leading or participating in sprint rituals - a daily stand-up, fortnightly show & tells and retrospective and contribute to weeknotes
* Maintain publicly visible backlog
* Participate in pair programming
* Participate in code reviews for all commits
* Contribute code to our public repos at https://github.com/LBHackney-IT
* Licence any IP under an appropriate open source copyright licence
* Adopt approaches consistent with the service manual and the API Playbook
8. Does Hackney Council support an "Ask it Once" policy with suppliers to reduce the compliance burden related to pre-qualification? If so, will tiscreport.org be used for non-financial compliance checks (payment practices reporting, modern slavery act, gender pay gap etc) for this tender? We do not require additional compliance beyond the stipulated criteria advertised in this tender
9. You’ve mentioned a team of around 3-5 developers would be about right for your needs.

Could you please give more detail about the resource profile you’re looking for – would you expect to need a full-time team of this size, or are you expecting to need burst capacity at certain points within the 6 months?
We're open to different approaches. Our goal is to find the best possible team to build APIs that meet the identified needs to the requisite standards. We can adopt different approaches to scheduling in order to achieve the goal.
10. In regards to this statement: "We would expect the team to spend some time co-located to develop relationships".
How long do the team would need co-locating with you, do you know?
We would benefit from colocation for 2-3 days per week to support collaboration, during Sprints. But do not necessarily need permanent capacity for the duration of the project (as per the previous answer).
11. Are there any non functional requirements or standards in terms of either security or performance that would apply to the aps that can be shared at this stage There are no additional requirements beyond those in the documentation that's been shared in the advert.