Awarded to Uscreates Ltd

Start date: Wednesday 3 January 2018
Value: £35,000
Company size: SME
Hackney Council

A discovery phase to understand user needs for financial support and assistance

7 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 1 large

13 Completed applications

11 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Friday 10 November 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 17 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 24 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
A discovery phase to understand user needs for joining up financial support and assistance through a digital service.
Latest start date
Monday 8 January 2018
Expected contract length
3 months
Organisation the work is for
Hackney Council
Budget range
£40,000 - £50,000 excluding VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
We have developed a beta service to help tenants manage their rent. Now we want to understand the opportunities to extend this to help people proactively manage their finances. The introduction of Universal Credit in July next year may increase users’ need for financial support
Problem to be solved
The Council provides a range of different services to people at risk of indebtedness, including:
Financial advice and support to tenants and residents
Tailored support to sustain residents in their tenancy
Support and signposting for residents moving out of temporary accommodation
Housing options and advice for those at risk of homelessness
Help and support to get into training and employment

However, this support is currently delivered within each service rather than joined-up around the needs of residents. We want to understand how we can bring together our services around the needs of users at risk of indebtedness.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a resident I need to know how much money I owe the Council so I can manage my bills
As a resident I need to reduce my bills so that I can manage my money
As a resident I need help saving money so that I can prepare for Universal Credit
As a resident I need to find services I’m entitled to so that I get support
As a resident I need to know how to access cheaper loans so that I don't pay high fees
As a resident in debt I need a clear action plan
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The Rent Accounts app has been used by 5,500 tenants in the first few weeks. It’s currently being expanded to leaseholders so that they can also check their balance, see their statement and make a payment. In addition, the Council has conducted work to predict indebtedness of council tenants, and developed a single view of debt across its major services.
Existing team
The team that developed Rent Accounts, including the product owner, are available to assist. In addition, the teams that support financial inclusion, resident sustainment and ‘move on’ from temporary accommodation can assist.

However, we imagine that the Discovery phase will help determine what skills are necessary to further develop the proposition.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Hackney Council offices in Mare Street, E8
Working arrangements
We would expect the supplier to work onsite for the majority of the engagement, enabling them to share their work and test propositions with residents.
Security clearance

Additional information

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.

Essential skills and experience
  • Provide a multi-disciplinary team, including user research, service design and front-end developer
  • Adopt user-centred design and Agile approaches, consistent with the govenrment’s service design manual
  • Have experience of redesigning a digital service to meet the needs of users
  • Understand how to meet the needs of a range of users, including those lacking digital skills
  • Be agnostic of any particular software, enabling us to consider a range of options to meet user needs
  • Share their work freely and openly with the Council and the wider community
  • Be able to meet the Local Government Digital Service Standard
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Promote user-centred design and Agile across the Council
  • Work with a Hackney-based apprentice

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of user needs from the service
  • Understanding of the policy context
  • Clarity of the approach
  • Experience from an analogous project
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
  • Identification of risks and plan to mitigate them
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
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is their an incumbent supplier in place currently? If so, will they also be applying for the role?
We do not currently provide this digital service - so not incumbent supplier exists. The Rent Accounts service referenced was built in-house.
2. What is the technology stack behind the existing Rent Accounts app?
The presentation layer was built on Outsystems and the data layer was built on Dynamics 365.
3. Is there a view that the new software would enhance the existing application or exist separately?
We're open to four outcomes from the discovery phase:
- redeveloping the existing app on new technology to support additional user needs
- redeveloping the existing app on the current technology to support additional user needs
- developing separate services on new technology to support additional user needs
- taking no further action because there aren't any user needs
4. In the nice-to-have skills you have asked for "Work with a Hackney-based apprentice". Please could you expand on this as this does not seem like a skill or experience. Are you asking the supplier to be able to work with a Hackney-based apprentice as part of this Discovery?
You are right - we should have put this in the 'cultural fit' category.

We're hoping to encourage suppliers who work with apprentices; to encourage working with Hackney-based apprentices (for example through; and encourage the involvement of Hackney apprentices on this project.