Hackney Council

Developing a MVP case management solution to support income collection for social housing tenants

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
10 SME, 2 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
5 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Monday 22 January 2018
Deadline for asking questions Monday 29 January 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Monday 5 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Support improvement of rent arrears collection by improving the system and process by which debt is managed.
Latest start date Monday 12 February 2018
Expected contract length
Location London
Organisation the work is for Hackney Council
Budget range £175,000

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done There are typically 4,800 tenants in rent arrears. A benchmarking exercise has shown that administration costs to resolve cases are double the median.
We have been improving arrears management through the release of a digital service for tenants and a data science project to segment customers. Back-office management of rent accounts remains manual however.
The council plans to move away from the existing software (Universal Housing) so wants to explore the opportunity for a case management solution - potentially in a separate platform to integrate with existing systems, prior to full migration towards a rent accounting solution later this year.
Problem to be solved Problems with the existing process and software include:
* No differentiation between high and low risk cases, such that * ~5,000 cases are presented to officers for intervention.
* Process is too long / prescriptive, offering little opportunity to staff to use their judgement to deal flexibly with cases.
* Lack of automation of some steps, e.g. generating letters, sending SMS.
* Reliance on postal communications with tenants.
Who the users are and what they need to do As an Income Collection Officer, I need the latest balance and status of a case so that my work is timely.
As an Income Collection Officer, I need to understand which cases are high risk so I know how best to allocate my time.
As an Income Collection Officer, I need to be able to use my discretion when dealing with cases to take personal circumstances into account.
As an Income Collection Officer, I need automated processing steps to reduce workload.
As the Rent Accounting Manager, I need to see progress through the arrears process to manage risk.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done An online service enabling residents to check and pay rent balance went live in August and is being developed further as a wider financial inclusion tool. This has been accompanied by work on a common API layer to link all of systems and data used within the housing service.
Internally, a high level user need analysis of the Income Collection service has taken place with the Head of Service and team leaders.
A first release of an algorithm to categorise tenants based on arrears risk and associated drivers has been produced that will enable a more effective prioritisation of cases.
Existing team * Service Manager, responsible for overall development of digital offer within the Housing Service.
* Business Analyst / Workflow Consultant, with extensive knowledge of existing arrears process and system.
* Income Collection team leaders, responsible for managing the arrears process.
* Separate teams building a mobile working solution for Estate Officers, account management service for leaseholders and repairs booking system.
Current phase Discovery

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY
Working arrangements We would prefer a team onsite for 3 days a week, most weeks in order to engage with ICT and Income Collection colleagues and build broader engagement with the style of working (eg through show and tells).
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
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
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Have experience of working to the GDS service design manual
  • Work agnostic of any particular technology solution
  • Have experience working with social housing providers
  • Have experience working with Civica’s Universal Housing product
  • Combine user research, service design and developer expertise
  • Have experience designing services for a wide range of digital skills and confidence
  • Be able to pass a Local Government Digital Service Standard assessment
  • Experience advising on relative strengths of buying vs building software rent accounting platforms
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience integrating with gov.uk Notify API
  • Be prepared to share risk and/or reward with the council if the service is attractive to other authorities
  • Provide opportunities for people seeking ways into work in Hackney (eg through an apprentice working on the project)
  • Experience working with Outsystems, or similar low code platforms.
  • Experience of working with Dynamics 365
  • Experience advising on relative strengths of buying vs building rent accounting platforms

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Quality of the technical solution
  • Clarity of approach
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
  • Experience of the method of working from previous projects
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Work openly
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Can you confirm whether the focus of this project is on Discovery and Alpha or on full Technical Integration, or both? We would like the project to deliver a beta product integrated with our existing rent accounting system (Universal Housing), however integration will require the development of some webservices and our prior experience of implementing these integrations is that they take longer than first envisaged due to the complexity of our environment.
2. Please can you confirm the expected contract length? We would expect the contract to be approx three calendar months / six sprints.
3. Google Hangout URL To join the video meeting, click this link: https://meet.google.com/aqq-atgk-fbk
4. Q8 "Experience advising on relative strengths of buying vs building software rent accounting platforms" looks very much like Q6 in Nice to Haves "Experience advising on relative strengths of buying vs building rent accounting platforms" Can you clarify the difference? Apologies, this was a cut / paste error in the source document. Please disregard Q6 in Nice to Haves, this should be considered essential.
5. "Q8: Experience advising on relative strengths of buying vs building software rent accounting platforms"
Can you explain further what you mean by this question?
We want to develop the MVP in order to be clearer about the user needs, the prioritisation of them and how we best meet them - which we think we need to do before being able to identify whether to buy, reuse or build. We would like to work with a supplier who can help us understand this in a way that’s agnostic of any particular software, so that we can learn the right answer in partnership.
6. The title refers to the ‘delivery of a case management solution’ but the work description refers to ‘exploring opportunity for a potential solution’. Is this an interim solution prior to full replacement of Civica Universal Housing? Yes, we want to develop the MVP in order to be clearer about the user needs, the prioritisation of them and how we best meet them.
7. Is the solution sought specifically for arrears management whilst rent accounting remains within Civica Universal Housing? This project would deliver an MVP for arrears management that connects to the rent accounting module within Universal Housing. Following release of the MVP and user feedback we would then be in position to scope out a project to fully replace the Universal Housing rent accounting module.
8. If the brief is to implement a solution then is it expected the budget includes the cost of purchase (off-the -shelf) or bespoke build? No, the is that the budget would deliver the MVP only. Following user feedback we would then be in a position to decide whether to further develop it, build something new, or buy an off-the-shelf product. Additional budget would then be sought to fund the selected option.
9. “Share risk/reward” – a) does Hackney have a specific model in mind and b) presumably only relevant if bespoke build? a) No, the exact model would be a topic for discussion.
b) Yes.
10. Interested in the significance of Civica experience. Is it the ability to integrate with Civica APIs or in-depth experience of delivery? Mainly experience with the APIs although in-depth knowledge of the product would be beneficial.