MaPS is committed to ensuring the best possible outcome from the debt advice commissioning process for clients, and making sure the services we fund in England are inclusive and accessible to people with different needs and from diverse backgrounds. To support this, we undertake Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) at an early stage of procurement so that we can understand and evaluate the impact of our intended approach on people with protected characteristics (as set out in the Public Sector Equality Duty) and make sure we are addressing any area of potential disadvantage.
Following the conclusion of the procurement process, the impact assessments are reviewed with the successful bidders to make sure that what they will deliver meets our expectations and responsibilities. This could include making sure that there are adaptations in place to ensure that services are equally available to deaf or visually impaired clients, those with limited mobility or other physical disabilities, or people with poor mental health. Having completed those reviews with the successful bidders we would then publish the impact assessments on the MaPS website. This process is standard practice within public sector procurement exercises.
The research and resources referenced in the impact assessments are a combination of MaPS-funded and external research from the debt advice sector. At the time of drafting the impact assessments in June 2021, new MaPS debt need research was not completed, therefore MaPS took the decision to base the assessments on information that was available and current at the time of drafting. However, the new debt need survey research will be taken into consideration as part of the review of the assessments with successful bidders.
Our original plan was to publish the EIAs once we had reviewed them with the successful bidders to make sure they are complete and take into account how the bidders will ensure the accessibility and inclusivity of their services. However, we know that there has been a lot of interest in these EIAs and we have received Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requests for us to share them. Understanding this interest and to be as transparent as possible, we have taken the decision to publish them today alongside responding to the FOI request.
We will work with external experts across these protected characteristics to take into account their views and lived experiences so that we can all be confident that our services meet the needs of everyone we are here to serve.
- Equality Impact Assessment – debt advice commissioning programme Lot 1 – National (redacted for personal data)
- Equality Impact Assessment – debt advice commissioning programme Lot 2 – Regional (redacted for personal data)
- Equality Impact Assessment – debt advice commissioning programme Lot 3 – Business Debt (redacted for personal data)
- Equality Impact Assessment – debt advice commissioning programme Lot 4 – DRO Hubs (redacted for personal data)
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About the Money and Pensions Service
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) is here to ensure every person feels more in control of their finances throughout their lives: from pocket money to pensions. When they are, communities are healthier, businesses are more prosperous, the economy benefits and individuals feel better off. MaPS delivers free and impartial money and pensions guidance to the public through MoneyHelper, which recently brought together legacy services the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.
MaPS is working to make sure the whole of the UK understands that financial, physical and mental health are all deeply connected. MaPS’ role is to connect organisations with the shared purpose of achieving the five goals set out in the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing.
MaPS supports innovation so that everyone can use the most effective methods to help people feel more in control of their money, targeted to those most in need and inclusive of people from all backgrounds. MaPS is an arm’s-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Members of the public can get free guidance about their money and pensions at www.moneyhelper.org.uk.