When it comes to technology adoption and innovation, private sector organizations are clearly the leaders. However, over recent months, the public sector organizations worldwide have shown more keenness in adopting new technologies to meet new operational complexities. While public healthcare is the top priority for governments at the moment, other public agencies have also been flooded with extra work due to the special government measures put in place to curb the effects of the pandemic. From law changes and systematic closures to thousands of applications for multiple government subsidies, the public sector organizations are having to grapple with a huge workload. And yet they have to tackle this workload with limited employees.
In April 2019, the General Services Administration (GSA) had created a community of practice to help the federal leaders leverage the potential of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). While the progress on this was initially slow, the sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed all that. An increasing count of government departments and public agencies are today relying on bots to improve productivity, enhance accuracy, and make up for the reduced workforce due to stay-at-home orders.
“By the end of 2020, the utilization of RPA will enable public agencies to free up nearly $1 billion worth of productive time!”
- General Services Administration (GSA)
The adoption of RPA is helping public sector organizations to radically rethink service delivery to citizens and find new ways to tackle the national, regional, and local issues. It has been delivering a broad range of benefits for the public sector which includes: better citizen experience and improved outcomes, more efficient operations, and higher job satisfaction for public employees who are able to take on more meaningful tasks.
While RPA is being used extensively across various government departments and processes, there are five domains where the benefits of RPA deployment are simply unmissable. These include central and local government, policing, health, and education. And some of the most relevant use cases, which can yield exemplary results, across the public sector processes are mentioned below.
Crucial RPA use cases in the Public Sector
1: Document Handling and Validation
As mentioned prior, governments across the world have imposed new regulations and schemes to protect citizens’ wellbeing during these testing times. These require a lot of document handling and validation for the government departments and public agencies. While such transactional tasks are crucial for the proper functioning of a department or agency, yet they can easily absorb most of a working day, leaving little time for the employees to apply skills in areas that can really make a difference.
A recent survey among generation Y employees found that 70% would quit if they found their job meaningless and monotonous. Therefore, it is imperative to automate most of the mundane and repetitive document handling tasks with RPA. These 24X7 bots can accelerate document processing, analyzing, extracting, entering, and storing processes by up to 10X. It can significantly improve service levels while reducing operational costs involved with document handling and validation process.
2: Reconciliation and Reporting
The demand for the reconciliation process and resources remains highly variable across all public sector organizations. Therefore, a scalable and flexible workforce is essential to attain the goals with this process. Whether a public sector organization wants reporting as a whole, general ledger reconciliation, or the activation of fixed assets, automating these tasks with bots results in efficient resource utilization and significant cost reduction. With RPA you can upscale or downscale without any concerns at all.
3: Form Processing
Government organizations are offering various schemes and facilities to citizens in order to protect them against the ongoing Pandemic as well as the economic slowdown. However, the citizens have to apply for these benefits via web portals and email contact. Similarly, new opportunities are being posted for vendors and they can apply for various civil service contracts (e.g., permit applications, contract administration) by submitting forms. Public sector organizations have so long depended upon manual form processing, which can be time-consuming and effort-intensive.
However, these service inquiries and requests being highly standardized, stable, and rule-based can be easily automated with RPA. With this technology, the form processing time can be reduced by 60-70% and any risks of errors can be mitigated. The utilization of RPA also enables public sector organizations to liberate their employees from such a rule-based task.
4: HR Tasks
In this era of remote and hybrid working, the Human Resources departments are burdened with many additional responsibilities. However, the department can slash 40% of the time spent in performing various time consuming and repetitive tasks with the help of RPA. Tasks such as data management, compliance, payroll administration, onboarding, and offboarding can be easily automated. RPA delivers better data management and streamlines rule-based HR processes. Bots can quickly update relevant files with accurate information about the current and past employees, applicants, contractors, or new hires regarding wage deductions, contractual or temporary modifications, payroll, attendance, etc. RPA implementation enables HR departments to onboard employees at 10 times faster and witness ROI on payroll automation within 4 months.
5: Delivery to Citizens
When it comes to building resilience during unprecedented times such as these, the government departments and agencies play a big role. They need to adopt ways to deliver citizen-centric services quickly and efficiently. However, given the manual and time-consuming processes involved in the processing and dissemination of grants, feedback, tracking, and delivery; it would be difficult to live up to the service standards expected by the populace.
This is where RPA can help. Such an automated system can tackle something like the VA appeals backlog (for example) – currently topping 470,000 appeals and averaging a five-year wait time with ferocity. Applying RPA to government processes can reduce or eliminate many of the obstacles to delivering fast, efficient citizen outcomes while keeping humans at the heart of government service.
6: Financial management and audit trail
Automating both these rules-driven processes is essential for ensuring a more productive public sector and better citizen service delivery. Robots can help public sector organizations take the best foot forward regarding financial management. It can help eliminate keystroke errors, resulting in quasi risk-free audit readiness. RPA enables zero error and fast financial management for processes such as expenses, budgeting, tracking, and payments.
The public sector is struggling to meet the service expectations of the new age citizens. This is largely due to legacy systems and time-consuming processes. RPA helps the government and public sector organizations to attain new standards for efficiency and transparency. It enables a cost-effective and improved way of operations leading to digital government transformation. Are you interested?
At AgreeYa, we can help you automate and leverage the benefits of RPA for the Public sector with our solutions and services. For more detailed information, download the AgreeYa RPA brochure nowDOWNLOAD AGREEYA RPA BROCHURE