Potential of RPA in Public Sector and Government

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Waiting in long lines or putting up with long processing times to get a certificate, submitting an application at the local co-op are time consuming and monotonous. Robots, in specific, RPA can reduce lead time, increase efficiency and speed at which the documents are monitored, handled and processed. In this blog, let’s take a look at some of the process that prove RPA is the need of the hour for the public sectors.

A bit about RPA before we start,

RPA or robotic process automation is the configuring a system to mimic a set of human actions and carrying out preset process like calculations and rule-based process that is both repetitive and exhaustive leaving the human workforce to focus on more cognitively challenging and exciting activities, for example, customer interactions or troubleshooting specific concerns.

If you are just getting started with RPA, there is a comprehensive article here, that will help you to get the general idea about the what, the how and why of RPA.

Going back a year or so, if someone you know has applied for a grant or loan, they need to submit an application which is then processed to check the eligibility, sending it over to the next department for their respective processes. This whole process takes about a week or more. It is slow and out-dated.

Robotic process automation completely eliminates this problem by automating the document processing, checking for eligibility, exposing fraudulent activities, if any, and automatically emailing the concern parties, for instance, the applicant about the status of the application, the supervisor of the weekly grant reports or update the database. With RPA, this whole process could be completed within an hour or so.

Because public sectors receive over thousands of applications, this would make a huge difference in their speed and efficiency, reduce their backlog close to zero.

This is just an example of how RPA can help to serve people better and faster. The scope of RPA can expand into application tracking, claims processing, and inventory processing across Policing, Healthcare, and education.

A large part of an employee’s time in a public office goes into data entry and manually processing documents and taking the documents to the next concerned official and this cycle continues. In the end, this method results in long delays and is prone to error. RPA eradicates all that and offers more with managing the applications, timetabling, database maintenance and efficient data handling right from entering the information in the forms, auto-completing applications and delivering it to the concerned official without any delays.

Another large function of all public sectors is fraud detection. RPA has been successfully implemented for the detection of fraudulent activities across industries from insurance, banking to education, healthcare, etc.

A majority of organizations invest in robust fraud management systems which abide by a set of rules, and in case when some of the rules aren’t followed, it triggers a set of subsequent actions which brings us to the next problem, how to effectively manage anti-fraud activities and maintain trust with genuine customers at the same time.

With user-profiling and pattern storage, this problem can easily be solved with RPA. This can be applied to cheques, claims, license, revenue collection and reduces the need for continuously keying in the same information for authenticity. This ensures trust and user-friendliness in the long run.

Governments have already started including RPA in their yearly budgets, USA and UK are some of the pioneers in taking this step towards a faster and efficient future. With the help of RPA, UK’ HMRC has sped processes by 4 to 6 times the original process time, cut costs by 80% and reduced call times by 40% with just implementing 56 bots which handle more than 15 million transactions between them.

These are just some of the success stories from the public sector, with time, there will only be more. A general thumb rule used to measure the compatibility of a process with RPA would be activities that abide by a set of rules and isn’t too ambiguous can be considered as a use-case for RPA. Before the process is developed in RPA, the analyst studies the process, the business rules and calculates the probable ROI from the implementation. This phase of the project is as important as the implementation and testing RPA.

Here are some more articles if you are interested in looking at more use-cases for RPA.

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