Times of emergency call for even greater responsiveness from governments.
Responding to today’s challenges have accelerated the shift to more agile operating models, technology and process. For local governments, this means responding to new community challenges and needs, ideally within hours or days, rather than weeks or months.
To support its community, Moreton Bay Regional Council announced a $15 million stimulus package for eligible residents experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID. The ICT team was immediately challenged to create a digital application process that would be:
- Intuitive, to ensure all residents could easily check their eligibility and apply
- Scalable, to meet the expected demand of MBRC’s 460,000 person community
- Smart, to automate eligibility checking
Being time-sensitive, the new service had to be launched quickly, and be incredibly reliable. Considering the complexities of validating customer data across internal systems and an external provider, this project presented all the traits of a lengthy custom development process.
MBRC’s agile approach
A collaborative effort between the Property & Rating and ICT Team saw them embracing digital opportunities to accelerate the creation of an entirely online and automatic process with integration between several systems.
Leveraging OpenForms, the ICT team simplified the customer experience by integrating between several systems, including MBRC’s financial system as well as external Centrelink processes. Because the ICT could configure so much of the customer journey without coding, the entire solution was created, tested and launched in under one week.
The automated online application lodgement has reduced the impact on the customer service and rates staff, affording them time to respond to other COVID-19 enquiries. The streamlined process has eliminated manual intervention in receiving thousands of phone calls, manually checking and processing applications against Centrelink and responding to customers.
Council’s immediate response during the crisis has contributed to an efficient process from initiating submissions, verifying against Centrelink and applying the financial rebate in the customer rates assessment is less than 2 days providing an efficient and successful outcome for the community.