What is automation?
Automated case processing means that it takes place with little or no case-worker involvement. When a person applies for a benefit through an online self-service solution, the person’s entitlement to the benefit as well as the amount of the benefit payable is assessed automatically.
All this is possible because the authority already has access to all the necessary information, this information is reliable, and because the legislation has been designed so that it is possible to make a decision on objective criteria. Even if a specific type of case requires an expert assessment that cannot be automated, automation can support case processing.
What can automation do?
Therefore, there are a great many advantages in automating case processing. Citizens experience more rapid case processing, and in an increasing number of situations they can receive an immediate reply. There is also less risk of errors in case processing, as only reliable data is used that is not manually retrieved and entered.
This benefits both the citizen and society as a whole, as case-processing errors are expensive for both. Moreover, if legislation is designed with more objective criteria, it is easier for citizens to understand decisions. Fewer errors and more transparent legislation also strengthen due process. Finally, case processing managed by an IT system is very cost-effective for the authority.
The role of the Agency for Digitisation
Today, a large number of case areas have been partly automated, and the degree of automation is rising in municipalities, regions and government authorities.
Through analyses and coordination, the Agency for Digitisation is helping to support the development of framework conditions that can contribute to continued and efficient increases in the degree of automation. The framework conditions cover a wide spectrum of legal, organizational and technical aspects that the individual authorities cannot change themselves.
More cohesive user journeys
The Digital Strategy 2016-2020 contains a specific example of a current automation initiative. The initiative for more cohesive user journeys entails simplification of regulations and more data-sharing to increase automation. Furthermore, there will be work to increase reuse of data to streamline citizens’ dealings with the public authorities.
Steering committee for incorrect payments and control (SFK)
Another relevant initiative in the Digital Strategy 2016-2020 relates to correct payments of benefits and better data on citizens. Among other things, this initiative will ensure high-quality data on different types of income and will analyse possible models to harmonise legal definitions of income and cohabitation.
This will provide better opportunities to automate case processing in many other areas. Work on the initiative is anchored in the steering committee for incorrect payments and control (SFK).
Read more about The Digital Strategy 2016-2020 here.