As you may have heard we work a little differently here at Govtech. We like to become one with our customers, forming a partnership where we are seen as an extension of their team. Over the last few months, apart from the everyday automation routine, we’ve worked on other projects with new and existing customers to help them create even more success. Here are a couple of stories where we’ve been delighted to have helped been a part of.
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Earlier this month we attended the IRRV Annual Conference and Exhibition 2023 in Telford. Although we support many, if not most of the IRRV expos across the UK, this is by far the largest in our industry. And judging by how busy our stand was, it appears that the majority of local authorities across England and Wales attended – we got to meet our Scottish peers at their own Conference last month.
There has never been a better time, or a greater need, for automation in Council Tax. The end of Covid relief schemes and subsequent cost of living pressures have created a huge collection and recovery challenge for local authorities. Faced with severe financial pressures, the loss of expertise, staffing shortfalls, recruitment difficulties and increasing workloads, many Revenues Services are struggling just to stand still. It’s no surprise that FOUR FIVE SEVEN MORE councils (we've had three more since we posted this blog six weeks ago) have chosen to modernise and speed up collection processes through Govtech automation.
How to Maximise Automation in Revenues & Benefits and the important role that statistics play.
In the current economic climate, more pressure than ever before is being put onto Local Authorities to save money and resources and of course automation plays a big part in that.
A YEAR TO FEEL PROUD ABOUT
Without a doubt, 2022 was a challenging year for the UK. The pandemic, that seemed to have lasted forever, was slowly coming to an end and there was hope that everything might return to normal. But unforeseen events, like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, had a shocking impact on the global economy and, consequently, on everyone's day-to-day life. Energy costs reached previously unheard-of heights and exacerbated inflation.
After an extremely thorough due diligence process, including hours spent speaking with existing Govtech customers such as Salford City Council, Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council and Plymouth City Council, we’re delighted that Leeds City Council, the second largest local authority in the UK, has selected Govtech to deliver end-to-end automation in Revenues for up to 4 years under G-Cloud.
Last January, after Christmas and New Year celebrations were curtailed again, we saw off the peak in Omicron infections without these translating into mass hospitalisations. Finally, we could hope for a gradual return to some sort of normality, including being able to fly off somewhere for a summer holiday. What a difference 6 months makes!
We’re delighted to announce that, after a 4-year interlude, the City of Wolverhampton Council has chosen Govtech once again to deliver digital process automation for Council Tax and Benefits. In the intervening period, Wolverhampton separately helped Govtech initially to design, and was the first to deploy, Govtech’s Universal Credit Digital Service (UCDS). Now, in a decision which reverses the switch to a competitive offering, Wolverhampton will re-adopt the full suite of Govtech digital process automation services in Revenues & Benefits.
Its always a busy year end so we’re delighted that our customers have taken time out from annual billing, and even more rebates, to renew or extend our digital process automation services. We’re fortunate to have a strong and loyal customer base, so we’d like to express our thanks to the following councils, who have once again chosen to remain a part of the Govtech family:
Once again, another challenge, another burden faces Revenues teams as the Government look to local authorities to administer the £150 Council Tax energy rebate. As soon as we heard the news, we asked our customers to join a discovery call to see how automation can help them; it became apparent very quickly that it could. So, we delved deeper into what we could do for them (and non-Govtech customers) to overcome this latest challenge.
Let’s explore the issues…
With our thanks to Adele Nicholson and Alex Ewart, Project Officers at Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council.
The recent publication of guidance for the new ‘Household Support Fund’, combined with the existing pressures on welfare and benefits teams, means that there has been no let up for councils as they continue to battle an increasing volume of daily HBSTOP and LCTR change notifications.