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.
The local government automation journey
Automation has been on the local government agenda for several years now and we all have a pretty good understanding of what it is. Or at least we believe we do. But does it have the same meaning to everyone?
I joined Govtech as their project manager almost 10 years ago. I had just completed 24 years of service for a large London Local Authority, and that was me done; I planned to put my work in Local Government firmly in the rear-view mirror. However, there was one company I felt compelled to say a personal goodbye to, and that was Govtech.
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.
The largest event on the Revenues & Benefits calendar, the 2022 IRRV Annual Conference & Exhibition in Telford, held at the beginning of October was as usual well attended, vibrant and informative with many brilliant speakers delivering their thoughts on most important topics impacting local authorities. We’d like to thank the Institute for organising such a valuable event.
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.