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Civica OnDemand helps local authorities to manage welfare workload and savings

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Civica has announced OnDemand - a new revenues and benefits processing service that gives councils access to people and know-how to manage activity peaks and boost frontline performance.

Local authorities can manage the impact of welfare reform changes while driving cost savings as well as achieving more effective handling of peak workloads or short-term staff shortages, using Civica OnDemand, an expert and flexible pay-as-you-go revenues and benefits processing service.

The new service from Civica - a market leader in specialist systems and business process services that help organisations to transform the way they work - has been launched at a time when local government is negotiating one of the most difficult budget cycles it has ever faced.  Civica OnDemand gives councils access to very experienced people and deep system expertise needed to fill resource gaps and manage peaks or backlogs of activity, maintaining front line performance. The service is already being used by eight authorities across the country including unitary, metropolitan and district councils.

The new offering is the first fruit of Civica’s strategic investment in a service and innovation centre for revenues and benefits administration in Gloucester last year.

The new centre provides processing capacity and business processes as a service to UK authorities that can reinforce departmental service capabilities while ensuring critical budget savings across these operations.

The centre draws on Civica’s combination of experienced, award-winning expert personnel, streamlined processes and leading technology. It is a direct response to UK public sector’s growing interest in hybrid public-private delivery models, including business process as a service (BPaaS).

Civica OnDemand will eventually provide wider back office and corporate services to local government and its partners. The company also believes that the service could be extended to specialist tasks such as fraud management.

Civica OnDemand differs from existing agency staffing services because it is an outcomes-focused service which helps departments to plan and manage workloads alongside budgets, unlike many services which are largely cost- and day rate-focused.

The service portfolio helps local authorities using the OPENRevenues software platform to better manage changing administrative workloads – whether through welfare change, austerity agenda and staff changes - while delivering up to 33 per cent cost savings over the use of agencies - through very flexible and streamlined administration of work streams.

For benefits administration, the service covers new claims, changes in circumstances including ETD and ATLAS; general correspondence, reconsiderations, appeals, complaints and counter fraud investigations. For revenues (Council Tax and NNDR), Civica onDemand’s capabilities include:occupation changes, discounts and disregards, AOE and AOB and failed arrangements, correspondence, exemptions, refunds, deceased, bailiff returns and single person discount reviews.

As a flexible service, using the local authority’s own systems via secure network connectivity,Civica OnDemand can be paid for by an annual subscription fee or on a pay-as-you-go basis. If the defined transaction level is not exceeded, yearly subscribers pay nothing over the agreed fee and they can buy further resource without signing a contract. With the pay-and-go option, the authority only has to request extra resources, sign a contract and pay the standard fees for this payment plan.

Service user Ian Ferguson, Revenues and Benefits Manager at Durham County Council, said: “We gave Civica OnDemand the task of clearing a package of benefits processing work at short notice and in the shortest period of time. I am pleased with both the speed and accuracy of the service provided and as a result would thoroughly recommend this service.”

Gary Bell, operations director at Civica, said: “UK authorities have to achieve a practical balance between accommodating welfare reforms, driving annualised efficiency targets and enhancing their front-line services. Civica OnDemand gives town hall teams expert, flexible assistance in revenues and benefits processing to resolve service redesign, workload, and resilience challenges resulting from today’s challenging situation.”

LGC’s efficiency channel, providing the latest local government news, comment and analysis.

In association with Civica, software and IT service providers, specialising in public sector work, including local authorities.

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