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Why Local Governments Need RPA

Jessica Harp
March 9, 2022

As the world enters its third year of the pandemic, many local governments have adopted new technologies to streamline operations, as well as make it easier to connect with citizens and deliver a better, more efficient experience. However, there are still a number of municipalities that have yet to integrate helpful technologies into their existing systems.

The pandemic forced local governments around the world to adopt new technology to better serve their communities—don’t let your municipality get left behind while others are progressing in a positive direction and enticing people to move to their communities through ease of use. 

How can local governments streamline operations, save hundreds of hours and money, deliver a better experience and build a better community in the process? Implement Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

What Is RPA?

Robotic Process Automation mimics human interactions with computer systems. RPA does repetitive tasks, such as data entry, at a much faster and more accurate rate than humans would. This does not mean robots are taking people’s jobs—it just means RPA is doing the menial tasks that take up too much time, leaving the more complex tasks to human beings that could not be done by robots. 

Benefits of RPA in the Private Sector

According to RPA in Federal Agencies - How Federal Agencies Achieve More Through Robotic Process Automation, the Federal Government has seen great success and a return on investment due to the implementation of Robotic Process Automation. Here are a few examples listed in the document:

1. Workload was reduced and improved within the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). 

GSA financial management employees’ workload was targeted to be reduced, and the experience for those federal organizations submitting budget justifications to GSA for approval was enhanced due to RPA implementation.

2.  Processing time was dramatically reduced at The National Science Foundation (NSF).

Each year the NSF processes thousands of grants from colleges, universities and school systems, as well as payments, which can be incredibly time consuming. Through RPA the processing time was dramatically reduced. 

3. Processes and workforce satisfaction were improved at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The IRS developed bots to conduct repetitive manual tasks, like searching multiple systems to locate and extract data, which can take up too much time due to its complexities. Through moving this work to RPA, staff was freed up to focus on higher-value tasks, question previous assumptions around process that were not efficient and be better contributors to the agency’s mission.

4. Rapid Process Evolution at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Prior to the pandemic, vendors submitted invoices by mail to the NIH, which were then processes by being scanned and sent electronically to the appropriate parties for processing. However, the Office of Financial Management was working remotely, and no one could collect the mail. Invoices were then sent electronically with specific info in the email subject line, which the RPA bot would then use to route about 10,000 monthly invoices to the right people for processing. 

5. Return on investment was improved at the Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation (FIT).

Through RPA, the FIT was able to convert a large amount of data during the customer onboarding process, which saved time and money. 

Through cost savings, innovation and workforce development, RPA can benefit a variety of agencies, offices and departments within both federal and local governments. 

Why Local Governments Need RPA

RPA can help local government agencies by significantly reducing low-value workloads, leaving more time for employees to handle more complex tasks. It can also save costs exponentially by reducing or removing the need for outsourcing altogether. Creating better automated workflows delivers better citizen services. RPA also can assist in report generation, public sentiment analysis, application process and reviewing, data entry and data migration.

According to AI Multiple, 34% of respondents to a survey about RPA said that it saved 5,000 to 50,000 hours of work time annually. Plus, 46% said RPA increased the speed of service delivery, 37% said there was a reduction in data processing errors and 41% said that it attributed to cost avoidance/cost savings.

Have a system in place but are worried you would need a new one to integrate Robotic Process Automation? RPA can easily be implemented with legacy systems, so there's no need to pay for and learn a whole new system to implement RPA.

How Can RPA Be Implemented in Local Governments?

It starts by taking a look at what the needs are of your community and your staff. Where is time being needlessly spent when it can be improved by RPA? What jobs around the city or within the office can be done by integrating RPA into your system? For example, RPA can assist in document handling and validation, form processing, reconciliation and reporting, as well as HR tasks like payroll administration and compliance. 

ACTIVE Makes Implementing RPA Easy

ACTIVE’s RPA helps solve a critical challenge for the local public sector: doing more with less while building strong, connected communities. Our solution automates and streamlines tasks and ensures accuracy and efficiency, playing a monumental role in the modern municipality. Learn more about how ACTIVE can help make RPA a reality for your local government.

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