The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection supports the minister for Social Protection in the discharge of governmental, parliamentary and departmental duties. It has three main functions; to advise governments and formulate appropriate social protection and social inclusion policies, to design, develop and deliver effective cost efficient income support and to work towards providing seamless delivery of services.
The department was engaged in a business transformation programme that aimed to deliver a high quality, proactive service to customers. This is a continuous development involving the introduction of new technology, the replacement of legacy computer systems, the redesign of back office systems, business processes, procedures and work practices and the introduction of new organisational structures.
The main objectives of the project were:
- To capture and store in electronic format, pre 1979 contribution data on CRS
- Make the data available to scheme systems/sections to support the determination of eligibility for the various contributory schemes administrated by the Department
- Support pro–active claim initiation for pensions
- Support the automation of responses to requests by customers, both online and paper, for their contribution records
- Enable the provision of online access to data by customers
- Support the Department’s Planning Unit in policy formulation
What We Did
In total, the project consisted of the capture in electronic format of 600,000 customer records. The records detailed the tax contributions and related data for all Irish citizens entering the work place from 1945–1979.
Due to the importance of the data it was considered desirable that we use a blind double–key process for the capture of the data. The records consisted of highly sensitive information including names, addresses, dates of birth, PPS numbers and full tax contributions.
Due to the format of the images, Mallon developed bespoke capture software to facilitate the fast blind double–key entry. This saw he data entered separately by two different individuals with the software comparing them and highlighting any errors which were then checked against the original records. The speed of the Quality Assurance process was greatly improved and allowed for more records to be captured on a daily basis.
Upon completion of the project, data was delivered to the Department in CSV format, ready for import straight into their systems.
- Pension entitlements are now easily calculated at the touch of a button
- The new software system drastically reduces human errors in payments
- Efficiency has been improved right throughout the department
- Office space has been free–up for alternative uses
- Less time is now spend searching for physical hard copy documents
- Multiple users can access the same documents at the same time
- Access to certain files can be limited to those with the necessary security clearance
- A digital archive of documents ensures they can be recovered in event of a disaster