IEG4 - Blackpool Case Study - Local Social Fund Solution
With a population of 142,100 and being the fourth most densely populatedborough of England and Wales outside Greater London, Blackpool Councilknew that introducing a new scheme to replace the DWP’s Social Fund wasalways going to be a challenge. Especially given the relatively short period (of? months) in which to introduce the scheme, and the reduced funding madeavailable for administration of the scheme. Blackpool Council named theirscheme the Discretionary Support Scheme. This was to reflect the fact that theservice was there to support those truly in need, rather than as simply ameans of obtaining interest free loans. Blackpool Council wanted to trulyunderstand its customer base, in order to provide a better service, to ensurethe underlying issues are remedied, and to ensure repeat applications areprevented too.By working in partnership with 27 separate bodies (including: Citizens AdviceBureau, Age UK, Disability First, Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre Credit Union, NACRO(dealing with ex-offenders), Connexions, Barnardos, Advice Link and Places
for People), Blackpool Council has been able to design and introduce ascheme, on time, that delivers the best possible service.After reviewing the systems available, Blackpool Council reached theconclusion that the best solution to complement their strategic goals andtheir vision for service delivery was the IEG4 eGovHub Awards & Grantssolution.The IEG4 solution was designed from scratch and uses cutting edgetechnologies to facilitate a great user experience, unrivalled functionality and,crucially, enable its customers to adapt the software to mirror their scheme.The solution comprises of four key components that work in harmony withone another: the Online Application, an Intelligent Rules Engine, a DynamicCase Management Application and Payment/Contractor Managementfunctionality.The challenge with delivering any service entirely through the digital channelis ensuring that the software provides a better user experience than usingtraditional methods like paper applications or visiting offices. This is why thecloud based IEG4 solution: Dynamically adapts the guidance provided and questions asked basedupon Is optimised for use on all devices i.e. desktop pcs and smartphones Provides a trusted access function to enable supporting bodies tocomplete applications from anywhere Can provides an instant decision upon submissionWhen this is coupled with the fact that users can be trained on the processingapplication in a matter of hours, it means that Councils are able to delivercomplex services supported by an application that is simple to use.Delivering multiple different types of items means that local authorities needto communicate effortlessly and cost effectively with citizens and serviceproviders. That’s why the application intelligently creates letter content (withcouncil logos etc.) based upon the decisions made, and can issuecorrespondence in email, PDF and SMS formats. To highlight an innovativeuse of the latter, in Blackpool, clothing & utilities services are delivered bysending the citizen a text with a barcode which can be redeemed at the PostOffice.In Blackpool, all applications are made entirely online and notification ofdecisions can be made entirely electronically too. This entirely removes thecosts of rekeying, scanning, indexing, paper, and postage for all applications.When one looks at Blackpool’s performance, and considers that the five staffwere all existing resources at Blackpool Council, it is easy to see how well allof these things combined are working in practice.Blackpool Council has excelled in the delivery of this new service. Below, theCouncil’s own staff relate how they perceived the implementation.
The IEG4 solution enables Local Authorities to administer their Social Fund replacement scheme orScottish Welfare Fund with a truly digital by default approach. The system has been designed fromscratch to use cutting edge technologies and since the first customer delivery in January has beenmoulded and enhanced by customer feedback.There are too many unique features to list them all but the following summarises the key features:Key to having a digital by default approach is accessibility. That’s why our online form can be accessedon any device and trusted parties like the CAB can offer frontline support in assisting citizens toreduce reliance on Council resources. Plus, with the rules engine enabling decisions to be automatedthe citizen is often told at the point of submission the outcome; thereby providing them with the bestpossible customer service and preventing follow up calls/emails. Plus, with the solution allowingmultiple benefit applications to be received and linked together in one place, local authorities can geta true view of the welfare of citizens for the first time. This huge array of functionality can be foundonly in the IEG4 solution. The following give a visualisation but for more images and videos please goto www.ieg4.comCase Management Application Payment Analysis Reportjohn.firstname.lastname@example.org