https://publicguardian.blog.gov.uk/2019/01/30/improving-how-we-work-at-opg-how-digital-tools-are-making-things-simpler-and-faster/

Improving how we work at OPG: how digital tools are making things simpler and faster

Sirius is a secure case management system that we use at OPG to log and maintain lasting power of attorney records (LPA).

It replaces two previous systems that were outdated and expensive to maintain. Instead of buying new software that would have had expensive licences, we decided to build the system ourselves.

Civil servants are users too. Using the knowledge we’d gained from creating the online LPA service, we involved OPG staff involved in every step of the journey – treating civil servants as we would any user. We’ve designed Sirius around how we work so we can complete our tasks faster and more flexibly.

We began building Sirius in August 2013 and OPG staff started using it to process LPA cases in May 2015. So far, this financial year (up to November 2018), we’ve processed over 560,000 LPA applications and registered over 8,920 enduring powers of attorney (EPAs). Overall, we have processed over 2 million LPA applications using Sirius.

Man working at a computer

How we have developed Sirius

In the last year, development has focused on making sure OPG staff can work as effectively as possible. Our development team have held frequent workshops with staff to improve aspects of Sirius that make creating and storing LPA data as easy as possible. This means LPA application information can be accessed quickly, clearly and whenever requested by staff member. This helps us to easily share information with customers.

Our caseworkers who use Sirius tell us that it has made their work more effective, less time consuming, has been easy to learn and simple to use. It’s taken time and learning to get it right. But having an open-source case management system supported entirely by OPG teams gives us a lot of control over how we prioritise development now and in the future.

We’re also developing Sirius to register and store information about deputies, which will allow us to further develop our vision of being ‘digital by default’.

What’s next?

In the coming year, we will work towards introducing the ability for our customers to track an application from submission to registration. This is a question we are frequently asked by customers contacting OPG, and we hope this will not only improve our services for customers but also help to remove pressures on our contact centre staff.

In time, we are also looking into adding the ability to allow attorneys to evidence their status to third parties and share their LPA. By doing this, we can make the process of providing evidence of an LPA to organisations such as NHS, care homes, banks and building societies as smooth and easy as possible.

We will also work to encourage more new customers to pay online and make payments “cheque free”, speeding up the process of registering an LPA.

I would recommend open source to other public sector organisations as this has really benefited how we work at OPG.

You learn more about Sirius in the video below:

 

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