Three government agencies lead the way in OPEX

Considering that governments work with the largest customer bases in the world, their citizens, it stands to reason that they would benefit more than most from effective operational excellence (OPEX) initiatives.

Here we look at some examples of government agencies that have overcome operational challenges and developed effective initiatives to deliver excellence to their citizens.

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Improve customer engagement at DVLA

Our first example of OPEX in government comes from the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The DVLA has worked to optimize average call handling time and increase chat completion efficiency to improve customer engagement and satisfaction. The agency handles over 1.1 million phone calls and 100,000 web chat requests every month, so that was no small feat.

The DVLA decided to leverage automation to develop a chatbot that could provide self-service to customers and reduce chat and call volume for agents.

The chatbot was initially applied to help clients deal with transactional failures, but due to its success, it has since been deployed across all agency departments for frequent client inquiries.

The chatbot reduced the average handle time from eight to two and a half minutes. It also effectively reduces overall traffic, as 25-30% of requests are handled without the need for an agent. The chatbot achieved a 90% customer satisfaction rate for the project.

Related Content: Market Update: OPEX to Government

Unifying housing data at GSS

Housing is a devolved policy area in the UK with over 20 departments and public bodies publishing statistics. As a result, the housing data landscape had become extremely complicated when the Government Statistical Service (GSS) decided to act.

The approach of the GSS was to form a working group on housing and planning statistics which included teams from various ministries and decentralized administrations. The aim of the group was to share ideas with the aim of developing a series of web-based interactive tools that would collect housing statistics in a central repository and make them searchable by users.

User feedback on the initiative has been positive, and the initiative has also been nominated for an ESG Award of Excellence, with the tools cited as exemplary in adhering to government principles regarding the dissemination of statistics.

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Optimization of Software Contracts in the US Government

Our final example comes to us from 18F, a digital services innovation team embedded in the US government. The problem the team was tasked with solving was to simplify software contracts for government agencies in the United States, as this has traditionally been a long and arduous process.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation, which defines the US government’s procurement rules, is nearly 2,000 pages long and incredibly complex and difficult for employees to navigate. For this reason, government employees would struggle to understand how they can purchase the services they need in an agile way, without lengthy procurement processes.

In response to the challenge, 18F launched its micro-purchase platform which serves as an auction system for open source software for government agencies. It uses a legal flexibility known as the “micro-purchase authority” that allows small credit card purchases for public servants.

The platform allows agencies to avoid the long and tedious procurement process that is typically associated with software contracts in the United States.

Have you noticed your own government implementing OPEX initiatives? Let us know what they are in the comments below.

Ashley C. Reynolds