Government

Our client is the UK Home Office, the government department responsible for immigration, counter-terrorism, police, drugs policy, and related science and research.

Problem

In late 2003, the government was trying to deal with an unprecedented backlog in people seeking asylum in the UK, with approximately 90,000 people waiting for their claims to be dealt with. The then Home Secretary, David Blunkett, under intense pressure from parliament and the media, announced that he would radically reduce these numbers.

Finworks was already in discussion with the Home Office about implementing workflow processes. We were commissioned in mid-December to address this particular issue, with a deadline for launch of Monday January 5, 2004.

When someone claims asylum, they enter into a process which involves a whole variety of interactions for themselves and their family (if they are accompanied), including legal appointments and communications, transport, accommodation, health, and many other services delivered by both public and private providers – ranging from huge companies to individual landlords.

This was hugely complex and there were about 1800 different external parties involved at the time. Many of the interactions with these parties were manual and so the workflow was slow and inefficient – hence the huge backlog in claims.

Solution

Finworks Workflow handled (and still handles) many of these key interactions:

  • Manages the journey of every asylum seeker through the complexities of the system
  • Applies common processes across all interactions – keeping the system robust and scalable
  • Is accessible both internally and externally by third party suppliers
  • Manages permissioning and maintains government-level security
  • Combines information in an intelligent way to present composite results
  • Provides a detailed audit trail recording every action
  • Is easy to use – no training is required

And – the system went live on 5 January 2004 – taking just three weeks from instruction to delivery over the Christmas and New Year period.

Results

The massive change in efficiency allowed the backlog in asylum claims to be cleared, and the Home Office to make considerable savings. The Home Office continues to use Finworks Workflow, and has extended its use to other contexts as well.

Client comment

“We seek to recognise suppliers who have not just met their contractual commitments but who have provided added value and helped us to achieve savings. [You are] a supplier who has not only helped us and the tax payer make savings but also provided value by offering innovative ideas. Thank you for your commitment to the Home Office.”