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Government Automation 101: What Can Your Municipality Automate?

By Stephen Brandofino

Local government operations don’t have to be complicated. In fact, many of the repetitive, monotonous, time consuming tasks that your municipal employees complete daily can be streamlined through automation

Local government departments such as Clerks, Code Enforcement, Administration, and Public Works (to name a few) can become more efficient and convenient through automation for both government employees and constituents alike. 

Government process automation is a game changer for municipal offices because it eliminates so many time-wasters in government workplaces while improving workflows, and increasing efficiency in government operations. 

How much do you really know about automating processes in your local government department? 

Luckily, you can keep reading to learn everything you need to know about process automation and what your government can automate now to improve all aspects of governance. 

Table Of Contents: What To Expect  

  • Process Automation Defined 
  • What Process Automation Can Do
  • What Your Municipality Can Automate Now 

What Is Process Automation?

Government process automation is defined as the application of technology tools to streamline and even enhance the efficiency of operations within government offices. Process automation also involves using government management software to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks such as data entry, document processing, and request approvals. 

Process automation is meant to reduce errors, saving costs, and improving service delivery to your constituents. Key components of process automation include individual workflow automation, digital forms, robotic process automation (RPA), and artificial intelligence (AI) for more effective decision-making

The ultimate goal of automating government processes is to create a more efficient, transparent, and responsive government that can provide faster, more accurate, and more convenient services to constituents who rely on their government. 

Read on to learn everything about Public Sector Robotic Process Automation here! 

The Basics of What Process Automation Can Do For You

Process automation is capable of providing various benefits to your municipality, both for constituents and government workers. You may be surprised by some of the benefits you can experience from government process automation, so read on! 

  • Time Savings 

As a government employee, you’re likely wasting hours every day performing repetitive tasks that could easily be automated. Local government workflows are known to be slow, with silos that often affect constituents, giving governments the reputation of being surrounded by “bureaucratic red tape”. However, when municipalities automate government operations such as permitting, notification delivery, and appointment scheduling, employees are free of performing those tasks. 

Municipal offices partnered with GovPilot such as Atlantic City, NJ have experienced significant time-savings, up to doubling their productivity and performing some government operations in only 7 minutes, compared to the 48 hours they had required before GovPilot stepped in. 

Read our guide on A Guide To Time Saving Strategies For Local Governments here. 

  • More Productivity Towards Complex Projects 

Local governments have various responsibilities and many daily tasks that must be completed daily. Often, these employees are bogged down with tasks that are below their pay-grade or completely antiquated. However, when processes that often take up lots of employee time and focus are automated, they can be performed without the help of human intervention. 

It is vital that employees are able to focus their attention on tasks that require thorough work, fact-checking, and effort. When employees are freed up to dedicate more of their attention to crucial government tasks, these responsibilities are fulfilled faster and more intentionally, leading to improved results and productivity.

Learn about Setting Measurable Goals in the Public Sector here! 

  • Enhanced Public Service Delivery

One of the main functions of government is municipal public service delivery. Nothing is worse than requiring an essential service from the government, and waiting weeks or even months to receive the aid. These kinds of constituent concerns and frustrations can be eliminated when public service delivery is automated. 

Public service delivery such as customer service calls, FOIA Requests, permitting approvals, emergency response, and even traffic management can be automated to streamline workflows in any government department. It is vital that communities are able to receive public services in a timely manner, and automated services increase productivity without reducing the quality of service. 

Consider How To Improve Municipal Services for Underserved Community Members here!

  • Improved Accuracy (Elimination of Human Error)

Lets face it, local government employees can be spread too thin when they are overloaded with work, and daily tasks that are tedious. When employees are overworked or simply aren’t allotted enough time during the day to complete all of their responsibilities, attention to details slips through the cracks and mistakes happen. 

Streamlining processes with automation eliminates the possibility of human error and ensures consistency and accuracy across all departments and operations. 

  • Government Scalability 

Scaling your government to make a bigger, more positive impact in the community should always be the goal of the government, as local institutions are in place to enhance constituent wellbeing. 

Governments can accomplish more for a wider range of constituents when government workers have more time available to perform crucial tasks. Reaching more constituents with public service delivery, citizen engagement, and improved timelines is expected when you automate processes. 

Learn all you can about Growth Management Tips for Local Governments with our resource!

A Deeper Understanding: What Your Municipality Can Automate Now 

At this point you may be wondering exactly what your government offices can automate to experience all the benefits that digital transformation has to offer. If that’s the case, read on to learn about what you can automate!

1. Permitting and License Requests

Permitting is a government process that typically has a long turnaround time for constituents as approvals require the appropriate department to review, calculate fees, inspections, and deliver notifications. Still, permitting often requires constituents to interact with their government various times just to provide all of the necessary paperwork and documentation. 

However, local government permitting processes have never been easier than they are with automation! Now, local governments can process permit and license requests fully digitally, online, with all vital documents mandatory for submission. Automatically, these requests will be organized and available in the cloud and sent to the necessary department for review. Notification delivery regarding approval updates and next steps will automatically be sent to the appropriate government department and the applying constituents. 

GovTip: Want to learn more about Online Permitting Processes In Government? Check out these GovPilot modules that you could use now: 

2. Appointment Scheduling 

One of the biggest pain points for municipal offices is unexpected walk-in appointments of constituents. These walk-ins are also hardly ever productive, as so many steps typically need to be taken to process and complete constituent requests. Essentially, constituents go to city hall to merely receive a list of additional steps they need to take before they are able to process any request. 

However, automated appointment scheduling eliminates these unnecessary walk-in appointments by allowing constituents to select available times to meet with their local government employees. This automation will allow workers to see requests and appointments on their docket for the day, in real time, online!

3. Inspection Update Notification Delivery

Inspectors and those undergoing inspection processes are sometimes left in the dark for weeks and even months due to the sheer volume of inspections that the code enforcement department of your local government must organize. Automated inspection delivery is the solution to this. It is a game-changer for constitutions and government workers to interact with automated notifications that keep all involved parties up-to-date about their inspection approvals and next steps. 

Check out GovInspect, GovPilot’s mobile inspection application, here. 

4. Citizen Concern Reporting

Citizens are always going to have concerns to voice to their local government. Processing and documenting these reports manually is difficult enough without the added challenge of routing them to the correct department and addressing the issues. 

However, automated citizen concern reporting is the solution to this entire, tedious process. With GovPilot’s Report-A-Concern module, the entire process is automated and completed immediately upon the submission of a constituent concern. Through the cloud, municipalities will receive concern reports that are automatically backed up and saved, and then forwarded to the appropriate department for review. This leads to quicker turn around on constituent reports and a more satisfied community. 

Learn How to Report Concerns & Issues to Your Local Government here. 

5. Payment Processes 

Digital government payment solutions make things more convenient for both your citizens and your government officials by streamlining payment processes securely, 24/7. 

Applications for payment can be filed completely online through your government website and fees can be collected right then and there, easily enough for any constituent, including senior citizens, to submit online. The tax department can be completely digitized. And, when a fine for a code violation is issued, the payment can be paid online or even in real time to the code enforcement official via a government mobile device. 

Moving citizen processes such as this one online also improves equity and helps to overcome language barriers in local government. Once you undergo a digital transformation, you’ll never want to go back!

Learn about the Best Government Payment Processing Services here!

6. Document Management 

Automation allows your local government access to top technology solutions such as the cloud. Automatically share and file documents in the cloud to ensure that no vital information is lost, swept under the rug, or destroyed. The cloud encrypts and backs up documents so that they can always be found and kept cybersecure. 

Documentation management through the cloud also helps local government departments align and collaborate, as workers are able to access the files they need digitally, 24/7, from any approved device, regardless of their department. Instead of forwarding paper documents around office buildings, use of the cloud allows local governments to operate with swift efficiency, and save time with enhanced communication and collaboration. 

Check out our Government Communications Strategy For Engaging With Colleagues & Constituents here! 

Start Automating Now With GovPilot  

If you’re a local government official, or you work in any municipal department within your community, automation will be a time-saving game-changer for your everyday processes. Start automating with GovPilot now to check out our government management software solutions and streamline your government processes now. Book a consultation with GovPilot to learn how we can help your municipal offices automate time-consuming, outdated processes. 

Government Process Automation FAQs

  • Is there anything municipalities shouldn’t automate?

Government automation provides countless benefits such as time-savings and improved efficiency; it can be used on almost any repetitive task. However, complex tasks that require editing, interdepartmental collaboration, or even fact-checking should be done by a government employee, rather than automation tools. 

  • Why is automation beneficial for constituents? 

Automation is beneficial for constituents because it streamlines their interactions with their local governments and helps to simplify processes that would once require they travel to city hall in person or spend months waiting for a response to their requests. 

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Tags: Government Efficiency, Digital Transformation, GovTech