Faster and more efficient processing of claims for child benefit and social welfare recipients has started as the result of a new eGovernment initiative, Mary Coughlan Minister for Social and Family Affairs said today.
Less form filling, less red tape and the introduction of automatic payments from the Department of Social and Family Affairs will be the hallmarks of the major Government initiative "eEnabling Life Event Data" launched by Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Coughlan T.D., Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin, T.D. and Government Chief Whip, Ms Mary Hanafin.
This initiative marks a major milestone in the Governments commitment to improve the way services are organised and delivered to citizens and a further step forward in the implementation of the eGovernment agenda.
The introduction of new technology will transform the current paper based Civil Registration System as in future all life events -such as births, deaths, and marriages will be available on a national life event database and will be available at any registrar's office. The new service will also include the automatic allocation of a Personal Public Services Number (PPS number) to a child as part of the birth registration process.
In practical terms, this means that when a birth is registered, a child will be automatically given his/her PPS No and a child benefit claim will be automatically processed.
"For parents this means less form filling, less queuing for certificates and timely provision of child benefit payment at a time when they have additional expenses," said Minister Coughlan. She went on to give an example of a recent case:
"On Monday a child was born in a maternity hospital and the birth was registered in Cork. On Tuesday Child Benefit section in the Department was notified and on Wednesday payment was issued to the mother, who was still in the maternity hospital.
"The redesign of the Child Benefit system is the first phase of the Department's new service delivery strategy and is the standard of service that parents can expect in future," said Minister Coughlan.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Coughlan said that "eGovernment aims to deliver a comprehensive service to people and create the opportunities for a seamless integration of services across all Government Departments and Agencies."
This initiative incorporates four key projects:
- DSFA Service Delivery Modernisation - Child Benefit Automatic Processing and Redesign
- Modernisation of the Civil Registration Service
- REACH Inter Agency Messaging Service
- Personal Public Service Number - Public Service Identity
"This is a strategic and challenging programme of work. Each project was a major undertaking with its own objectives and priorities but combined together through the development and implementation of an infrastructure of electronic interfaces to link each element, represents a major step forward in shaping the future delivery of public services," said Minister Coughlan.
The Minister stated that this initiative represents the first delivery of added value customer services through the sharing of data.