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Renfrewshire Council begins to use robotics


Scottish local authority has implemented the technology to automate processes in revenues and benefits

Renfrewshire Council has taken the first steps in using robotics process automation (RPA) with the implementation of a system to handle processes in its revenues and benefits operation.

The authority has become one of the first in local government to make use of the technology by deploying Thoughtonomy’s Software as a Service platform which combines RPA, Artificial Intelligence, and Cloud Computing to provide an on-demand Virtual Workforce.

It confirmed to UKAuthority that, after having awarded the contract at the end of July, it now has a small team trained to manage the system and is using it for two processes, with plans to extend it to others.

This follows a false start, in which it published a tender for the provision of the licences but received no bids. It subsequently negotiated the contract with Thoughtonomy.

Renfrewshire has identified RPA as a means to reducing its reliance on manual processes by automating administrative, logic based tasks. This reflects one of the key themes in its Better Council Strategic Change Programme, which included a focus on modernising back office services.

While progress in adopting RPA for local government has been low key so far, it has produced benefits for North Tyneside Council and the London Borough of Hackney has confirmed plans to run pilots on its use.

In addition, the Cabinet Office recently chose Capgemini as its partner to promote the use of the technology in central government.

Image by Gwydion M Williams, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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