[LINK] Queensland Flood Relief Payments Delayed by Manual Processing
tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sun Feb 27 11:58:03 AEDT 2011
The Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh, has apologised for delays in
processing of payments from the Premiers Disaster Relief Appeal:
The Premier has ordered that the process be overhauled. Unfortunately,
it appears that the processing was being done manually and there are no
plans to change this, so it is unlikely the process will be
The Premier explained that about 100 people were working on processing
applications and directed more people be put on this if needed. However,
more people are unlikely to greatly speed up a manual processing system.
Also diverting government staff to this task will mean they are not
available to assist flood victims. Using automation would allow the
process to be done in minutes, rather than days.
To Apply for Premier’s Disaster Relief Funds applicants are required to
fill in a seven page form. The Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal
emergency assistance form is provided as a 54 Kbyte PDF file which can
be downloaded. The instructions say "Please use black or blue pen" and
to return the form by Fax, Post or in person:
There is no provision to fill the form in online and return it
electronically. As a result there will be delays while the form is
delivered to the processing centre and further delays and errors as
staff then manually transcribe the details from the form into systems to
record and check the details.
The Queensland government should consider providing an online version of
the form. This could be completed directly by the applicant using their
own computer or smart phone, or by staff in a Community Recovery Centre.
Much of the processing could then be carried out automatically.
The form could also be made much simpler and easier to fill out by
making use of existing government databases. Rather than ask the
applicant for details which are then checked against government records,
the needed information could be simply extracted from those systems.
This would particularly be of use where applicants copies of
documentation have been lost in the disaster.
Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
Visiting Scientist, CSIRO ICT Centre: http://bit.ly/csiro_ict_canberra
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