The Department of Justice and Community Safety (the DJCS) administers the Freedom Of Information Act (1982) across Victoria, giving the public access to personal information held, as well as activities undertaken by the department. Each year, over 10,000 FOI requests are lodged through the department’s Freedom of Information unit, connecting the public to 23 government agencies in accordance with the Act. To improve efficiencies, the DJCS engaged Mav3rik to implement a modern, statewide solution to make it easier for both the public and the department to manage requests for information.
For this undertaking, the project team included six specialists from Mav3rik, who worked closely with DJCS system administrators who manage the relationships between the department and the 23 government agencies. The diversity of this group meant the Mav3rik team had insight into the unique challenges and requirements from a number of stakeholders, in order to build a fit-for-purpose solution. Arun Acharya, Product Manager from the DJCS said “Mav3rik was a strong contender due to the work they were doing with the department on another project.”
The department’s legacy platform was reaching end of life and causing a number of internal roadblocks, due in part to its outdated security protocols limiting its ability to integrate with the payment gateway. As it was a custom built solution, it also required external technical expertise to maintain, which negatively impacted workflows and budget allocation within the department.
Due to the volume of requests and expected growth, it was important that the interface maintained a sense of familiarity for the end user, with the view that the portal will become the most popular method for members of the public to submit FOI requests. The Mav3rik team were asked to replicate as much of the functionality of the existing system on a modern user interface, in order to maintain (and where possible, enhance) the user experience.
The Mav3rik team, lead by Certified Technical Architect Emily McCowan, used a hybrid-agile approach, taking two weeks to plan and architect the solution, followed by fortnightly sprints for deployment. During these sprints, the team combined the platform build and test simultaneously, with regular playbacks to seek and incorporate feedback as the build progressed. With a deployment goal of May 2023, the project was complete in seven sprints. “I was very impressed with Mav3rik’s team of qualified professionals and their ability to deliver outcomes in a short time, which was one of the challenges of this project”, Arun said.
The FOI Case Management System (CMS) uses Salesforce Public Sector Solutions as the platform to host the new FOI online request service, incorporating migrated historical data from the legacy platform, as well as direct integration with Westpac using QuickStream Trusted Frame. By mid 2023, it will replace the existing service, using out-of-the-box, configurable functionality to support workflows, accelerate processes and reduce friction. Through an authenticated multi-stage online form for FOI requests, members of the public will be able to quickly and easily upload requests and payment, before receiving an automatic confirmation email. With the integrated payment gateway, the department will also remove roadblocks to securely accept fees associated with requests.
From a technology and business perspective, the new system will enable the FOI team to manage requests in a scalable and cost effective way, reducing overall risk and the platform’s total cost of ownership. From a de-risking perspective, the new system will also pave the way for the legacy platform to be decommissioned, which reduces the technology risk for the department when dealing with outdated applications. The portal will be accessed by nominated staff within the 23 agencies relevant to the request, as well as providing daily reconciliation reports to each of those agencies. For users in both the department and agencies, information is centralised and easy to find, increasing the overall productivity and ensuring increases in requests can be fulfilled.
“I have enjoyed working with Mav3rik on this project as I’ve found them to be very switched-on, collaborative and knowledgeable. Their work has been of a very high standard and they are quick to resolve issues identified during the development. They are trusted partners and I expect we will collaborate on other projects in the future”
DJCS Claims Management
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