Centrelink introduces digital backoffice

Centrelink has announced the first phase of a push to digitise paper-based forms across its Australian network of 316 city and regional offices.

The installation of Fuji-Xerox ApeosPort multi-function devices (MFDs) in each office over the past two years has allowed for the first wave of digitisation of paper-based forms.

There are more than 400 forms regularly submitted to Centrelink by Australians receiving family payments, pensions and unemployment benefits. In the initial phases just two of the forms will be accepted into the digital workflow established with software from Fuji-Xerox and Australia's Ezescan.

Centrelink is using CentreWare Flow Services software from Fuji Xerox as well as the Ezescan document scanning product suite for its digital workflow. This will enable Centrelink offices to direct forms to locations where there is the capacity for swift turnaround, and enable OCR/ICR to check information on forms against client information in Centrelink's central database. Correspondence scanning will not be included initially.

Minister for Human Services, Chris Bowen MP, said, "Each year Centrelink receives more than 370 million pages of paper-based forms and correspondence from customers about payments and services.

“Processing, transporting, and storing this volume of paper involves a significant investment of time and resources - therefore any way to streamline how this is done has considerable benefits for Centrelink customers and also for Government.

Mr Bowen said “In the first five weeks of digitisation operating in Centrelink’s Customer Service Centres more than 370,000 pages – or 35,000 forms - for Family Assistance services have already been processed in this manner.

“Although it is still early days, this is a major transformation in the way Centrelink manages paper-based information and processing."

With the roll-out of the system to all 316 offices now complete, the range of forms and correspondence that can be digitised will be expanded over time to achieve greater efficiency.