Simpler, clearer, faster - an exemplar digital service
The Environment Agency is a non-departmental public body to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whose aim is to protect and improve the environment, and to promote sustainable development.
Following an EU directive that all regular transporters of waste have to register with the Environment Agency from January 2014, the Government Digital Service (GDS) selected Waste Carrier Registration service as an exemplar digital project. This would demonstrate how digital services can be far simpler, clearer and faster, and encourage far greater use.
Lower tier waste carriers have historically submitted registrations via paper form or a phone call to the National Customer Call Centre (NCCC) in Sheffield. New registration volumes were proving to be prohibitively expensive to administer and were impacting on customer service.
The new digital service would resolve this and had to be completed in 11 weeks, ensuring registrations could take place by January 2014. The service also had to meet stringent security and GDS design criteria.
CACI, the Environment Agency and GDS put together a team to develop a new online service - live within 11 weeks and passing full GDS assessment and IL2 accreditation. Based on an Agile project methodology, each (2 week) sprint included regular reviews, testing and presentations.
The service uses open source components and restful design, address lookup and ElasticSearch integration, behaviour driven development (BDD), integration to analytical platforms, continuous development processes and cloud hosting.
Results and benefits...
The estimated savings against a traditional contact centre based solution are currently forecast at between £2-4million by 2018. The new service now allows waste carriers to register in an average of 3 minutes and be fully visible on the public register, with the efficient search within the service allowing the Environment Agency to provide the assisted digital programme to users.
The service has received over 90% customer satisfaction rating with feedback continuously monitored to improve user experience and only 6% diverting to Assisted Digital. The solution is scalable and highly re-usable in design leading to cost saving and flexibility benefits for the Environment Agency in continuous development, future phases and other projects.
"CACI created an agile, dynamic and successful team working hand in hand with the Environment Agency and Government Digital Service. They brought a refreshing partnership approach, openness, flexibility, experience and most importantly a can-do attitude that made our delivery a success."
Business Director, Environment Agency