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Civil Service

Civil Service Awards 2021: Is AI helping you go on holiday?

CS Awards 2021: the Best Use of Data and Technology winner is the DAP Project from HM Passport Office

Whether it’s augmented reality, NFTs, or the impending arrival of the Metaverse, we’d be forgiven for getting lost in this modern digital age. But for a team in HM Passport Office, the power of technology is being harnessed to help fly you to somewhere sunnier!

Did you know that HM Passport Office (HMPO) processes paperwork for an average of 6.5 million citizens every year? As we’ve all had to find clever solutions to work efficiently and collaboratively due to the pandemic and contact restrictions, HMPO’s Digital Application Processing (DAP) service has enabled an uninterrupted passport service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and deservedly wins this year’s Best Use of Data and Technology Award.

“DAP uses a cloud-based storage solution to break the link between paperwork and where their application is actually processed,” reveals Anthony Marshall, Digital Services, Governance and Performance. “For the first time, casework can be distributed to any passport office, and homeworking, on demand.”

The result? Over 70% of all passport applications use DAP - that’s about 4.5 million citizens who have passports thanks to this new technology!

All-round improvements

Best Use of Data and Technology Award- trophy

The use of cloud-based technology has drastically improved collaboration between staff, and produces detailed reports in real-time, so that Service Managers can continuously improve processes. This has resulted in great results for citizens and staff, with reduced paper handling overheads, fewer scanning errors, and fewer manual interventions in processing for straightforward applications.

The development of all previous passport application systems had been outsourced. However, through bringing this service in-house, HMPO can continue to iterate DAP while integrating with other evolving systems.

DAP is more intuitive than AMS (the previous system). It is easier to navigate, and it takes you through the passport examination process in a far more structured and simplified fashion. DAP has been far easier to learn and the speed of processing is such that you are able to handle far more applications than its predecessor. DAP is being continuously iterated on. This has enabled staff to contribute towards its development, and any problems you encounter, you are able to work on the solution. It’s really important to be part of the solution.” - Sandra Hayes, Passport Examiner

So the next time you’re planning your international escape, maybe pause to think about the role of systems like DAP that have made applying for a passport easier than ever before.

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