cividas GRANTS allows the Administration to manage procedures associated with the announcement and distribution of grants, in an agile manner and with the correct level of precision and transparency required for these economic aids.
The aids and subsidies granted by the Government are a significant part of their workload and require a high level of strictness and fairness from employees. The tasks of verification, evaluation and distribution are plagued by the inconvenience of having several types of grants, each one of them having their own rules and criteria for justification.
With cividas GRANTS, the Administration managers can easily define rules and criteria for each new grant, automating highly intensive work tasks, while ensuring impartiality and error elimination. On the other hand, citizens and businesses can find information and apply for grants through the Electronic Office, check the current state of a procedure or be electronically notified.
A Spanish council manages division of grants among a population of around one million inhabitants spread over 60 municipalities. So far, the management of these grants has been done with applications developed by specialists of the province, which adequately respond to their needs.
Grant management is a an important task for municipalities, but for this council it is very heavy due to the number of municipalities involved, the variety of types of grants, the importance of transparency and the amount of parameters influencing the assessment, etc. Also, certain information on subsidies needs to be shared with other applications used in the Council and with the National Database of Subsidies, which before was done manually.
Grant applications increased every year, while the staff responsible for managing them had to manually perform many of the steps involved in the process. This caused a strongly increased workload and an increased chance of human error, which further slowed down the process causing slow response times to requests. The longer the pipeline became, the less time the municipalities had in order to execute the subsidies granted by the council. Because this process should usually be complete before the end of the year, this caused headaches for the ones responsible.
This situation in combination with the expectation that the volume of applications would increase even more during the next few years, the government team of the Province went to search tools and processes that would allow the to make the management process of grants more agile. The intention was to maintain the level of quality offered to citizens despite the increase in the workload, but they also wanted to facilitate the work of public employees, minimize their errors and to improve their quality of life.
In 2009, the government team of the council decided to implement the solution cividas GRANTS with three main objectives: to automate, standardize and integrate.
Thanks to this decision, it was possible for us to implement records management by process to this department, which allowed them to create predefined workflows for processing any subsidy, and provide them with the solution that automatically distributes work among employees. Moreover, we implemented certain tools in order to improve and streamline management, such as those concerning the control of state subsidies, the electronic signature and the automatic generation of documents.
Another change was the standardization of the different types of grants, contemplating all possible casuistry provided by law. So, it was no longer a necessary procedure for each type of grant, while the characteristics and requirements for different municipalities were standardized. So what remained was the the possibility to define specific characteristics based on a common model for all types of grant.
Regarding the integration, they included mechanisms to export information required by the National Grants Database directly from the solutions, as well as information related to accounting and control of the granted financial resources.
Since 2009 this department of subsidies has undergone a significant transformation, thanks to the decisions taken by the ones responsible and the willingness of the staff to be involved. cividas GRANTS gave the deputation the technological tools necessary in order to implement this transformation. The result was a reduction in the processing times of applications and in the errors committed by public workers, which has resulted in a more efficient use of time and an improved service to citizens.
The government team of the council has established a new way and more efficient way of working, leveraging the opportunities provided by the new technologies by largely eliminating tasks that previously had to be performed manually, such as generating and signing documents, distributing work and assessing applications. All the time saved by administrative staff is now used for more productive issues, such as conducting a more detailed analysis of the impact of grants, or the study of new requests.
As regards the municipalities, the streamlining of procedures has allowed the council to improve the processing times of grants and give municipalities more time to optimally plan and execute the division of grants and subsidies.
In addition, integration with National Grants Database and applications such as accounting was a major improvement, both for the convenience of not having to re-enter already available data and the guarantee of absence of errors. The latter is particularly relevant in the area of accounting, in which it greatly facilitated the important task of auditing, which is essential to justify the use of the economic resources associated to any subsidy.
In terms of figures, the evolution of grants has gone from almost 2,000 handled requests with a combined worth of approximately € 8 million in 2009, to over 3,700 requests handled in 2014 with a combined worth of more than € 18 million and this was done in less time than needed in 2009.