UIPATH software robots assisted ANOFM in operationalizing critical internal procedures to execute pandemic-related actions in 2020
Following Ordinance 132 of 7 August 2020, which intended to counteract and reduce the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, ANOFM was required to quickly operationalize the payment procedures of the following government support measures:
- State assistance in the form of a temporary finance plan for workers with short-term work schedules (also known as the “KURZARBEIT MEASURE“);
- Assistance to businesses in the form of a share of employees’ earnings equal to 41,5% of the remuneration for days worked for individuals who enter into individual fixed-term contracts of up to 3 months (also known as ‘FIXED-TERM ALLOWANCE’);
- Promote the use of telemedicine by employers (also known as “WORK FROM HOME HELP“).
The measures were prolonged beyond the state of emergency and remain in effect.
The emergency ordinance 132/2020 required that the stated measures be paid within 10 days of the file being submitted by the beneficiaries/employers (legal persons eligible according to the criteria stipulated in the ordinance).
As a result, smart forms (PDF with embedded XML) were used to fill out the requests, which the recipients then submitted along with the supporting documents (archives.zip) on the government portal AICI.GOV.RO.
NAE (at the level of the 47 agencies – 41 counties and the Bucharest City Agency with the 6 local sector agencies) has to complete the following procedures for each file in order to process it:
- Download the file from AICI.GOV.RO;
- Extracting NCPs with beneficiaries from their applications (some applications with even more than 3000 persons);
- Verification of the eligibility criteria by checking the status of the beneficiary firm at the ONRC and of persons employed by ITM, ANAF, population record (DPABD);
- The drawing up of a decision approving or rejecting the file;
- Communication of the decision to the beneficiary;
- Update the status of the request on THIS.GOV.RO;
- The request for clarification to the file submitted here.GOV.RO;
- Approval of the file and its passage through an internal approval circuit;
Other actions for the management of these measures should have been carried out by officials, such as:
- The preparation of the ALOP document package, including the multiple payment order for series of approved files, in the order of submission and approval of files, also referring to the available budget;
- The permanent calculation of the budget available on each measure;
- Making real-time statistical reports – at measure/State/national level for data communication to the Ministry;
- Create internal management record-keeping reports with a view to creating a subsequent audit process, for example by the Court of Auditors.
Given the complexity of the ANOFM system, which is divided into several subsystems due to the large amount of data and validation with administrative sources from other public institutions, as well as all of the aforementioned operations, but also the volume of files from the first days and weeks of the measures’ implementation and the tight 10-day payment deadline, we can say that the team formed in this case was exceptional.
ENCORSA HQ SRL quickly created a digital space in which ANOFM officials and UIPATH software robots worked together, based on a low-code BPM (Business process Management) – WEBCON BPS platform.
Processes that have been automated with UIPATH robots are:
- Automatic download of smart PDFs from the platform AICI.GOV.RO and to the shared folder by ANOFM with AJOMs;
- Automatically retrieve data from smart pdf XML and their introduction into the database;
- Update the folder status AICI.GOV.RO depending on the step it is in BPM, with robot processes being orchestrated at the level of business logic through the BPM platform;
- Generation of POs in XML on the structure offered by ANOFM;
- Requesting clarifications for each file by taking the data from the Portal WEBCON BPS and loading it AICI.GOV.RO;
- Discharge of clarifications on platform aici.gov.ro;
- Archiving of rejected documents;
- Archiving of approved documents;
A dynamic workflow has been implemented in the BPM – WEBCON BPS platform, according to the diagram below:
The steps of the workflow orchestrated by humans and robots could be summarized by enumerating the following tasks:
- Document data processing;
- Manual entry;
- Human operator data validation;
- Folder approval;
- Introduction of clarification;
- Send clarifications;
- Is awaiting clarification;
- Check for clarifications;
- Enter rejection data;
- Rejection documents generated;
- Archive reject decision;
- Rejected status;
- Enter approval data;
- Approval documents generated;
- Archiving approval decision;
- Approved status.
By automating payment measures OGA 132/2020, ANOFM benefited from the following results:
Processing speed – the robotization of file downloading processes, the generation of payment files, the verification of data in the other institutions’ third-party databases, led to compliance with the limited deadline for payment of allowances.
Agility – the dynamics of legislative changes have been at the root of operational challenges, but continuous adjustment of workflows using the WEBCON BPS ability to change flows in real time – INSTANT CHANGE was the optimal, easy to manage and fast solution;
Operational simplification – the unified management of the whole process across a single platform, linking the work of robots and human officials in a single digital space;
Process traceability – creating a complete digital flow for handling the pick-up and approval of payment files, audible throughout the life cycle of each help from the time the file is downloaded to the archiving of the file by UIPATH robots.
Real-time Reporting – data from all county agencies are instantly centralized through the BPM platform which includes the real-time reporting capability for new data queries, reports that can be created and used even by officials.
Data processed by robots and BPM platform:
- WORK FROM HOME HELP – over 5000 files, over 40 million lei paid by platform;
- MEASURE KURZARBEIT – over 5000 files, over 15 million lei paid by the platform;
- FIXED-TERM COMPENSATION – over 2000 files, over 3 million lei paid by the platform.
The total number of robots processed between September and December 2020 over 12.000 files amounting to about 58 million RON.