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How the Romanian Government put low code into battle against Covid-19

Job Retention Scheme app developed using the Aurachain platform got furlough pay quickly into the hands of millions of workers with 85% improvement in process efficiency.

How the Romanian Government put low code into battle against Covid-19

"We see immense future possibilities in using low code as a way of transforming to save costs and increase efficiency more quickly."
Octavian Oprea

Aurachain, the low-code software development platform, has released data showing how public sector organisations can become more agile and react quicker in times of crisis using low-code applications. The data, from the Romanian Government’s Covid-19 furlough scheme app, built using the Aurachain platform, shows how robust and critical enterprise-wide digital transformations can be live within as little as ten days, cutting application approval times to just seconds.

At the outbreak of Covid-19, Romanian furlough scheme requests (for 75% of average gross salary to be paid by the State) were being handled manually and taking up to ten days to approve. This placed immense pressure on close to 1,000 government staff and, as furlough claims increased, the government had to react quickly and find a better way to process high volumes of claims rapidly and securely.

Aurachain’s low-code platform was used to develop Romania’s National Job Retention Scheme Portal (aici.gov.ro). With Aurachain’s combined enterprise scale capability and simple, intuitive approach, the app was built and ready to use in under two weeks, by 2nd April 2020. It improved the work of around 1,000 public sector workers and at its peak it handled 48,685 applications per day – up to two applications processed per second.

Prior to the app being created, it took the Romanian government 10 days just to acknowledge a Job Retention Scheme application. With the app, furlough application acknowledgement was cut to 1.5 days on average, but many applications were processed even quicker. The time to fully resolve a furlough request was typically brought down to nine days, but the fastest recorded application processed was 27 seconds.

Adela Wiener – CEO at Aurachain, said: “This a compelling example of how quickly the public sector can act when it needs to. Outside of a crisis, a complex app like this would have taken months to design and develop. Low code platforms like Aurachain provide the sector with a means of building powerful, enterprise scale apps collaboratively, to provide maximum business value, while maintaining high levels of IT governance.”

The low-code app was developed collaboratively by the Romanian Government and Aurachain’s consulting team, using the platform’s simple and intuitive features covering process design, user interface building, data modelling, document building, APIs, blockchain, and process analytics. Aurachain is the only low-code platform to incorporate blockchain technology.

aici.gov.ro was created to facilitate citizens’ access to a critical new public service by eliminating any travel time to the institution, direct physical contact with staff, and by reducing response time.

The portal automates all steps that previously required the manual processing of paper-based documentation. All necessary application documents are available to download directly from the portal and, upon completion, can be digitally signed and uploaded back into the system for submission.

Once submitted, the documentation is automatically sent to the designated institution where a decision is made regarding the application. If any additional information is required, it can be requested via email with all communication between the applicant and the institution taking place online.

By digitalising all steps of the application process, both applicants and institution employees see a significant time saving. For the applicant, it’s time spent in traffic as they travel to and from a physical location, time spent queuing in lines to submit the required documents to the designated office, and time spent waiting for people to check the files. What’s more, if anything was missing, they would have to make additional trips. Meanwhile, institution employees are able to process significantly more applications per day in a safer workplace environment that relies on much less face-to-face interaction, given the COVID-19 context.

However, the most important outcome of the automated process is that affected business were able to rapidly secure furlough support for employees and affected citizens are able to receive their money faster.

Octavian Oprea - President of The Authority for the Digitalisation of Romania (ADR) comments: “We see immense future possibilities in using low code as a way of transforming to save costs and increase efficiency more quickly. Although this example came from a crisis, there are so many ways low-code could improve collaboration and efficiency in governments domestically and globally.

Following early success the low code app was scaled to support a total of 18 urgent measures by the Romanian Government in support of people and businesses within the country. Between April 2020 and March 2021, a total of 1,071,885 were received and processed successfully by the app. Three government departments benefited: The National Agency for Employment (ANOFM); The National Agency for Payments and Social Welfare (ANPIS); and The Ministry for Public Finance (MPF).


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