In a bid to help those most in need in the community more easily access financial assistance, the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development has been in the process of reforming the way the Needs Assessment Unit delivers its services. The first upgrade to take effect is the launch of a new, easy-to-use website that is accessible from PCs, tablets and mobile devices and which makes it easy for people to understand how the NAU can assist them and if they are eligible for its assistance.
Ian Tibbetts, Director of eGovernment within the Ministry, gave some background to the changes:
“The Needs Assessment Unit and the eGovernment Unit have developed a project plan for short-term changes to improve the experience of persons seeking financial assistance through the NAU. The project is being delivered by the eGovernment Unit in phases and will equip the NAU to serve its clients better.”
The work undertaken by the Ministry over the past few months has identified critical policy and legislative reforms to be undertaken by Government. Currently, the Ministry has prioritised the need to modernise the NAU with streamlined processes and infrastructure, for the benefit of members of the public who seek financial assistance.
In June and July, the Ministry's eGovernment Unit worked alongside the NAU staff, which led to a series of recommendations for enhancing their workflow processes and interactions with NAU clients.
Some of the enhancements users of the new website can benefit from include more easily visible and accessible application requirements for those who are seeking assistance. This includes a simplified fillable application form which can be downloaded and submitted.The Ministry said additional functionality would be rolled out in the next phase, to create further ease of use by those seeking assistance and simultaneously to streamline the NAU's internal processes.
Tamara Hurlston, Director of the Needs Assessment Unit said: “The Unit is grateful for this collaboration, with an attractive and user-friendly website to make information more readily available to our clients.”
Ms Hurlston said they looked forward to working with eGovernment on the next phase, and were grateful for their expertise in people, processes and technology.
Minister for MIISD, André Ebanks, said that social development was a priority of the PACT Government.
“I am delighted that the Ministry has responded promptly, applying the innovative expertise of the eGovernment Unit to provide the Needs Assessment Unit with a more modern, efficient and streamlined digital infrastructure for the benefit of both its clients and staff as well as a phased project plan to achieve the same; while the Ministry concurrently prepares strategic policy and legislative reforms,” he said.