From paper to digital: Improving processing time with Objective workflows

Learn how workflows have resulted in over 60% time saved on processing times for NSW Crime Commission

New South Wales Crime Commission is a government agency which aims to reduce the number of incidents of organised and serious crime across the state. Helen Georgiou, Senior Business Analyst at the NSW Crime Commission, has been working to streamline processes through technology, in particular the use of Objective ECM which was implemented in 2015. In addition, NSW Crime Commission have been using Objective Perform workflow for a number of years to increase their activity and standardise a number of their processes.

“There has been real emphasis on building workflows and capturing metadata which is really important for us as a law enforcement intelligence agency and we really try to take advantage of Objective being more than just a records management system and aim to build as many workflows as we can to streamline some of our key activities,” Helen explained.

“The NSW Crime Commission is unique in the sense that being a law enforcement and intelligence agency, we are able to gather information from a range of sources. Because of that, we are under a lot more scrutiny than many other government agencies and we have more oversight on the information that we gather. Justifying why we request information is extremely important, as well as keeping adequate records.”

The turning point for the collection of telecommunications records

Workflows have solved unique problems for the Commission such as requesting information from telecommunication carriers. This information is gathered almost daily by intelligence analysts to help them conduct investigations and further their inquiries. When the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (TIA Act) was modified back in 2015, it made obtaining information a lot more difficult for law enforcement intelligence agencies. It called for more boxes to be ticked and further justification for gathering information about calls and records.

For this reason, the Commission needed to gather a lot more information which proved difficult because this process was predominantly manual. The paper process made it difficult for the Commission’s intelligence analyst. To store the record electronically, they would need to print the document, and have it signed by a manager, which could take some time. Then they would hand that document over to another team who had to match the signed paper copy to the electronic records.

Along with this, there were issues with running adequate annual reports and the Commission wanted to enhance their reporting requirements and reduce the duplication of effort.

The solution

In order to solve the problem and move away from paper processes, the NSW Crime Commission ended up creating two workflows that saved over 60% of processing time.

One of the workflows was obtained from the Objective Perform workflow library called the “For Action workflow” and it was modified it to suit the Commission’s requirements and flow into the central approval workflow. As a result, a paperless process was created.

“The process is completely automated, and we are able to provide visibility around where the workflow is up to, whereas before, it wasn’t clear as where things were at,” Helen said.

The workflows have also helped the Commission to be more compliant with the TIA Act and has improved relations with the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

“We have been receiving great feedback from them as to how we capture our metadata and we are able to report on it accurately. The fact that external parties have been very complimentary about workflow has been great.”

We have been receiving great feedback from them as to how we capture our metadata and we are able to report on it accurately. The fact that external parties have been very complimentary about workflow has been great.

Helen Georgiou

Senior Business Analyst at the NSW Crime Commission

“I think everyone can agree that the pandemic was something that no one could foresee and so the fact that we now have a paperless automated process means that our intelligence analysts are able to submit requests remotely and have them approved very efficiently when working from home,” added Helen.

As for the future, the NSW Crime Commission plans to continue to go down the digital path and utilise what Objective has to offer.

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