Paper applications adé with OZG expertise
Paperless administration is making its way into your home. Together with the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), we developed an application that saves parents annoying paperwork and enables authorities to work more efficiently in the future: ElterngeldDigital.
Administrative services are complex, but can be made much easier for applicants and processors with digital services. As a "digital family ministry," the BMFSFJ is therefore creating numerous online services. In collaboration with the ministry, we are developing ElterngeldDigital: an electronic assistant that minimizes bureaucracy and makes life easier for parents in eleven federal states.
User-friendliness up, bureaucracy down
Together with the BMFSFJ, we are mastering a balancing act in the design: On the one hand, we are making the parental allowance application user-friendly and service-oriented. On the other hand, it fulfills the multi-layered legal framework at the federal level as well.
The intelligent assistant consistently follows the user journey of parents. Personalized queries guide applicants through the forms. They fill in the input fields step by step. Automatic validity checks protect against input errors, and FAQs and tooltips provide assistance. This prevents uncertainties from arising during the application process, and parents no longer have to contact the responsible parental allowance office directly. Once applications have been started, users can save them temporarily and continue processing them at a later time.
Another practical feature is that data from the parental allowance calculator and planner, which we also developed, can be transferred to the parental allowance application. With over two million users annually, the tool is one of the most popular online offerings from the German administration.
OZG expertise in further development
With its technical platform, the BMFSFJ is already a clear pioneer in the digitalization of an administrative service in the context of the Online Access Act (OZG). This is because ElterngeldDigital offers all the prerequisites for a fully electronic parental allowance application without media discontinuity.
At present, however, parents still have to print out the completed forms, sign them, and send them with all supporting documents by mail to the responsible parental allowance office. However, the BMFSFJ is pushing ahead with the expansion of the system and has us on its side as experts for the OZG.
Since the beginning of 2019, we have been connecting the platform step by step with the specialized procedures in the parental allowance offices of the federal states. In this way, we ensure not only that applications are easy to submit, but also that they are processed efficiently by the authorities. To this end, we provide interfaces that enable applications, once completed, to be automatically made available in the specialized procedures at the click of a mouse. Thanks to electronic transfer, applications are error-free and parental allowance offices can process them more quickly.
Further expansion stages are already planned: In the future, parents will be able to send the paperless application to the parental allowance office digitally with an electronic signature, submit supporting documents digitally, and receive the decision online.
However, the functions that are already available and the plans for the tool already make it clear: With our digital solutions, parents gain valuable time for their families and processing offices can focus on what is important.
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