Digitalisation of the Office of the Umpire
The digital public service user experience has improved through various new and enhanced services available anytime and anywhere via mobile devices. Online public services are no longer the exception, but the rule, and will become more prevalent with the adoption of innovative technologies. Where necessary, the simplification and re-engineering of business processes is applied and where appropriate remove the unnecessary burden on clients and improve internal efficiency.
During the past years, the Department of Social Security has introduced various 24×7 accessible online services which are easy to use. Digital is now considered as the default choice for delivering services, whilst building faith towards such services has improved through further take-up. The Department of Social Security is committed towards excellence in service delivery and will continue to make use of technologies to enhance user-friendly, whilst delivering quality service through timely services. Users of these secure services benefit from self-service.
Prior to the digitalisation project of the Office of the Umpire, it resulted that the stakeholders involved with the Office of the Umpire shared the frustration of difficult, and lengthy processes and procedures that were in place. Means of communications with stakeholders and applicants revolved primarily around paper-based methods. Paperwork, filing, statistics reporting, and other manual systems provided laborious tasks which could be easily rectified by digitalising the procedures in place.
With the Workflow Automation System (WAS), the Office of the Umpire has implemented a digitalised process. An online appeal may be lodged by a Maltese or non-Maltese national against a decision by the Department of Social Security before the Social Security Umpire. The citizen can also monitor the progress of an appeal lodged with the Office of the Umpire.
Citizen Appeal Portal
- Citizens can either lodge an appeal on their own behalf or on behalf of another citizen (such as appellant’s legal advisor or relative).
- An appellant submitting an appeal on his own behalf using e-ID authentication will have the personal details made available through Identity Malta.
- The e-Form will allow the citizen to attach the respective documentation together with the justification for appeal.
- The e-Form is designed to guide the citizen in compiling the appeal through a user-friendly interface which includes validations throughout.
- Progress of the submission of appeal can be monitored by the citizen through the Citizen Portal as well as email notifications with guided information to the appellant, such as submission acknowledgements, sitting hearing date and appeal decision.
Back Office Portal
- The lodged appeal by the citizen is received automatically at the back-office of the Umpire for processing.
- The back-office business process includes different flows/interactions with the DSS Sickness Benefits Office, Arbiters and DSS Legal Office.
- In addition, the back-office can schedule/re-schedule hearings for both the appellant and the Arbiters.
- The WAS e-Form will serve the purpose of a digital archive whereby details/information on appeals can be referred to any time.
This e-Form will eliminate all the paper-based processes which were related to this business operation, with the only exception for the final appeal decision, which is required by law, to be sent to the appellant by registered post. Visit the webpage of the Office of the Umpire for more information.