The UAE Ministry of Finance has successfully implemented robotic process automation (RPA) in its internal operations, completing phase two of the initiative. By utilizing software robots, which are automated applications, the Ministry has achieved a high level of accuracy, exceeding 98 percent, in carrying out 1.8 million transactions. According to a report published by the Emirates News Agency (WAM), this automation has resulted in saving 39,000 hours of human labor. It also led to notable advancements in productivity and efficiency, representing a significant stride towards the shift to an economy that focuses on knowledge and innovation.
Increasing use of bots in the public sector
The use of bots is increasingly prevalent in the public sector as government organizations strive to enhance efficiency and improve customer service. Before 2020, the Ministry identified various areas that could benefit from automation, such as accounts payable, payroll and pensions, financial accounting, IT processes, web services, and hardware monitoring.
Impressive outcomes of bot deployment
By 2022, the Ministry had deployed over 50 unattended bots, which have delivered impressive outcomes. As a result, in 2023 alone, these robots provided a remarkable 12,000 hours of work. Currently, the Ministry has automated 63 processes and subprocesses, leading to a significant reduction of 95 percent in errors and a 65 percent decrease in average handling time.
Fostering a culture of excellence
RPA is just one aspect of the Ministry’s efforts to modernize government operations and foster a culture of excellence. This culture, in turn, creates an environment conducive to innovation, aligning with the UAE’s vision outlined in the ‘We the UAE 2031’ and the UAE Centennial Plan 2071.
Promoting innovative practices
The process automation initiative aligns with the Ministry of Finance’s Strategic Plan 2023-2026, which serves as a roadmap for enhancing government performance through financial empowerment, sustainability, innovation, financial leadership, and sustainable development. The plan encompasses several pillars aimed at promoting innovative practices, including the adoption of RPA.
The Ministry’s website offers a Digital Procurement Platform that accelerates processes from 60 days to just six minutes. This platform facilitates greater competition by enabling more small companies to participate in government contract bidding.
Phase three of the RPA implementation is projected to further increase the number of automated processes and subprocesses to over 100. It aims to reduce average handling time by an additional 10 percent and achieve a 98 percent reduction in errors across all bot-handled processes.
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