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Creating Smarter Forms

Published: 15/09/2021

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted all of our lives. It’s been no different for businesses, a lot of which have required financial support due to enforced closures during the lockdown periods.

As a council we have had to react to a lot of legislative changes and disruption to our services, whilst supporting the residents and businesses of the borough.

Supporting Businesses

We had to make access to financial support as easy as possible for businesses. At the same time we had to ensure we had a process in place to ensure that all businesses applying for grant funding were eligible to do so.

We created a bespoke form for businesses to access the Additional Restrictions Grant funding. This included building a new form template with bespoke validation. This validation opened up parts of the form, depending on answers provided, and also enabled/disabled the submit button, so that forms could not be sent off until all required fields were populated.

As a lot of businesses were providing supporting financial information we had to ensure that their data was being kept secure. We locked down our Umbraco back office and improved the security on file uploads, removing attachments of details from the email receipt that is sent. This improved our data protection in case an applicant had used a shared email inbox to submit their form.

Internal Process

We set-up a workflow process which allowed council staff to receive standardised emails into shared mailboxes. All completed forms were sent to staff with consistent email subjects, making it easier to file emails. This saved a lot of time as the teams were dealing with a high volume of applicants.

The creation of this form has saved the council money by using software we subscribe to. The form, and the process behind it, has ensured that our staff have been able to efficiently review and pay out funds to eligible businesses.