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Regulated customers: embracing digital and data to design simpler services

Written by Gillian Pratt, Deputy Director for Future Regulation at the Environment Agency

I’m Gillian Pratt, Deputy Director of Future Regulation at the Environment Agency.

I’m responsible for leading our Regulated Customer Digital Programme – which aims to improve services for our regulated customers.

Environment Agency CEO Sir James Bevan testing a pilot version of the 'I want to Fish' digital service

Environment Agency CEO Sir James Bevan testing a pilot version of the ‘I want to Fish’ digital service

Since 2012 we have been working with our customers – those we regulate – to transform their digital experience with us. As a result we have developed new digital services around customer journeys – for example ‘I want to fish’ (watch our video about developing the ‘I want to fish’ digital service), ‘I want to do something next to a river’ and ‘I want to manage waste’ services’.

In July this year we launched our fifth new online service – the Flood Risk Activity Exemption digital service. This allows our customers to register online for activities happening in or around rivers, flood and sea defences. So far the digital service is at 95% take-up (and still rising!). It has saved customers 20 minutes on average per transaction and it has enabled us to move a member of staff from the flood exemption team to do other work.

Through the Defra Digital Transformation Programme, we are continuing to develop digital services for regulated customers to make us more effective and efficient. In the future these services can be easily updated if regulatory requirements change and we can also share the technology across Defra Group – so more services can be digitised in the future for less money.

The Regulated Customer Digital Programme successes have been the result of four years digital development work. I am proud to see us embracing agile ways of working, focusing on customer needs and reducing our ongoing development costs for new digital services.

This post first appeared here on the Defra Digital Blog.

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