Papua New Guinea Department of Education Streamlines Requisition Management to Enhance Transparency and Accountability
4 min read
The Papua New Guinea Department of Education (DOE) created a completely digital Requisition Task Management System using Laserfiche Forms. Modernizing the formerly paper- and manual task-driven process was a significant step in the department’s digital transformation journey, which expedited purchase requisitions and shortened the time it took to get approval to purchase essential supplies, services and resources for the department.
“As we are such a large organization, processing claims and funding requests was formerly a highly manual and time-consuming process,” said Papua New Guinea DOE Assistant Secretary Thomas Podarua. “Laserfiche is a valuable technological tool, helping us take control and streamline our many business processes so that we can dedicate more resources to addressing the education needs of the nation.”
Since implementing Laserfiche, the DOE continues to digitize and automate additional business processes, reclaiming time for staff to focus on the department’s mission of improving the quality and participation in the educational system at a national and local level.
Tackling Complex Processes Through Digital Transformation
The DOE initially implemented Laserfiche in 2019 as its primary document management system. As the organization looked to modernize core business processes, DOE information communication technology and procurement staff learned that Laserfiche Forms could help streamline and simplify some of the DOE’s most complex business processes, starting with purchase requisitions.
Prior to implementing Laserfiche, purchase requisition applications were paper forms passed between department heads to higher officials for review. Covering a wide range of parameters and categories, these forms served the entire organization, reaching the highest authority of the DOE for final approval and sanctioning of funding claims. The approval process often took several months and could take up to a year due to a dependence on paper and manual tasks. Additionally, the risk of the paper forms getting misplaced or incorrectly filed was high, and individual requisitions were impossible to track with very little capacity for follow-up by the original requesting officers.
The DOE worked with its Laserfiche solution provider, Digitec ICT, to develop the new Requisition Task Management System with the goal of digitizing and automating requests submitted from various organizational units.
“This was a very complicated business process involving a number of claims categories, with a different workflow for each one,” said Podarua. “We needed a single system that was granular enough to handle these complexities for the entire organization on the front end and back end.”
All employees can now submit purchase requisition applications through a Laserfiche electronic form. Once submitted, requests are automatically routed to the relevant business unit based on variables such as different claims categories. Requisition applications are reviewed, approved or rejected by the relevant personnel, and all documentation is managed in the Laserfiche repository.
The DOE took its digitization efforts further by automating the correspondence request process with Laserfiche Forms. Previously, correspondence requests often took months to complete and were difficult to monitor, requiring a substantial amount of paper. A dedicated Laserfiche Forms process captures a wide range of details related to correspondence, including relevant dates, responses and personnel involved, to optimize how each case is monitored and tracked, sending automated notifications to project managers upon completion of every major task. Checks for approved claims are also issued through a dedicated Laserfiche Form, creating an end-to-end request and approval solution for the department’s needs.
One Solution with Benefits Organization-Wide
Since deploying the new Requisition Task Management System, the DOE has taken a major step in its digital transformation journey. In addition to modernizing the experience for staff who no longer need to complete and submit applications on paper, the DOE improved accountability: Deadlines are assigned to each task, and the original requester can now monitor the status of their requisition application. The DOE built on the success of its first Laserfiche Forms process by digitizing correspondence requests, and now issuing checks for approved claims through Laserfiche. Instead of taking months to resolve, correspondence requests can now be processed within two weeks.
The DOE’s Requisition Task Management System also generates automated reports that the DOE can use to evaluate the progress of tasks between departments, identify bottlenecks and make strategic decisions about process tasks and resources. The organization is developing automated business processes using Laserfiche to streamline and manage school registration, query management for instructors and for duty travel requests.
“Digital transformation is especially important for organizations in the education sector which often face underfunding and understaffing obstacles,” said Nirmal Singh, CEO of Digitec ICT. “The ease of implementation and flexibility of the Laserfiche system really helps streamline costs and productivity while supporting the broad educational efforts of the DOE.”
The DOE continues to optimize its processes and find new areas for digital transformation. To date, the organization has significantly reduced the turnaround time for requisition tasks, with most requests processed within a month. This has enhanced interdepartmental collaboration, improved project management organization-wide and saved valuable time and resources, which the DOE can redirect toward its commitment to improving the quality and delivery of education throughout Papua New Guinea.