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General Directorate of Customs

Process digitization was necessary to provide efficient activities of Customs Administration. The competences in customs administration and some taxes are now provided in a much faster and efficient manner.

Initial stage

The Customs Administration is the exclusive administrator of consumption taxes and performs many other tasks on behalf of the state and its citizens. Before starting digitization, paper forms were part of its employees' work. Also all the processes took place “on paper” – the form was filled out manually, signed and then circulated. That meant collecting the filled-out forms and handing them over to further processing. The fill-out process, handing over and further processing was slow, not without errors and any additions or corrections of the paper forms meant additional delays. For these reasons they decided for digitization.

We were looking for an efficient solution of handling documents, processes and signatures. We were not going to simply copy the existing “paper paths”. We also wanted to optimize the processes with regard to the fact that our employees are in two types of service. The system is stable, we have met all the internal regulations and legislation requirements and the whole process is now much faster.

ING. petr gavlas

Director of the information technology department at the General Directorate of Customs

Solution: digital processes 

The solution provider was selected in a competition and the task was given to Software602. Process digitization using electronic forms is the “flagship” of the cooperation. The most used process in Customs Administration is a travel order and it was the first one to be digitized. Filling them out has become easier – now it is possible to just enter the correct start and end time. The rest of the calculation is automatic. It saves a lot of time to each employee, because they do not need to “manually” calculate the time spent on the business trip or which compensation they are entitled to. All that without having to print anything on paper.

The main benefits of digitization

  • In the General Directorate of Customs, forms are used for a wide range of activities, including processes for internal inspection and audit and for the tax procedure. Processes for inspection activities are using 20 forms, while 25 forms are available for the tax procedure.
  • Forms are also used for a regular yearly inspection plan and all inspection processes are connected to a records management service with their reference number. The most common inspection statement has its own electronic form; also the start of inspection is announced by one.
  • The most often used forms for internal use include travel order, employee starting form and access to applications.
  • When creating the forms, they had to take into consideration that people in the GDC are either civilian employees or customs officers under the public servants act. The calculation itself and the contents of compensations therefore differ in some respects. Another added value is the information value of the form titles, which are dynamically generated. In each step the form changes the value to the next level of title. The forms can then be easily sorted using filters and, for example, the payroll department can see the current processing status of any travel order straight away.
  • The approval workflow is flexible and in case of sicknesses (or vacations) responsibilities can be delegated to other people. In such case, one person can serve in place of more people.
  • The whole digitization project went successfully. The savings are in both money and time. Because of the number of Customs Administration employees and their operation in the Czech Republic territory the approval processes used to be lengthy, and used up large quantities of paper forms which had to be transferred from place to place. When a form was filled-out incorrectly, the path to correction was not fast. It is incomparable to the current situation – filling out an electronic form takes tens of seconds, the superior can approve it immediately and the request is advanced for processing. The process has been significantly shortened; every user of the system has an immediate overview of the whole process and the phase it is in.

The basis of the travel order for the General Directorate of Customs was a general template from Software602. After analysis, all the necessary and required steps were added. The extensions were done in cooperation, we have done part of the requirements and the GDC added some of them themselves.

JAN DOBAL 

Software602

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