Payment no longer needs to be taxing for Ministry of Justice

Dynamics CRM handling 24,000 claims and £50m of payments annually

The National Taxing Team (NTT), part of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has gone live with a cloud based case management system based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, from public sector CRM specialists Optevia. The case management system handles upwards of 24,000 cases annually and is responsible for processing in excess of £50 million of solicitors’ and barristers’ claims. It was procured through the Cabinet Office’s G-Cloud Framework.

The NTT is responsible for assessing and determining the level of claims solicitors and barristers can apply for when they represent defendants in certain criminal cases. If, for example, a court awards costs then in certain cases the NTT is responsible for ensuring costs are handled, documented and processed correctly.

Pre Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, the NTT was using an old system, POLAR, based on Access. Beverley Wilstrop, the National Taxing Team Director at the MoJ comments: “We had a very outdated system that our IT support partner would only support on a ‘best endeavors’ basis. It was very out of date and did not incorporate the business processes of the NTT. Essentially, we were operating with our hands tied.

Like all public sector organisations, we had been under pressure to transform, reduce costs and be more efficient – but our systems could not support that drive. No matter how much we needed to, we were unable to modify the POLAR system.”

In late 2013, early 2014 the NTT tendered through G-Cloud 5 for a new case management system. Following a mini competition between five organisations and then shortlisted to two, Optevia was awarded the contract.

Beverley comments: “We wanted to be able to take control of our system; for us to be self reliant and have a system that could flex and change as we needed.

Optevia had experience in this sector; they were already in discussions with the UK Supreme Court and they understood very quickly our requirements and were committed to developing a solution that worked for us.”

The new system, with 45 users, eases the administrative burden and complexities of assessing and processing claims. Users now have remote access to the system and can see the status of all claims and associated documentation instantly. This enables NTT to manage the demands of their business and allocate resources more efficiently.

It includes built in financial control checks – so for instance the same assessor is not allowed to input a claim on the system, allocate the claim and be responsible for determining the claim. Dynamics CRM also integrates with NTT’s payment provider, Liberata, so the move to the new system for customers was seamless.

In the future, NTT will be looking at the option of providing portal access to solicitors and barristers so they can upload documents and details of claims directly to the new CRM solution themselves. This will help further improve efficiency by significantly reducing the current manual loading of cases whilst also providing improved information to solicitors and barristers..

Tim Vernon, Managing Partner, Optevia comments: “Working with the NTT team was a real pleasure. They had vision and were committed to this project from the outset with great lines of communication throughout. We worked collaboratively with NTT to develop and deliver a far more intuitive system than they previously had. It provides insights into daily activities of the team and enables resources to be allocated far more efficiently.”