Cabinet Office automation project will introduce robots into the civil service
Supplier Capgemini to train civil servants and help departments develop robotic process automation using software in £4m project
The Cabinet Office has selected Capgemini as its partner for a £4m project to try and drive use of robotic process automation (RPA) technology across Whitehall.
The government wants to “accelerate the use of RPA by central government departments and agencies” and has tasked the consulting firm with training civil servants on the technology and helping departments create applications for use in their work.
RPA is a software-based form of automation centred on the use of artificial intelligence agents – often dubbed software robots – designed to interact with humans, not other machines.
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Capgemini is expected to host a development facility for creating new applications, and a teaching centre to help civil servants learn about how RPA could help them in their work and how best to use the technology to their benefit. It will also be expected to run a showcase programme for demonstrating RPA applications.
According to the prior information notice issued by the Cabinet Office earlier this year, the technology company “will be able to build RPA applications for departments, and either be paid for development and deployment or be paid out of benefits”. Capgemini will also be expected to put up staffing and financial resources in support of the project.
“In return, [it] will have access to opportunities to work with government departments and agencies in developing RPA applications,” the Cabinet Office said. “[It will] be rewarded by earning fees for this work, which may be based on the savings achieved by the hosting department.”
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