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November 2019-January 2020

Swedish authorities introduce robots to help social workers

Local authorities in Sweden are using process automation through software to help social workers make decisions on benefits for claimants. A programme being run at more than 20 local authorities by PwC and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) is introducing software robots to carry out repetitive tasks previously done manually, such as document and data checks. Social workers have to make life-changing decisions on whether poor people have the right to financial aid, which is used for rent and food. This requires staff at a local authority’s social bureau to go through historical data manually, including things like claimants’ bank statements and documents related to other public services. Social workers also calculate the exact sum available to each individual based on specific calculation rules, and mistakes can have serious repercussions if people are denied the financial aid they need. The SKL/PwC programme focused initially on creating the right digital environment for software robots. The robots ...

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