Interview: Andy Hamlyn, Managing Director of Capita One

03 November 2020 4 min. read
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This summer, Andy Hamlyn took the reins at Capita One, Capita’s digital consultancy and software business for the local government and social housing sector. Hamlyn reflects on how technology can advance public services, and some of the main priorities for the coming period.

What lessons are you bringing to Capita One from your experience?

What is crucial for me is partnering with customers to deliver better outcomes for their customers. Capita One provides software for public and community services to local authorities and social housing organisations. It’s important that we stay ahead of what our customers want and need as they provide such vital services to their citizens. 

Innovation is core to this as we find new solutions to enable more efficient quicker services to help the most vulnerable in society. A recent example of this is our Attendance Collection Tool (ACT) that we launched for Local Education Authorities to help safeguard the most vulnerable children in society. Within just 13 weeks, the Capita One team validated the idea, developed the product collaboratively with customers and had it in production. 

The Attendance Collection Tool is already live and being used by Staffordshire, Wirral and Devon County Councils, providing attendance marks for just over 3,600 students. 

Andy Hamlyn, Managing Director of Capita One

How does technology transform public and community services?

The use of technology keeps society moving by enabling local authorities to provide critical support more quickly and efficiently, directly to their communities and citizens. For example, digital forms are widely used to speed up the process to apply for revenue and benefits and to fast track applications for business grants. 

Automation reduces the amount of manual processing and checking of claims for vital services such as housing benefit claims, council tax reduction claims and council tax moves. Online chat functions and providing 24/7 customer support, help local authorities deal with the volume of enquiries around benefits, council tax and business grants.

By using technology, local authority services are more readily accessible to as many citizens as possible. 

How has Covid-19 changed the way Capita One delivers services to its customers?

During Covid-19, local government and public services faced increasing pressure and unforeseen demand. The Capita One teams all working remotely helped local authorities and housing associations implement the changes required due to the Chancellors rescue package and rate changes. This meant rewriting scripts and gaining the information customers needed to implement these changes. 

This meant our customers were able to pay vital grants to eligible local businesses, and issue increased housing benefit support for those on low incomes and reduced council tax liability to those in the most hardship.

The Covid-19 impact continues to evolve and we expect there to be new challenges for our customers. Our role is to continue to provide solutions to help our customers through this. For example, we are now helping local councils manage the Test & Trace Support Payment Scheme that pays £500 to qualifying citizens, a scheme that was announced and implemented in September. 

What was and continues to be the key area for concern?

Citizens are demanding more, wanting to self -serve and compare their experiences of dealing with Local Government as they would dealing with any other organisation such as a retailer or bank. A lot of progress has been made so far in modernising local government through the adoption of new standards and technologies and with the local government reform coming up this should accelerate it. 

We are keen to continue to work with local government to ensure the citizen experience meets the needs of all of society including the most vulnerable and digital inclusion is a key part of this. 

What do some of the future technology trends look like?

Many local authorities that we work with have fast-tracked the decision to transfer data to the cloud during Covid-19, to enable technology upgrades and fixes to be done remotely. With minimised ‘downtime’, the local authorities benefit from improved reporting capabilities, driving better and quicker decision making, leading to improved services. 

There is a big opportunity here to provide better services to citizens by being able to join up siloed data by using cloud technologies and using technologies to automate routine tasks which frees up key workers and specialist staff to help citizens who have more complex needs. 

About Andy Hamlyn

Andy Hamlyn is responsible for all elements of the day to day running of the Capita One business, including client development, strategic direction and internal operations. He has more than 30 years of experience in the IT industry. Prior to joining Capita in 2014, Hamlyn spent 20 years at AMT-SYBEX (software & services business).