DTO immigration project passes first test


news A new online booking service aimed to make life easier for people about to take their citizenship test has passed its first assessment.

The new system is being designed and built in a partnership between the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and is planned to improve the way individuals can book and reschedule appointments for their tests.

Currently the process of scheduling and rescheduling appointments is time-consuming and inconvenient for both clients and the department, the DTO said.

Appointments and ID checks must be carried out in person and they are currently scheduled by the department. Rescheduling has to be done over the phone with sometimes frustratingly long wait times.

The new online booking service aims to greatly improve on that service, allowing people to make or change appointments when they require to do so.

As a basis for the project, the team used the Slotpicker calendar code from a prison visits booking system developed in the UK. Where different functionality was needed, the team has made changes to the original code.

The team, which is made up of members from both departments and has been working on the project over the last 12 weeks, has also open-sourced its beta ‘client’.

Like all projects that are part of the Digital Transformation Programme, this service is being built in line with the Digital Service Standard.

The DTO formally assess projects against the standard to make sure quality services are being designed. Assessments are carried out at least twice before publicly releasing it as a beta product.

Last week, Matthew Landauer, Head of Delivery at the DTO, and others led the Alpha assessment of the citizenship booking service, road-testing it against the service assessment process.

The system passed on a number of criteria, with user needs research, agile and user centred, and data, tools and systems all being considered areas of good performance.

The assessment panel also made a series of recommendations to assist the team as they continues development. The booking system now passes to the beta phase and will undergo further testing and improvements.