When a baby is born, its parents must register the birth with the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Right now, mum or dad enter their newborn's details into an online form, and then submit it to the Registry. From there, the form is printed, and information is entered manually into a database, which is time-consuming and costly, and sometimes results in errors that must then be corrected. It also means parents must often wait up to 12 days for their child's birth certificate to be issued.
This project extends the existing Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) online forms system to accept birth registration details directly from parents. In the new system, birth details will be submitted online and automatically uploaded into the database for official registration.
After submission, parents can check the status of their baby's registration online and will be able to see their child’s birth registered within minutes. If the hospital or midwife has already notified the Registry of the birth, and the data matching threshold is met a birth registration will be produced instantaneously. If a certificate has also been applied for by parents, then a certificate will be produced and sent within one working day.
Automating the births registration process will offer a more streamlined user experience. It enables parents to register and apply for a birth certificate in one single transaction. Users will also be able to automatically verify their documents and print their baby's birth certificate themselves.
The new system is also much more efficient for government. It is estimated that 70% uptake in NSW will reduce costs to the Registry by around $334,000 p.a.
Currently a Registry staff member is required to spend up to 6 hours per day sorting and then scanning forms to send digitally to the data entry provider. Online Birth Registration will see a steady reduction in the amount of paper forms coming into the Registry and all but eliminate the need for these manual tasks. A potential saving to the Registry of at least $250,000 per year in employee-related expenses could be realised by automating the process.
The Registry has spent $46,000 in the past 12 months printing paper forms. There are additional costs associated with sending paper forms to hospitals and midwives. The new system will significantly reduce paper waste; the Registry will no longer need to shred over 90,000 paper forms per year, after births are registered.
Reduced calls to the contact centre and less paper mail to open and process, will also significantly reduce costs.
Perhaps most importantly, the Registry anticipates happier parents! Right now, around 6,500 birth certificates a year need to be amended because data entry people are tasked with deciphering parents' handwriting, and mistakes naturally happen. Now parents will enter their child's details directly and receive a preview of their certificate before submitting. It will reduce errors and make birth registration hassle-free.