AI Could Save Public Sector Millions of Admin Hours Weekly

21/06/2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools could save public sector workers up to 23 million hours of administrative tasks each week, according to a new report.

The study, commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Goldsmiths University and Symmetry, found that AI technology could save each public sector worker an average of four hours per week on administrative work.

Doctors, nurses, teachers, and police officers are among those who could benefit the most from AI tools, the research suggests.

Nearly half (45%) of public sector respondents said they are overwhelmed by unnecessary administrative tasks, impacting their mental health and job satisfaction.

More than half reported that the volume of admin work is negatively impacting their ability to do their job effectively, with 54% saying it affects their job satisfaction and motivation.

The report recommends several steps to help governments capture the value of AI, including:

  • Establishing a ‘National AI Delivery Centre’ to drive adoption across departments
  • Introducing guiding principles for ethical AI use
  • Implementing a comprehensive AI upskilling strategy for public sector workers

Michael Thornton, senior director of public sector at Investigo, part of The IN Group, said: “The incoming government needs to emphasise boosting public sector efficiency, streamlining the day-to-day work of staff and cutting down on the average of eight hours of admin each week to allow them to focus on higher value projects.

“Adopting AI tools to automate data collection, management and analysis, for example, is a great way to relieve the admin burden on staff and optimise their productivity.”

“When looking to implement AI tools, departments should take a smarter approach to interim versus consultancy staff.

“Bringing in staff with specialised AI skill sets can streamline the delivery of AI adoption projects, while also keeping costs down.”

Libero Rapsa, Director of adesso UK, commented: “AI should be central to enhancing efficiency, and investment is crucial for successful tech projects that boost productivity and growth nationwide.”

The study comes as governments worldwide are exploring ways to integrate AI into public services to improve efficiency and service delivery.

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