FCS has launched a new Case Management System on 9th January 2012. It will initially be used for Felling licence Applications (FLAs) but is designed to be adaptable and has potential for a wide range of other case types over time.
The system will allow FCS staff to manage FLA case work electronically, guiding them through the steps of the process from application to licence issue and beyond. It consists of a number of parts, including:
An electronic application facility allowing applications to be made online directly into the system (initially rolled out only for internal use, but to be rolled out to applicants and agents in early 2012)
A workflow management system
A database and an electronic document repository storing case data, application forms and maps, and other correspondence against each specific case
Integrated GIS tools – captures case data spatially and launches the Land Information Search (LIS). Stores the outputs against the specific case.
A new Public Register – a searchable online tool giving consultee and public access to specified case documents during the consultation period and allowing online responses.
The new system offers a number of improvements over the current system, including:
The ability for applicants and agents to apply online for Felling Licences - to be rolled-out in early 2012. (Paper applications will still be accepted).
A unification of the processes to launch the LIS (to check site constraints etc.) with the task to spatially capture the area of felling (GIS digitisation).
The ability to send and receive case documentation electronically directly to or from the system (e.g. Conditions letters, consultee responses, or the Licence Document).
Potentially reducing delays by allowing ‘deemed acceptance’ of conditions in the event that a response is not received from the applicant after a period of 4 weeks has elapsed from notification (rather than needing to gain the applicant’s explicit agreement in writing as was previously the case). Note: the applicant will subsequently have the right to appeal in the event they do not agree to conditions that were subject to deemed acceptance.
A new Public Register which will allow electronic consultation, and which will allow comments from the public and consultees to be submitted online.
It will be possible to enter cases onto the new PR on any day of the week, rather than just on a Monday as previously.
Better information will be gathered from the outset, especially about the proposed restocking, through a revised application form thus reducing the need for Woodland Officers to refer back to applicants during the assessment process
Summary of how things will change -
In dealing with Forestry Commission Scotland on FLAs, the new system will mean applicants, agents and consultees may notice the following changes:
Applicants will be able to apply online later in early 2012, uploading maps and other documentation as they submit the application. In the meantime it is necessary to use the new paper application form which can now be downloaded from the FCS website.
The application will be acknowledged electronically.
Case correspondence will normally occur by email (unless no email address is provided).
The conditions letter will be electronic. If no response is received ‘deemed acceptance’ after 4 weeks will mean the licence can be approved and issued.
The licence will normally be issued electronically (unless no email address is provided).
Consultees and the public will view and comment on the case online during the consultation period.