The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) said July 8 it has created, along with its partner UiPath, the first-ever public-sector offering for robotic process automation (RPA).

In addition to the RPA service, VITA also announced the creation of an RPA Center of Excellence to develop a library of RPA code, provide training opportunities, and build a network of partners, the agency announced.

“VITA is committed to delivering sustainable and effective results to our customers through innovative, efficient, and secure services,” Nelson Moe, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s CIO, said in a release. “Our RPA service offering will enable employees across the entire executive branch to save thousands of hours of time that can now be directed toward strategic work and provide our customer agencies with opportunities to realize maximum returns on the public’s investment while innovating for the future.”

A total of 65 agencies across the commonwealth will now have access to the service, and VITA believes the service has “expanded potential for efficient and modernized processes across a wide range of essential statewide operations.”

During the program’s pilot, the service was rolled out to the Virginia Department of Health to aid in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tool was used to help improve the workflow by transforming digital health records into electronic forms.

“During this pandemic, access to data has been critical as we made decisions to protect the health of Virginians and to prevent [the] spread of disease,” State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver said in the release. “Technology that speeds up and improves our access to data allows us to make public health recommendations that reflect changing circumstances.”

In addition to being used for health applications, the service was also piloted in the financial system. It took 16 hours to write the script, then was off to the races and being used to run financial reports using agency invoices, VITA said.

Read More About
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is MeriTalk SLG's Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.