The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is operated by the Department of Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (DTCAGSM). The SCP provides grants to assist the development of sports facilities and the purchasing of sports equipment. The SCP is the main channel of government support for sports clubs and organisations across Ireland. The window to apply for funding is opened roughly once a year and on average 1400 payments are processed yearly.
The Online Sports Capital Register (OSCAR) platform allows organisations to apply for the funding from the SCP schemes and manage the drawdown of the grant.
In 2016, DTCAGSM wanted to upgrade the OSCAR platform and put the project out for tender. The system was based on a lengthy, inefficient process. This affected the application process, which was long, arduous and often repetitive. After the tender process was completed, ActionPoint was selected as software development partner.
The updated OSCAR system built by ActionPoint is a responsive SQL database powered by Azure. The new UI interacts with Dynamics CRM in the same way as before, but the entire process has been completely redefined.
Within this new system, ActionPoint’s first task was to streamline the funding application process. Some of the existing workflows were lengthy and repetitive. ActionPoint automated all such instances and prepopulated areas with repetitive questioning. ActionPoint then tightened security across the entire application process, encrypting all confidential information.
Other enhancements included refining the backend so that staff can easily filter applications by club, grant type, amount etc. and strengthening the application process so that DTCAGSM can be confident that all forms are filled in correctly and completely.
Since the new system was first completed in 2016, ActionPoint and DTCAGSM have maintained an ongoing working relationship. The updated OSCAR system was extremely well received by both applicants and backend staff. The two rounds of the SCP under this new system have received the highest number of applications ever under the SCP and the rate of invalid application has dropped from one-third to 5%. The new and improved filtering system has allowed staff to report back to queries in a timely manner. Whereas before, a lot of time was wasted on ensuring that applications were completed correctly, this has now been automated. This has enabled DTCAGSM staff to work on higher value tasks. By maintaining a strong working relationship, ActionPoint and DTCAGSM have been able to continually enhance the application portal.
The initial tender was based on being reactive. However, forming a close relationship with a strategic software partner has empowered DTCAGSM to be proactive about seeking improvements. The ease with which ActionPoint have been able to complete the tasks required of them has led to DTCAGSM aiming higher and higher in their aspirations for the system. ActionPoint is proud to have been able to strengthen the system which in turn strengthens Ireland’s sporting community.
Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media