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Software untangles legislation quagmire

Software untangles legislation quagmire

Federal government agencies and the NSW Premier's Department are tackling the complexity of legislation with software.

Called Statute Expert, the software is used by agencies to execute and maintain the myriad legislative, policy and business rules that are needed to administer government programs.

For example, the NSW Premier's Department is currently deploying an application to address the minefield of human resources law that covers public sector employees.

The department did not disclose the cost of the HR Expert application for the project, which is expected to go live early next year to provide Web-based access to job legislation information including financial entitlements for government employees.

A similar system has also been built for the federal Department of Veterans' Affairs to process compensation claims for veterans as well as safety related applications for the Department of Defence.

This is in addition to a multimillion-dollar project at Centrelink and the Department of Family and Community Services to deal with the processing of family related payments.

Provided by SoftLaw which set up shop in Australia in 1989, the Centrelink application models 800 pages of legislation.

SoftLaw CEO Tony Kinnear said rollout began earlier this year and is a gradual implementation across all Centrelink offices.

When dealing with legislation there has to be 100 per cent accuracy, Kinnear said, which is why embedded legislative rules-based technology is becoming an essential component in the infrastructure of government agencies.

At Queensland Housing a prototype has been developed that integrates with the department's existing SAP system with plans to go into full production later this year.

Kinnear said the company spends $2 million a year on R&D and began a project earlier this year codenamed Nitro (which means furious speed) and aims to reduce the risk and cost of deploying large-scale applications that support tens of thousands of concurrent users.

The latest version of Statute is capable of processing more than one million evaluations per second and some 250,000 inferences per second on a single CPU running on a commodity server.

Kinnear said the company has seen double-digit growth with local sales topping $17 million.

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