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43/1995 Release of Standard Letters - Practice & Procedure
National Office Instruction
amending General Orders (1993 edition)
Instruction No. 43
Date of Effect: 25 September 1995
RELEASE OF STANDARD LETTERS
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURAL MATTERS VOLUME
The purpose of this Instruction is to formally release the Standard Letters part of the new General Orders. This part is for inclusion in the Practice and Procedural Matters Volume.
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide a quality client service a project was commenced in 1993 to investigate and develop a standard letters system. The project team comprised representatives from National Office, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. The aims of the development were:
(a) provide a more consistent approach nationally to the preparation of routine correspondence;
(b) improve the quality and effectiveness of routine correspondence to assist communication with our clients;
(c) improve resource management by utilising enhanced technology; and
(d) provide staff with a greater degree of job satisfaction.
The DSH Standard Letters System is derived from the Benefits Program Standard Letters System, and provides operators with greater flexibility within each letter. Where the Benefits System uses a multitude of base letters which are fairly complete apart from client variables, the DSH System has fewer letters. However, each DSH base letter requires user manipulation to import the required paragraph variables in order to construct the desired letter. This is mainly achieved using glossaries.
The standard letters are based on document templates; there are three groups of letters each with their own template and glossaries. Users are able to access each of these groups from toolbar buttons, the File Menu or by using keyboard commands.
The Standard Letters System is contained within Word for Windows allowing users to have the full capabilities of the word processor available to tailor the letter they select.
The Standard Letters issued to all States in March 1994 comprised letters used in processing approved applications for Notices of Eligibility and Certificates of Entitlement (restricted to applications for Initial, Further (Portable), and Additional Advances).
These letters have now been re-issued as part of this NOI and their content has been updated in line with the New Policy Proposals brought in by the 1995 Budget. In addition, the System has been linked to CELS allowing the importing of certain data (file number, client name, address, salutation and approx. limit); and the font size has been amended.
Policy to be applied
The Standard Letters System is an important part of our shared commitment to providing a quality client service. In addition, the use of these letters underpins some of the quality assurance aspects.
Standard letters are designed to improve the quality and effectiveness of routine correspondence and to assist in communicating with our clients. In order to provide a more consistent approach nationally in the preparation of correspondence, these letters should be used at all times where it is appropriate to so do. The extensive use of glossaries and wide consultation with State Offices provides the System with sufficient flexibility to meet most demands of routine processing. Subsequent releases will provide letters for Widows/Widowers Advances, Essential Repairs, Transfers and Instalment Relief; and statements of reasons for applications that are declined.
Maintenance of the Standard Letters System will be the responsibility of the Victorian State Office. Updating of text, either as the result of Budget changes or suggestions from the State Offices, will be carried out by Victoria in conjunction with National Office.
Copies of Part 2 of the "Practice and Procedural Matters" volume of the General Orders covering "Use of Standard Letters" are enclosed. They are to be added to the GO folders provided in October 1993.
A J P GUNNING
Atg General Manager
19 September 1995