Application for Financial Assistance Schemes
The Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency (WFSFAA) has launched a number of new initiatives and streamlining measures in recent years. These measures aim at improving government services by widening the adoption of technology with a view to enhancing convenience, efficiency and transparency in public service delivery.
The enhancement of e-submission service to facilitate the public to submit online applications under student financial assistance (SFA) schemes for pre-primary, primary and secondary students and Working Family Allowance (WFA) Scheme is one of the WFSFAA’s key initiatives in service improvement. The enabling of e-submission as an alternative to paper-form submission brings convenience to applicants as they can now submit their applications and provide supporting documents online through personal computers, laptops, tablets or smart phones anytime anywhere. It saves resources of applicants, including time, and cost for photocopying and postage. Applicants who are users of iAM Smart+ can be swiftly authenticated with the added convenience of signing the declaration electronically. For continuing applicants, their application forms are pre-filled with certain data fields by auto-retrieval of information from previous applications, saving them both time and efforts. The enhancements offer flexibility and convenience to applicants especially during difficult times like the severe pandemic situation.
The user-friendly system and streamlined application procedures have encouraged more applicants to go online which echoes with Government’s call for developing Hong Kong into a smart city. After the enhanced e-submission service was launched, the e-utilisation rates have jumped significantly from less than 10% in 2020/21 to over 40% in the 2022/23 academic year for household SFA applicants and from 8% in 2020/21 to around 30% in 2022 for WFA applicants.
This streamlining measure under the Programme will bring improvements around the following areas:
Streamlining Business Processes
Reducing Documentation Requirements
Improving Service Channels