SSA to test online service delivery

The Social Security Administration and industry consortium CommerceNet plan

to study and test how to deliver services and benefits to the public over

the Internet.

SSA, which delivers 125 million social security statements and issues

benefits, such as supplemental income, to 55 million people every year,

wants to provide a "single experience" to customers online, said Tony Trenkle,

director of electronic services at SSA. "Everybody is our customer potentially,"

he said, adding that the goal is to provide online services that cater to

the customers' needs.

SSA and CommerceNet are starting work on the Government Services Channel

Convergence Study/Pilot. The work will serve as a foundation for future

suites of services, such as retirement services, that SSA plans to make

available online over the next several years, Trenkle said.

Under the channel convergence project, SSA and industry will study commercial

tools and techniques, including e-mail, wireless technologies and real-time

video, and how they might be used to deliver services to the public. The

groups will also study current best practices and applications and the potential

for developing a service delivery model that government can use.

CommerceNet will develop a proof-of-concept proposal in April for the

channel convergence project, followed by a proof-of-concept pilot during

the summer.

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