Access and the city: Portal helps New Yorkers find info

New York City debuted this week its ACCESS NYC system, a Web portal through which users can access information on a range of social services.

ACCESS NYC pulls together more than 20 city, state and federal benefit programs. It lets users determine whether they are eligible and begin the application process. Accenture developed the social services system, working for New York’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.

The ACCESS NYC site lets users enter basic household information to receive a list of programs for which they are potentially eligible. Users may also print partially complete application forms and find office locations where they can apply for programs.

The New York portal is part of a trend among states and cities to develop Web-enabled systems that provide a single entry point to multiple social service programs. Input estimates that states will spend $1.3 billion on Web-based integrated eligibility systems through fiscal 2009.

Accenture’s deployment uses a commercial package from Curam Software. The software was implemented with minimal modifications and integrated into New York’s existing systems, an Accenture spokesman said.

Curam’s Social Enterprise Management solutions have also been deployed in Louisiana and Utah.

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