October 25, 2007 By News Report
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday announced that ACCESS NYC, an online program that identifies and screens eligibility for 35 city, state, and federal human service benefit programs, has added seven new programs to its offerings, including five workforce development programs. Launched last year to provide New Yorkers with free, anonymous, online information about benefit eligibility, ACCESS NYC helps working families learn about government programs, services and tax credits that may be available to them. The mayor also announced that the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) is funding an outreach team to provide training in how to use the ACCESS NYC tool.
"The addition of workforce development programs to ACCESS NYC will make it faster and easier for individuals to enter programs that will help them obtain the training and skills that will lead to good jobs and self-sufficiency," said Bloomberg.
"Improving the accessibility of government services is a major goal of the Bloomberg Administration," said Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs. "ACCESS NYC provides a critical service and by adding these new programs, individuals and families can learn more about the additional benefits for which they can qualify."
The programs added to the existing ACCESS NYC Web site, and for which individuals can screen themselves for potential eligibility include:
"Last fall, Mayor Bloomberg launched ACCESS NYC as a transformative way of helping New Yorkers help themselves," said Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Paul Cosgrave. "Twelve months and more than 130,000 visits later, ACCESS NYC continues to deliver on that promise. By providing a common point of access for nearly three-dozen programs with just a click of the mouse, customer service on NYC.gov has never been as effective -- or meaningful."
Along with learning about benefits eligibility, city residents can print partially-complete application forms, search for office locations, obtain lists of the documents necessary for program enrollment, and create an account to access their information at a later time. ACCESS NYC is available in seven languages including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Haitian Creole, Russian, Arabic, and English. In its first year of operation, ACCESS NYC has received 131,500 hits and more than 23,000 applications have been downloaded from the Web site.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.