Accenture today released for general availability the Accenture Citizen Self-Service Portal Version 2.0 to provide citizens electronic access to their caseworkers and the benefit application process.
The new portal, part of Accenture's suite of software for public service, is designed primarily to help meet the needs of social service agencies and the people served by those agencies. It builds on the Accenture Public Service Platform, a service-oriented architecture (SOA) launched by Accenture in 2009 to help public agencies manage human services delivery cost effectively with improved technological flexibility and enhanced citizen services and program outcomes.
The self-service portal enables human service agencies to provide 24/7 access to citizens who want to determine their potential eligibility for public assistance programs (e.g. income, food, healthcare), apply for benefits, and manage benefits once enrolled. It also includes a secure Message Center for citizens to communicate with caseworkers to ask questions and receive answers, check on the status of benefits, and schedule in-person appointments.
The new release includes enhanced self-service features, a training module, and a natural language rules engine to increase public agencies' flexibility to adapt benefit eligibility programs and processes in response to legislative and policy changes. Natural language rules engines use terminology that is logical and understandable by non-programmers. Another advancement is the use of business process management (BPM) workflows, built into the screening and application processes, to help confirm that required actions are accomplished or flagged within appropriate timeframes.
"The new portal represents a leap forward in leveraging technology to better meet the needs of modern-day caseworkers and the individuals and families served by human services agencies," said David McCurley, who leads Accentur's public sector software business, in a statement. "The focus is on smarter use of technology to support major programs in areas such as health, nutrition, and temporary assistance to needy families."