Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, in partnership with RBT Connect Limited and Northgate Information Solutions, today launch a new commercial benefits service aimed at improving delivery to citizens and bringing efficiency savings to councils.
Powered by Northgate’s rules-based technology, ‘Assert’, and developed during a pilot scheme as part of the National eBenefits Project supported by the former ODPM, the new eBenefits system will go live at Rotherham later this month. Northgate will be taking eBenefits to other local authorities committed to improving their benefits services and providing citizens with increased awareness of their potential eligibility for all of the 61 welfare benefits.
In Rotherham, eBenefits is expected to deliver efficiency savings of around £250,000 per annum for the council, and this will be used to offer wider welfare benefits advice and support to citizens. With every council using eBenefits it is calculated that for English local authorities alone some £36 million could be ploughed back into improving benefits services on an annual basis.
Mike Cuff, Chief Executive of Rotherham Metropolitan Council said today:
“We are proud that we have led the transition from national project to a national benefit services product. eBenefits offers the potential to both revolutionise benefits services and bring substantial savings to local councils. Without a doubt this will offer local government the opportunity to re-think how they deliver not just their benefits services but other front-line services as the level of savings that are achievable from eBenefits can be invested into other service areas.
“Our engagement with RBT Connect and Northgate is evidence that public private partnerships of this nature can play a major role in delivering innovative services built around the individual needs of every citizen, whilst delivering more for less to local communities. “
David Meaden, Managing Director of Public Services, Northgate Information Solutions, also added:
“We are committed to revolutionising the way benefits are delivered in this country and to developing innovative partnerships with the public sector. Our work is designed to provide services which are built around individual citizen need and are thus more effective, whilst ensuring that time-consuming bureaucracy, complex forms and repeated requests for evidence are a thing of the past.
“More and more local councils are using rules-based technology to revolutionise the way benefits are delivered. But this is only the first step in delivering a joined up benefits system second to none. The government should wake up to rules-based technology. There is no reason why rules-based technology should not become the norm for every benefit for every claimant in the land.”
For more information:
Kathy Sutton 020 7849 3403 / 07966 890401
Naomi Stevenson 020 7849 3508 / 07966 890403
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