First Scottish council partners with Northgate to revolutionise benefits service

Renfrewshire Council today announces that it has chosen Northgate Information Solutions, a leading provider of innovative technology solutions to the public services and utilities markets, as its partner to provide a new and improved benefits service for its citizens.

In the first partnership of its kind in Scotland, Northgate’s innovative eBenefits solution will improve delivery to citizens and bring efficiency savings to the council.

Powered by Northgate’s rules-based technology, ‘Assert’, eBenefits is an expert solution that radically simplifies and speeds up the process of housing and council tax benefits assessment for both council staff and citizens. The service will provide Scottish citizens with increased access to the benefits support that they need, helping to tackle social exclusion and the poverty trap.

The eBenefits solution will deliver for the council:

• a system that accurately calculates eligibility and entitlement to housing and council tax benefits and free school meals in one go, speeding up the time in which claims are handled and assessed, and increasing efficiency;

• an additional resource to assist in benefits take-up work by enabling non-specialist advisers to carry out claims assessments by quickly guiding them on-screen through a citizen’s claim to reach a decision based in law;

• the ability to conduct assessment of benefit claims in applicants’ homes through mobile working, providing better access to benefits for those in rural areas.

Elaine McCue, Revenues and Benefits Manager at Renfrewshire Council, said today:

“At Renfrewshire we are committed to delivering high quality services that provide excellent public value. Working in partnership with Northgate, eBenefits will help us to meet our nine customer service pledges for benefits services, and provide our citizens with a fast and easily accessible route to the benefits they need – ultimately helping the most disadvantaged members of our communities.”

Dave Meaden, Managing Director of Northgate Public Services, added:

“We are committed to improving community well-being and tackling social exclusion in Scotland by ensuring that citizens can gain full access to their entitlements. Through the intelligent use of technology, eBenefits revolutionises the way benefits are delivered.

“Our work with Renfrewshire Council is designed to provide a service built around individual need – which empowers citizens, offers public value, and increases the quality of service delivered by local government.”

For further information:

Fellows’ Associates

Kathy Sutton 020 7092 1801 / 07966 890401
Naomi Stevenson 020 7092 1803 / 07966 890403