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Radical technology brings benefits back to our communities

Local authorities serving 4.7 million people are now benefiting from the introduction of radical ‘rules-based’ technology to deliver efficient and effective housing benefit and council tax services, Northgate Information Solutions, the leading provider of community justice solutions announced today.

Originally one of the 22 Local e-Gov National Projects that were sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, eBenefits was launched in June 2006 and has successfully made the transition from a national project to a national service geared towards serving the needs of some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.
The assessment services increase the accuracy of decision making and speed up the time in which claims are handled and assessed, providing enhanced benefits business delivery systems and offering innovative opportunities to develop shared benefits services across the public and not-for profit sectors.

They provide an additional resource to assist in benefits take-up work, freeing up specialists to focus on those cases where help is needed most; and greater opportunities to work collaboratively, including working with CABs and registered social landlords to reach out to those who are missing out on their benefits entitlement.

- Non-specialist advisers can be quickly guided on-screen through a citizen’s claim for council tax and housing benefits to reach a decision based in law;

- Advisers are presented with only the relevant questions they need to determine a citizen’s eligibility and entitlement;

- Advisers can tell what evidence is needed to support the claim and create a comprehensive decisions audit trail showing how the decision has been made;

- Self-service systems allow citizens to make full applications and send in the evidence that is required to assess a claim;

- Mobile systems, linked up to the back-office, allow benefits services to reach out to the community and to target those most in need.

Joe Bradley, Managing Director of Local Government & Social Housing at Northgate Public Services, said today: “Accessing benefits is a stressful and complex process for many citizens. And take-up of benefits particularly council tax and housing benefit is poor. We are delighted that so many local authorities have decided to work in partnership with Northgate to provide radically improved benefits delivery to their citizens.

“eBenefits is designed to place the citizen at the heart of the service, whilst drastically reducing the administrative burden for staff and for those making a claim. As a service it reaches out to those most vulnerable in our communities and helps councils to increase the take up of benefits amongst the hardest to reach in our communities. It is a vital tool in building stronger, more cohesive and inclusive communities.”


For further information:

Fellows’ Associates

Naomi Stevenson 020 7849 3508; 07966 890403;
Kuntal Biswas 020 7849 3347; 07930 566291;

Notes to Editors:

1) Northgate Information Solutions is a leading provider of innovative technology solutions to the public services and utilities markets. Northgate’s task is to enhance public value through the intelligent use of people and technology, and to share in the economic and social benefits that this brings.

2) In the UK, Northgate works with four out of five local authorities and every police force. Its systems are used in the delivery of housing services to over 2 million individuals; in the administration of more than £12 billion of revenues and benefits and in electoral administration systems covering over 18 million people. Founded in 1969, the company has over 3,300 employees.

3) Northgate clients currently using the eBenefits rules-based technology include Amber Valley Borough Council, Rotherham Borough Council, Stratford-upon-Avon District Council, Southampton City Council and Renfrewshire Council.