Access America opens a full-service site for seniors

The National Partnership for Reinventing Government has unveiled a
Web site designed to provide senior citizens with access to multiple government services.

Access America for Seniors at is under the auspices of
Vice President Al Gore’s Access America program. The seniors program comes just a
month after Gore presented Access America for Students, which serves up government
services for students [GCN, March 29, Page 9].

The administration plan calls for grouping government services online demographically,
White House officials said.

The new Web site brings together the services of 15 agencies, with the Social Security
Administration spearheading the project. Most of the services have been available online
from individual agencies, but the Access America program makes them accessible from a
single site.

The administration un-veiled the seniors program last month at the Armed Forces
Communications and Electronics Association’s Virtual Government conference in

Morley Wintograd, National Partnership for Reinventing Government executive director
and Gore’s senior policy adviser, said citizens do not distinguish between agencies
or even between levels of government. To meet citizens’ expectations, information
technology can create seamless “wrap-around applications for citizens” that
group services, he said.

“This is an excellent example of our efforts to reinvent government to provide
services that the American people need and care about,” Gore said. “Through this
new Web site, seniors can change their address with the post office, compare nursing
homes, request Social Security statements, get IRS tax forms and find a variety of other
government information.”

The site links to agencies’ Web sites at which seniors can complete transactions.

In conjunction with the new effort, SSA began a new online service to let Social
Security recipients request certain benefit statements online. SSA then returns the
information via postal mail. 

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