Govbenefits.gov list tops 100 programs

The Department of Labor's www.govbenefits.gov site now includes access to more than 100 federal benefits programs, following the addition of 25 new programs representing more than $34 million in annual benefit dollars.

A senior Labor Department official said program sponsors expect to get about 350 programs online by the end of the year, representing virtually all federal benefits programs. Next year, the department plans to begin working on providing online applications for benefits. 'That will not be an easy task, because it involves issues of security and authentication,' the official said.

Labor launched the site in April, planning to add 20 to 40 programs each month (www.gcn.com/21_20/web/19339-1.html). The most recent additions are programs from the departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor and Veterans Affairs.

Project managers have expanded the home page to include a section highlighting timely news about specific programs. Visitors to the site now can choose to see a full list of benefits by category and bypass the questionnaire that provides a personalized list of benefits. They also can generate printer-friendly versions of benefits explanations and send program information by e-mail.

The govbenefits.gov project is one of 24 electronic government projects sponsored by the Office of Management and Budget. Mark Forman, OMB associate director for IT and e-government, and D. Cameron Findlay, deputy secretary of labor, both praised the expansion of the Govbenefits site.

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