Press Release

Press Release # 001
Thursday, May 24, 2007


Citizens Budget Commission Awards DOITT with Second Consecutive City Honor; ACCESS NYC Delivers Results for New Yorkers by Providing Access to Dozens of Benefit Programs

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave were jointly recognized last evening by the Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) for ACCESS NYC, an online resource providing New York City's residents a single point of entry to City, State, and Federal human service benefit programs.  The annual Prize for Public Service Innovation was awarded at the CBC's 75th Anniversary reception.

ACCESS NYC gives users the opportunity to pre-screen, anonymously, for 28 programs in seven different languages.  By entering household information into the site at, residents can receive a list of the programs for which they are potentially eligible, print partially-complete application forms, search for office locations, and create an account to have their information available for review and use at a later time.

"ACCESS NYC is a pivotal program providing the neediest New Yorkers with a simple, user-friendly means of accessing dozens of benefit programs in multiple languages," said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs.  "I am proud of the innovative technology and collaborative process that was celebrated by the CBC, and I look forward to adding even more programs and services to ACCESS NYC to help low-income families achieve self-sufficiency."

"While implementing ACCESS NYC, which helps New Yorkers fundamentally better their lives is reward enough, winning the Prize for Public Service Innovation is a tremendous added honor," said DoITT Commissioner Paul Cosgrave.  "One of the most respected good government groups anywhere, CBC's goal is that which the City strives for when it implements technology projects-increasing the delivery of services through the administration of responsible, accountable government."

"The CBC Prize for Public Innovation celebrates creative thinking and shares government achievements with the public and other agencies" said Citizens Budget Commission President Diana Fortuna.  "The CBC is proud to recognize the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services for their creation of ACCESS NYC, an important program with the potential to create significant productivity savings and continued client satisfaction."

Launched by Mayor Bloomberg last October, ACCESS NYC has already served more than 88,000 New Yorkers.  Nearly one quarter of users have completed the basic screening process to learn about programs for which they may potentially qualify, and about 11,000 have completed a detailed screening.  In that same period, almost 5,000 pre-populated application forms have been downloaded, and 1,400 visitors have created accounts on the system.

Seven new programs were added to ACCESS NYC at the end of April: the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC), the School Meals and Summer Meals programs, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), the New York State Unemployment Insurance, and the Veteran's and Disabled Homeowners tax exemption programs.  With these additional programs families will be able to determine if their children are eligible for even more of the programs providing essential support for New Yorkers in need.  The next release of ACCESS NYC, scheduled for fall 2007, will focus on providing access to workforce development programs.

Through the Prize for Public Service Innovation, the CBC seeks to identify and highlight a New York City or State government agency that demonstrates an innovative approach to providing government services.  Established in 1997, the Prize alternates annually between New York City and New York State agencies.  Since inception, six state agencies and four city agencies have received the prize.  Past winners include:

2006 - New York State Office of General Services' Procurement Services Group
HIRE Cooperative Purchasing Contracts

2005 - New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications
311 Customer Service Center

2004 - New York State Unified Court System
Center for Court Innovation

2003 - New York City Department of Finance
Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS)

2002 - New York State Workers' Compensation Board
Management Information, Research, References, and Operational Reports (MIRROR)
New York State Office for Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Supported Employment Internet Reporting System

2001 - New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation
Electronic Patient Record System

2000 - New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority
MetroCard and MetroCard Vending Machines

1999 - New York City Campaign Finance Board
Increasing public access to information on political campaign contributions

1998 - New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
License Renewal by Mail and Private Sector Partnering

ACCESS NYC furthers Mayor Bloomberg's legacy of increased accessibility of City government, along with such transformative innovations as the 311 Customer Service Center and the New York City Wireless Network.  DoITT works to transform the way the City interacts with its residents, businesses, visitors, and employees by leveraging technology to improve services and increase transparency, accountability, and accessibility across all agencies.

Founded in 1932, the Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) is a non-partisan, nonprofit civic organization devoted to influencing constructive change in the finances and services of New York City and New York State governments.

Matthew Kelly/Dawn Walker (Mayor's Office) (212) 788-2958
Jay Damashek/Nicholas Sbordone (DoITT) (212) 788-6602
Diana Fortuna (Citizens Budget Commission) (212) 279-2605