OKLAHOMA CAPITOL -- The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Electronics Benefits Transfer (EBT) Child Care system was recently presented with the 21st Century Achievement Award for visionary use of information technology by Computerworld Magazine at a gala event in Washington, D.C.
The Computerworld Honors Program searches for and recognizes groups who have demonstrated vision and leadership as they strive to use information technology in innovative ways in business, education, environment, energy and agriculture, finance, insurance and real estate, manufacturing, media, medicine, science, transportation and government and non-profit organizations.
ACS State and Local Solutions, the agency’s partner in implementing the EBT Child Care system, nominated OKDHS. OKDHS was then named as one of more than 300 Laureate Medal winners by Computerworld, and later was chosen as one of six finalists for the 21st Century Achievement Award in the Government and Non-Profit category.
"This success didn’t happen over night, it was built on years of trial and error, hard work and partnerships both inside and outside the agency," said Lisa Henley, Project Director, OKDHS Office of Finance. "Without the help of our child care providers, county offices, state office divisions and ACS State and Local Solutions, none of this would have been possible. This is the perfect example of what can happen when people set their minds to making better government."
Other honorees whose projects were considered for this award included the cities of Shanghai, Boston and Oakland, as well as the American Red Cross, the University of Michigan, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
"We were up against some very prestigious groups not only from the U.S., but from around the world, including the Kursk Foundation that was responsible for raising the downed Russian nuclear submarine," said Henley. "Oklahoma stepped onto the world stage and really shined."
Using the existing technology of the Access Oklahoma card for public assistance and food stamps, the EBT Child Care system allows parents to check their children in and out of childcare electronically and provides real time data to state agencies and accelerated payment to child care providers.
The EBT Child Care system is the first of its kind in the nation. It began as a pilot program on Oct. 1, 2000 in Logan and Murray counties and has since expanded to 40 counties and is expected to be in place in all 77 counties by January 2003.
For more information on Child Care, call 1-800-347-2276, or click on www.OKDHS.org/childcare/. For information about the Computerworld Honors, click on http://www.cwheroes.org/ .