Domestic violence programs benefit from Coloradans getting tax refunds

 

Human services caseworkers in Colorado counties are experiencing delays since their online system was replaced last week.

The previous system was 15 years old and required significant time and effort to implement policy changes, said Brandi Simmons of the Governor's Office of Information Technology.

The replacement will "enhance the security of residents’ personal information and improve how the system operates for county workers due to a new interface and updated navigation, thereby providing a faster and more reliable experience for our residents," according to a statement from the IT office.

The new system based in the cloud, making the data more reliable and secure, and has a more responsive user interface, Simmons said. After it was rolled out Aug. 27, counties experienced varying levels of speed and some had glitches.

“Our services have not been interrupted but they are currently taking longer to deliver, as would be expected during an upgrade of such a complex and massive benefits system", said Leanna Salas, deputy director of employee communications for Denver Human Services. "That said, we are continuing to ensure Denver residents have access to benefits in as timely a manner as possible."

In one instance, the system had to be shut down for about two hours to implement an update.

The state IT office has made it a "top priority" to resolve all bugs in the new system, and they're available to caseworkers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, Simmons said.

The caseworkers "are dealing with Coloradans who need really important benefits and services, and any delay or slowness is a disruption for them, so we're trying our best to work through that and get the system fully stable" within two to four weeks, Simmons said, and then it will be a success.

"In the end, we do absolutely believe it's going to be a net benefit for Coloradans and counties," she said.

Denver Human Services staff are working "aggressively and tirelessly" with state staff to resolve the ongoing issues, said Salas.

"All of us remain laser-focused on continuing to ensure our clients are connected, supported, safe and well."

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