State agencies pledge to share data to provide better services

Illinois is in the midst of an IT transformation to modernize its systems to provide state services more quickly and at a lower cost. Due to aging systems that cannot communicate with each other – particularly in the case of human services agencies – residents must call multiple agencies to find info­rmation or sign up for services. Often they will fill out a paper form, travel to the offices of another agency, and then fill out another paper form with identical ­information. The current system is a tremendous waste of taxpayer time and money.

Thirteen state agencies, which are members of the State’s Health and Human Service enterprise, announced the signing of an Enterprise Memorandum of Understanding (eMOU) for inter-agency data sharing. The eMOU will ­correct the many problems that arise from a lack of information sharing by state agencies.

“While many people interact with multiple health and human service ­agencies in Illinois, our current “siloed” data structure means that each agency only sees the customers’ use of services for their particular programs,” DHS Secretary James Dimas said.

“This eMOU is a major step forward in providing better services to the taxpayers of Illinois,” said Hardik Bhatt, State Chief Information Officer and Secretary-designate of the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT). “More than a dozen agencies agreeing to share data to improve services for taxpayers while creating a more efficient work product is historic, and to have done this in only seven months is equally significant.”