Baitman wants to bring SSA into the e-business world

Wednesday - 4/21/2010, 5:16pm EDT

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April 22, 2010 -- Frank Baitman spent most of his career in the private sector working for large companies and venture capitalists. When he got the chance to work for the government, the challenge was too good to pass up.

Baitman didn't just get any senior executive position, but one that puts him in charge of the systems that process billions of dollars a month in benefits.

Baitman says the potential for the Social Security Administration to be an e-business is great and he wants to lead that effort.

He is leading an effort to improve customer service through the Web, and the first way to do that is to understand what the public is expecting from SSA. Baitman is surveying and holding focus groups with a few of the 55 million people a week the agency serves to get that knowledge.

The first piece to improving customer service is to make online authentication much easier for citizens. Baitman says SSA is developing a new protocol, called Recognition of Mostly Everyone (ROME), and hopes to begin implementing it over the next year.