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Raimondo extends hours at DHS center to curb wait times

 Gov. Gina Raimondo has ordered the state Department of Human Services to offer extended hours starting this week after the troubled September launch of a new $364 million public assistance computer system.

The Providence DHS Center will extend customer hours until 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday in an effort to reduce wait times and assist more residents with their benefits.

This comes after a recently released report revealed hours-long waits at welfare offices and waits of more than an hour by phone since the launch.

Raimondo's office says Deloitte, the company hired to build the system, will assign additional managers to supervise technical staff at DHS field offices at "no additional taxpayer cost."

Lawmakers are set to hold a hearing Tuesday on problems with the new system.

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