HERNDON, Va. - The Electronic Benefits Transfer Council of Nacha, the electronic payments association, has elected Brian Wing, commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, as chairman.

Richard S. Jenkins, senior vice president and corporate counsel of Shazam Inc. of Johnston, Iowa, has been selected vice chairman.

Welfare reform legislation approved in 1996 requires all states to deliver food stamps electronically by October 2002. On Feb. 11, legislation was passed requiring the Department of Agriculture to issue interstate interoperability regulations within 210 days. Interoperability will be mandatory in October 2002.

"A major challenge facing EBT stakeholders is the nationwide implementation of interoperability," which will permit benefits transfers across state borders," Mr. Wing said.

The council is composed of 58 members representing governments, financial institutions, payments networks, merchants and other stakeholders in EBT. In April 1996, the council adopted Quest Operating Rules, the foundation for nationwide benefits transfer. Currently, 25 states plus the District of Columbia and Sacramento County, Calif., use the Quest rules.

The council holds elections every two years. A representative from a government entity must chair the council in alternating terms.

Mr. Wing, a charter member of the council, replaces James L. McCarthy, an executive at American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., who began his term two years ago as executive vice president at Star Systems Inc. of Maitland, Fla.

Mr. Jenkins, also serving his second term as chairman of the council's committee on Quest rules, takes over for William Kilmartin, who started his term as former comptroller of Massachusetts but has since become a vice president at AMS.

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