Social Security Administration:

Leadership Challenges Accompany Transition to an Independent Agency

HEHS-95-59: Published: Feb 15, 1995. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 1995.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO: (1) evaluated the Social Security Administration's (SSA) and Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) transition plans; and (2) identified some of the policy changes SSA will face as an independent agency.

GAO found that: (1) SSA and HHS have progressed towards the goal of SSA functioning as an independent agency; (2) HHS has successfully identified and transferred personnel and other resources to SSA; (3) there has been effective organizational changes prompted by the transition; (4) SSA and HHS have made changes to the SSA budget process, and SSA has initiated an effort to improve its claims processing function; (5) SSA and HHS have agreed that nonpersonnel transfers, such as funds, computer equipment, and furniture will be dependent on personnel transfers to SSA; (6) SSA will maintain its own legal and auditing departments; and (7) SSA will establish a Washington, DC office in order to bring about a closer working relationship with Congress and the executive branch.

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