The Results Act:

Observations on the Social Security Administration's June 1997 Draft Strategic Plan

HEHS-97-179R: Published: Jul 22, 1997. Publicly Released: Aug 5, 1997.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Jane L. Ross
(202) 512-3000
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the draft strategic plan submitted by the Social Security Administration (SSA), as required by the Government Performance and Results Act.

GAO noted that: (1) SSA has prepared a draft strategic plan, reflecting its new status as an independent agency, that provides a solid foundation for its consultation with the Congress and other stakeholders; (2) its draft plan is forward-looking, reflects the agency's key statutory responsibilities, and contains the six components required by the act, although some of these components could be strengthened in important ways; (3) moreover, the goals it sets out are more balanced than past agency goals; SSA has added a goal to emphasize sound program management as a complement to its existing goal to provide world-class customer service; (4) however, in some cases, the goals could be strengthened by clarifying what SSA hopes to achieve and how it plans to measure its achievement; (5) also, the success of several goals is predicated on technological improvements or changes in agency operational processes, such as SSA's initiative to redesign its disability claims process; (6) SSA has historically encountered some difficulty implementing some of these changes; (7) the plan would be more realistic and useful to the Congress and SSA if SSA addressed these difficulties; (8) in addition, the plan would benefit from SSA's: (a) more explicitly describing how certain external factors, such as technology changes, may affect goal attainment; (b) more clearly explaining how it has used and plans to use program evaluations; and (c) including a discussion on how SSA has coordinated with other agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, that serve the same beneficiaries; (9) SSA's plan is structured to capture and monitor progress in meeting agencywide priorities and, as such, does not focus on specific programs or beneficiary groups; (10) as a result, the plan offers little assurance that SSA will place adequate attention on certain areas that pose the greatest management challenges; (11) specifically, SSA's draft plan does not acknowledge the fact that its Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program was recently placed on GAO's high risk list, nor does it provide a comprehensive strategy to address the problems with SSI; (12) SSA's draft plan does reflect the agency's strong reliance on improved information technology to provide world-class service and better manage its programs with its current resources; and (13) however, the plan would be strengthened by adding more detailed information on how SSA will use information technology to achieve the agency's goals and objectives.

Sep 30, 2014

Sep 26, 2014

Sep 25, 2014

Sep 19, 2014

Sep 18, 2014

Sep 12, 2014

Sep 10, 2014

Aug 25, 2014

Looking for more? Browse all our products here