Examination of the Social Security Administration's Systems Modernization Plan

HRD-82-83: Published: May 28, 1982. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 1982.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO conducted a limited review of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Systems Modernization Plan (SMP).

GAO found that, by the end of projected 5-year implementation period for the SMP, SSA can be expected to make major improvements in its automated systems through using modern automatic data processing technology. However, it will probably take at least 7 to 10 years or longer to fully implement all of the improvements contained in the SMP, and this will require the provision of needed funds for each year of the SMP implementation.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of SSA to expedite efforts to identify the causes of and eliminate the apparent capacity saturation problems now limiting the effective use of the SSA program testing systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The SSA Systems Modernization Plan outlines standards and objectives to be followed during the implementation of the System Modernization Plan. Future GAO assignments will address SSA success in achieving its stated objectives.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of SSA to follow the generally accepted systems development and modification standards to be established under the Systems Modernization Plan and not compromise them to meet any arbitrarily established completion dates.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: SSA has initiated an annual System Modernization Program update process in which alternative actions, new directions, revised completion dates, and revised requirements are identified and pursued.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of SSA to use the annual Systems Modernization Plan review and revision process to evaluate alternative corrective actions, adjust estimated completion dates, and revise resource requirements as appropriate.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: SSA conducts semi-annual briefings on the progress of the System Modernization Program for HHS, GSA, and GAO officials. Also, HHS continually performs audits of various aspects of the program.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) should direct the HHS senior official for information resources management to begin and maintain monitoring of the Systems Modernization Plan implementation as part of continuing HHS efforts to improve information resources management.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

 

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