Absenteeism at the Social Security Administration's Office of Central Operations

HRD-84-55: Published: Apr 13, 1984. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 1984.

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GAO reviewed the leave management practices in the Office of Central Records Operations and the Office of Disability Operations of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

GAO found that, although these two Offices comprise only 13 percent of the total SSA work force, they used 16 percent of the agency's total sick leave, 21 percent of its leave without pay, and 24 percent of its total overtime during fiscal year 1982. GAO estimated that overtime savings of $750,000 could have been achieved if the leave without pay used in the two Offices had more closely paralleled the leave without pay used in other SSA components. GAO believed that the Offices' higher sick leave and leave without pay usage resulted because: (1) top management was not aware of the extent of sick leave and leave without pay usage that was occurring in its units; and (2) supervisors were not timely in following existing procedures to counsel and discipline employees who followed poor leave practices. During this review, SSA began actions to combat absenteeism and it is developing and refining a mechanism for monitoring leave usage.

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 Associate Commissioner for Central Operations, SSA, should develop and implement a reporting system that will provide top SSA management with current comparative leave usage data so that it can monitor leave usage and combat absenteeism.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration

  2. 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 Associate Commissioner for Central Operations, SSA, should require supervisors to take more timely and progressive disciplinary action against employees following poor leave practices.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration

 

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