Social Security:

Staff Reductions and Service Quality

HRD-87-139BR: Published: Sep 17, 1987. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 1987.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effect of staff reductions at the Social Security Administration (SSA) during the third quarter of fiscal year 1987, focusing on: (1) changes in staffing and performance for the quarter as compared to prior periods; and (2) allegations of deteriorating office performance.

GAO found that: (1) SSA key performance indicators showed stable or improved performance for claims processing times, pending work loads, processing accuracy, and client waiting time; (2) there was an increase in processing time due to an increase in hearings and a reduction in staff; (3) complaints from the public about telephone accessibility had increased; and (4) there was no evidence of improper practices affecting performance. GAO also found that: (1) staffing reductions have forced supervisors into directly processing work rather than supervising and monitoring performance; and (2) SSA has placed more emphasis on productivity goals than on accuracy.

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 8, 2016

May 5, 2016

Apr 13, 2016

Apr 4, 2016

Mar 1, 2016

Oct 29, 2015

Oct 27, 2015

  • retirement icon, source: PhotoDisc

    Social Security's Future:

    Answers to Key Questions
    GAO-16-75SP: Published: Oct 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2015.

Sep 30, 2015

Looking for more? Browse all our products here