Social Security Administration:

Compliance With Presidential Directive to Reduce Management-to-Staff Ratio

HEHS-99-43R: Published: Jan 22, 1999. Publicly Released: Jan 29, 1999.

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Cynthia Maher Fagnoni
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Social Security Administration's (SSA) efforts to implement a National Performance Review (NPR) recommendation to reduce its management-to-staff ratio, focusing on the: (1) progress SSA has made to date in achieving the directive to reduce its management-to-staff ratio, particularly for staff graded GS-12 and above; and (2) steps SSA has taken to reduce the number of supervisory positions.

GAO noted that: (1) SSA is making progress in its efforts to achieve a supervisor-to-staff ratio of 1-to-15 by the close of fiscal year (FY) 1999; (2) by the end of FY 1998, the agency had reduced its supervisor-to-staff ratio to 1-to-12.4 from about 1-to-7 in FY 1994; (3) SSA achieved these reductions, consistent with the Office of Personnel Management guidance, by use of a number of special initiatives available to federal departments and agencies; (4) according to SSA officials, these initiatives included early retirements, employee buyouts, and reassignment of supervisory staff to newly created nonsupervisory positions; (5) since FY 1993, SSA has created a total of 1,900 new nonsupervisory positions--550 team leader positions in headquarters and an additional 1,350 management support specialists and area systems coordinator positions in field offices; and (6) all of the 550 headquarters positions and 1,222 of the 1,350 regional office positions have been filled.

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