Supplemental Security Income Computerized System Development Process

HRD-80-5: Published: Oct 16, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 1979.

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) needs to develop a structured and planned approach for managing and controlling the design, development, and modification of its Supplemental Security Income (SSI) computerized system. The system is used to help maintain beneficiary information and administer benefit payments to over 4 million needy aged, blind, and disabled individuals. Erroneous payments have occurred because of control weaknesses.

The computer program and system documentation have not been properly developed and maintained. System modifications are placed into normal operating environment without being adequately validated. Field office users' needs are not always met. Futhermore, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) Audit Agency review and participation are needed to help ensure that adequate automated controls and audit trails are designed into SSA computerized systems. These weaknesses can be overcome by implementing a structured, management-controlled approach to the system design, development, and modification process.

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