Skip to Highlights
Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined productivity at six Social Security Administration (SSA) program service centers (PSC).

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services 1. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of Social Security to hold managers accountable for achieving specific productivity improvement goals through establishing such goals in merit pay plans and Senior Executive Service (SES) contracts.
Closed - Implemented
SSA believes that better data are needed from its management information system, and such improved data will not be available until fiscal year (FY) 1992. A 6-month pilot is scheduled to begin in the first quarter, FY 1993.
Department of Health and Human Services 2. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of Social Security to develop and apply productivity measures at the module level so that module managers are held accountable for achieving specific productivity improvement goals.
Closed - Not Implemented
This recommendation overlaps a similar recommendation from the SSA General Management Review (GAO/HRD-87-39). Continuing follow-up efforts on this assignment should be terminated.
Department of Health and Human Services 3. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of Social Security to use existing productivity data to: (1) identify which organizational elements are operating inefficiently and which products those organizational elements are inefficiently processing; and (2) expand employee involvement in the productivity effort by encouraging maximum employee participation and interest.
Closed - Implemented
SSA is designing a system for identifying targets of opportunity for improvement. Currently, the system is being implemented in field offices, but has yet to be expanded to cover PSC. SSA reports that it is now using data which compares productivity between organizations as a means of identifying work-load practices which need to be changed.
Department of Health and Human Services 4. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of Social Security to ensure that beneficiary records folders are not retrieved and forwarded to benefit and claims authorizers for actions which do not require the use of folders.
Closed - Implemented
SSA has begun a major initiative to implement folderless processing. The project also involves reducing: (1) the number of documents in claims files; (2) inactive folder storage; and (3) folder access and movement. SSA reports that action control has been implemented in six service centers, and new case control software has been developed to support the new environment.
Department of Health and Human Services 5. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of Social Security to require the expanded use of locally developed computer programs.
Closed - Implemented
SSA has established an ongoing system of compiling software program listings from each PSC, and is making the information available among all of the centers.

Full Report