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Highlights

In response to a congressional request, GAO conducted a limited review of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Systems Modernization Plan (SMP).

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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 SSA to expedite efforts to identify the causes of and eliminate the apparent capacity saturation problems now limiting the effective use of the SSA program testing systems.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Health and Human Services 2. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of SSA to follow the generally accepted systems development and modification standards to be established under the Systems Modernization Plan and not compromise them to meet any arbitrarily established completion dates.
Closed - Implemented
The SSA Systems Modernization Plan outlines standards and objectives to be followed during the implementation of the System Modernization Plan. Future GAO assignments will address SSA success in achieving its stated objectives.
Department of Health and Human Services 3. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of SSA to use the annual Systems Modernization Plan review and revision process to evaluate alternative corrective actions, adjust estimated completion dates, and revise resource requirements as appropriate.
Closed - Implemented
SSA has initiated an annual System Modernization Program update process in which alternative actions, new directions, revised completion dates, and revised requirements are identified and pursued.
Department of Health and Human Services 4. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) should direct the HHS senior official for information resources management to begin and maintain monitoring of the Systems Modernization Plan implementation as part of continuing HHS efforts to improve information resources management.
Closed - Implemented
SSA conducts semi-annual briefings on the progress of the System Modernization Program for HHS, GSA, and GAO officials. Also, HHS continually performs audits of various aspects of the program.

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