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GAO Highlights SSA’s IT Challenges In Wake Of Union’s Concerns About Vision 2025 Report

2014 May 13
by Steve Perrigo

Just as the SSA is seeking input on its Vision 2025 plan and a model that relies upon additional technology, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report highlighting information technology (IT) concerns at the SSA.

In its report entitled “SSA Needs to Address Limitations in Management Controls and Human Capital Planning to Support Modernization Efforts”, the GAO flags some critical concerns for the federal agency, which spent about $1.5 billion on IT in fiscal year 2013. Those concerns include ineffective quality assurance processes on some IT projects and a lack of planning for the SSA’s future IT staffing needs. The report states, “Since 2008, about 20 percent of the Office of Systems’ IT staff have been eligible to retire annually…and the loss of experienced staff have made it difficult to allocate needed skills to projects.”

This IT study comes in the wake of concerns that Social Security has a long-term plan, Vision 2025, to close its field offices nationwide and lay off thousands of employees, according to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). The preliminary Vision 2025 report, the AFGE states, would eliminate field offices in exchange for web-based customer service and a more virtual workforce. Media stories have outlined some early details of Vision 2025, which is expected to be released later this year after work by the National Academy of Public Administration is complete.

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