Social Security Administration
View Agency Recovery Plan
Agency Plan Excerpts
1. Address disability and retirement workloads
2. Construct and partially equip our National Support Center (NSC)
3. Administer the Economic Recovery Payments
Competition on Contracts
In FY08, SSA awarded 51% of its contract dollars competitively (a much higher percentage of SSA’s contract actions are awarded competitively, but a significant portion of SSA‘s contract dollars are spent on proprietary mainframe hardware and software.) SSA plans to spend $45 million on contracts using Recovery Act funds. SSA will increase the rate of competition for Recovery Act funds over its 51% FY08 rate. $24 million (53% of SSA’s Recovery Act contract spending) will be spent competitively on Health Information Technology contracts. The remaining $21 million will be spent mostly on hardware, software, telecommunications bandwidth, IT support services and video teleconferencing service that will assist SSA in reducing its disability backlog. SSA plans to maximize competition for this $21 million in spending on Information Technology. SSA projects that at least $10.5 million of this $21 million will be spent on competitively awarded contracts. Thus, SSA projects that at least $34.5 million (76%) will be spent competitively, out of $45 million in total spending of Recovery Act funds. SSA’s actual rate of competition may be higher as its procurement plans are further developed. The steps that SSA plans to take to maximize competition for its Recovery Act contract dollars include: 1) communicating to agency leadership through briefings about the need to maximize competition; 2) communicating to agency Contracting Officer’s Technical Representatives (COTRs) about the need to maximize competitive. SSA plans on using its COTR webpage, leadership briefings, and acquisition planning efforts, to ensure that agency personnel receive the message that, to the maximum extent possible, contracts must be fully competed.
In FY 08, SSA spent 55% of its contract dollars on fixed price contracts. SSA plans on maximizing the use of fixed price contracts to the extent possible. At this point, SSA plans to spend a considerable portion of its $45 million in Recovery Act spending on hardware and software, which are generally suitable for fixed price contracts. SSA plans to spend the remaining $24 million in Health Information Technology (IT) money using fixed price contracts, however, the Health IT Statements of Work are still under development at this time. Thus, SSA is unable to project what its percentage of fixed price contracts will be.
SSA has taken many steps to hold executives and staff accountable for achieving the goals of this project. First, SSA’s Executive Internal Control Committee (EIC) will oversee Recovery Act performance across SSA. The Deputy Commissioner of Social Security chairs the EIC, which also includes the Inspector General and Deputy Commissioner for Budget, Finance and Management (DCBFM). Most other Deputy Commissioners also participate in EIC meetings. This level of oversight provides a strong message throughout SSA that accomplishment of Recovery Act objectives are a top priority.
The DCBFM will serve as SSA’s Senior Accountable Official (SAO). The performance expectations of our SAO were modified to specifically address the monitoring of all responsibilities that SSA received funding for under the Recovery Act. In addition, SSA’s components including our Office of Operations; Office of Disability Adjudication and Review; Office of Systems; Office of Communications and Office of Budget, Finance and Management meet periodically for status meetings to ensure they execute their responsibilities under the Recovery Act. Management within these organizations monitor progress in meeting their organizations’ tasks associated with successful implementation of the Recovery Act. They will reallocate resources as needed as new issues arise.
These same components are also represented on oversight groups at both the executive and staff level to assist SSA in properly coordinating our efforts across components to execute the requirements of the Recovery Act as well as the requirements of OMB Memorandum M-09-15, Updated Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The Commissioner named a Special Advisor for Health Information Technology (IT) to provide leadership and oversight for all of SSA’s Health IT initiatives, including those funded through the Recovery Act. The Special Advisor established an executive group, which meets bi-monthly, to consult on external and strategic issues; a program group, which meets bi-weekly, to provide governance for cross-component Health IT initiatives; and a procurement group to oversee Health IT acquisitions funded through the Recovery Act. The Inspector General is a non-voting member of the executive group and consultations with the Office of the Inspector General on the program governance and procurement will take place regularly.
Finally, all of our front-line employees are accountable through their Performance and Communications System (PACS) plans and appraisals. PACS allows all of SSA’s employees understand their expectations and how their job is directly aligned with the agency’s core mission.
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