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Independent Expert Panel Issues Report on Social Security Administration’s IT Modernization Progress

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The Social Security Administration's (SSA) advisory board has released a report from an independent panel that details progress and areas of improvement for SSA’s information technology modernization plan.

The Social Security Advisory Board said Friday that the IT Systems Expert Panel’s report details recommendations encompassing areas such as IT modernization strategy, governance infrastructure, operating model and customer experience.

The report states that while SSA’s efforts to update its IT infrastructure is commendable, the agency must align its operating model with its strategic vision to put focus on critical business lines and customer-driven interactions.

SSA must also establish a “well-defined governance infrastructure” and clearly define program management procedures for accommodating agile development, according to the report.

In addition, SSA must include metrics in its goal-setting approach for the IT modernization plan and consider governance issues with cross-agency stakeholders in the planning process, the report states.

Other recommendations include strengthening the use of emerging technologies, creating a stakeholder engagement blueprint and assigning agency components for organization-wide customer experience improvement. SSAB will hold a webinar to discuss audit results on Jan. 29, 2021.

Created in August 2019, the IT Systems Expert Panel is headed by Alan Balutis who currently serves as senior director for North American public sector at Cisco’s business solutions group.

SSAB works to provide advisory support to the president, Commissioner of Social Security and Congress on SSA and supplemental security income programs.