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Open Recommendations (28 total)

Federal Software Licenses: Agencies Need to Take Action to Achieve Additional Savings

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Social Security Administration The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should ensure that the agency consistently tracks software licenses that are currently in use for its widely used licenses by, at a minimum, developing and implementing procedures for tracking license usage. (Recommendation 15)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Social Security Administration The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should ensure that the agency consistently compares the inventories of software licenses that are currently in use with information on purchased licenses to identify opportunities to reduce costs and better inform investment decision making for its widely used licenses on a regular basis. At a minimum, it should develop and implement procedures for comparing the inventories of licenses in use to purchase records. (Recommendation 16)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Cybersecurity: Federal Agencies Made Progress, but Need to Fully Implement Incident Response Requirements

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Social Security Administration The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should ensure that the agency fully implements all event logging requirements as directed OMB guidance. (Recommendation 20)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Information Management: Agencies Need to Streamline Electronic Services

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Social Security Administration The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should establish a reasonable time frame for when the agency will post access and consent forms on the agency's privacy program website. (Recommendation 12)
Open
As of June 2023, the Social Security Administration expects to post an electronic consent form that complies with the Creating Advanced Streamlined Electronic Services for Constituents ACT of 2019 and Office of Management and Budget memorandum M-21-04 to their website by September 30, 2023. Lastly, SSA anticipates posting a compliant access form to their website in fiscal year 2025.

Social Security Administration: Remote Service Delivery Increased during COVID-19, but More Could Be Done to Assist Vulnerable Populations

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Social Security Administration The Commissioner of SSA should evaluate the feasibility of making online Spanish applications available again for those SSA benefit programs with existing online applications. (Recommendation 3)
Open
SSA agreed with this recommendation. We await the agency's plans to address it and will monitor their progress.

Social Security Administration: Remote Service Delivery Increased during COVID-19, but More Could Be Done to Assist Vulnerable Populations

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4 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Social Security Administration The Commissioner of SSA should develop a plan—with clear steps, goals, metrics, and timelines—to evaluate the feasibility of obtaining additional race and ethnicity data from other state and federal entities in support of its Equity Action Plan goals. (Recommendation 1)
Open
SSA agreed with this recommendation. We await the agency's plans to address it and will monitor their progress.
Social Security Administration The Commissioner of SSA should implement a coordinated process for assessing lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that includes documentation and dissemination, implementation of corrective action, and incorporation into future contingency planning. (Recommendation 4)
Open
SSA agreed with this recommendation. We await the agency's plans to address it and will monitor their progress.
Social Security Administration
Priority Rec.
The Commissioner of SSA should develop a plan—with clear steps, goals, metrics, and timelines—for enabling claimants to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits online. (Recommendation 2)
Open
SSA agreed with this recommendation. As of May 2023, we await the agency's plans to address it and will monitor its progress.
Social Security Administration The Commissioner of SSA should develop an agency-wide plan for managing anticipated increases in SSA's disability workloads. (Recommendation 5)
Open
SSA agreed with this recommendation. We await the agency's plans to address it and will monitor their progress.

Privacy: Dedicated Leadership Can Improve Programs and Address Challenges

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Social Security Administration The Commissioner of SSA should fully define and document a process for ensuring that the senior agency official for privacy, or other designated privacy official, reviews IT capital investment plans and budgetary requests to ensure privacy requirements and associated controls are explicitly identified and included with respect to any IT resources that will involve PII. (Recommendation 60)
Open
SSA stated that it agreed with our recommendation. In January 2024, SSA officials provided evidence that the integration of the "investment characteristics" selection in their Information Technology (IT) Investments Process Intake Form, which notifies designated privacy staff about proposed IT resources that will process personally identifiable information (PII). However, SSA did not provide a standard operating procedure or of other documentation of its process. We are continuing to follow up with SSA to verify whether implementation has occurred.