Social Security: The bureaucracy will resist, but the people will insist

Until I actually experienced it from the inside, I had no idea how broken it is. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a mess, and its dysfunctional leadership’s refusal to address critical issues are endangering one of the nation’s most precious social programs. Disability hearings backlog is increasing; wait times are long and phone calls remain unanswered; fraud and incorrect payments are rampant; IT infrastructure is archaic and getting harder and harder to manage; and costs to run the Social Security program are increasing.

For years now, Congress has been asking SSA for a service delivery plan, but SSA has not delivered one. Congress has been asking for an IT modernization plan, but they have gotten the run-around. A plan was finally being formulated by SSA’s Office of Vision and Strategy, to improve Social Security services while significantly lowering costs. The plan was enthusiastically supported by the Chief Federal Enterprise Architect. But SSA’s leaders nixed the plan and dissolved the team that created it.

SSA’s leaders refuse to consider new approaches to modernization. They intend for SSA to continue doing what it has been doing for decades, even though they know this course of action will increase costs and not yield the services that the American people want and deserve.

SSA-2020 shows how to fix Social Security. Now, we just have to make it happen.

Click to read the 2 page brief Social Security 2020: Call to Action

Click Social Security 2020: Vision and Strategy to read how SSA should be, why its current approach to modernization is flawed, and how we can actually fix it.

Click SSAB: Vision of the Future to read the Social Security Advisory Board’s vision of the future for the Agency. SSA’s current direction cannot get to this vision; SSA-2020 does.

Please spread the word. Use Facebook and Twitter. Galvanize your friends. Contact your representatives and tell them you will not tolerate the wasting of your hard earned tax money and the degradation of critical services just because some bureaucrats are too afraid to confront a challenge. Let’s all work together to fix Social Security.


7 thoughts on “Social Security: The bureaucracy will resist, but the people will insist

  1. I’ve worked with FEMA for years; much of the same incompetence, lack of vision, cowardly self-interest, and crony bid high-dollar contracts.

  2. If I remember correctly, I personally briefed you on SSA’s failure to be proactive. I told you SSA’s motto: Ignore it until the s__t hits the fan! I worked years there trying to change this philosophy to no avail. Maybe your fan is more powerful.

  3. I heard that you were getting in to some kind of legal mess because your renewed efforts are not going well with the stubborn bosses. Hope you are able to not just wade through but teach them a good lesson or two. It is so heart breaking to see all the public money flowing down the drain…

  4. Wow, finally somebody has the nerve to oust the “secret” top SSA officials have been hiding for years. I am a current SSA employee and I have never encountered such refusal from management to better the processes that employees have to use to serve the public. The constant solution that employees are offered are “work-arounds” ( huge band-aids to hide the real problems). When are people going to realize that technology is a cost efficient way to improve service to the public.

    • We must make the public aware of the continual ineffective process’ SSA employs, rewards, and expands. We need a news agency to uncover the dysfunctional organizational values in the SSA leadership.

  5. I applaud yo efforts to expose how SSA’s officials are hiding the truth from the public. It’s there pure ego driven crony greed to hold the place as backward as possible laced with corruption. In your paper you mentioned how innovation will reduce the workforce gradually through attrition. But what I noticed their attrition is slow, people who know archaic system sleep and snore at the job. So Soviet Union… Hopefully bloodless revolution will do the change at SSA through public awareness. I worked at SSA, and I know they get rid of people who have more common sense, bright implementable ideas and a drive to do it. Isn’t it political? Please, contact me, I’d like to talk to you about what can be done.

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