SSA strategy taps technology

The Social Security Administration unveiled a 10-year strategic plan this

week to make the agency fully automated and responsive to its growing customer

base.

In its 2010 Service Vision, SSA lays out a map for providing service

for a clientele expected to double over the coming decade from its current

45 million. SSA plans to achieve this goal by tapping into the latest technological

advances for e-government.

"Already under stress, we now deliver service in a present in which

customers' expectations are raising higher as we look ahead to a future

that promises an explosion in technology and huge growth in workload," SSA

Commissioner Kenneth Aptel said in the plan's introduction.

The plan calls for better service, improved technology, employment opportunities

for beneficiaries with disabilities and training a workforce to replace

large numbers of SSA workers expected to retire in the next five years.

Among the plan's top priorities:

* Enable customers to complete transactions at the first point of contact.

* Maximize technology to automate workload and enhance service.

* Give customers access to electronic records, but protect their privacy.

* Integrate government services with SSA to provide a one-stop shopping

service.

* Create a paperless environment so that all work is handled electronically.

* Survey customers to make sure they are happy, and be responsive to

their complaints.

"In many communities across the country, SSA has been the primary face

of the federal government. The presence of Social Security is assurance

of a certain economic standard of living for the community and the nation,"

the strategic report said.

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