IT Modernization

Social Security Advisory Board names expert IT panel

Alan Balutis speaking at the 2019 Fed 100 awards ceremony photo credit Zaid Hamid 

Alan Balutis, shown here speaking at the 2019 Fed 100 Gala, will chair a new board established to look at Social Security Administration tech. (Photo credit: Zaid Hamid Photography)

The Social Security Advisory Board appointed a panel of experts to get a better view of the agency's IT modernization efforts.

The SSAB is an independent goverment agency with members appointed by the president and by Congress to advise the Social Security Administration on policy matters.

Modernizing aging technology is a top priority at SSA. At his confirmation hearing last October, SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul said, "I'm scared to death of the systems. I expect to spend a tremendous amount of my time reviewing the whole systems that are currently in force."

The independent board will be headed up by Alan Balutis, a distinguished fellow and senior director of North American Public Sector for Cisco Systems' Business Solutions Group, the firm's global strategy and consulting arm.

Dan Chenok, executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government, will also be on the panel along with Martha Dorris, former deputy associate administrator in the General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, which is now the Technology Transformation Service; Mark Forman, the first administrator at the Office of E-Government and Information Technology and recently named vice president, digital government, for Unisys; Dave McClure, former associate administrator of GSA's Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies and now an executive with Accenture Federal Services; Jim Williams, formerly Federal Acquisition Commissioner at GSA and a longtime industry consultant; William Eggers, author and executive director of Deloitte's Center for Government Insights; former Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti; former Veterans Affairs acquisition chief Greg Giddens and others.

Members of the Information Technology Systems Expert Panel will use their collective IT expertise to review the agency's IT modernization progress, according to an Aug. 27 statement by the Social Security Advisory Board.

The panel, it said, will take a holistic view of the agency's modernized systems from the perspective of both internal and outside users.

The board said the panel will meet this fall and report findings in early fiscal 2021.

Correction: This story has been revised to reflect that the new board was appointed by the Social Security Advisory Board, not by the Social Security Administration. 

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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