Report Summary

Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General

August 2009

Quick Response Evaluation: Office of Disability Adjudication and Review Management Information



To evaluate the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review's (ODAR) current management information (MI) and Information Technology Advisory Board (ITAB) proposals related to MI.


To address the Acting Deputy Commissioner's request we 1) examined the workload ODAR would need to complete to process projected hearing requests and reduce the backlog to the desired pending level by Fiscal Year (FY) 2013; 2) identified MI currently available for officials to manage ODAR's workload, shortfalls in available MI, and shortfalls in the use of the MI to manage effectively; and 3) reviewed ODAR's proposals, along with their potential impact on addressing shortfalls in ODAR's existing MI and the likelihood SSA will meet its goal of reducing the backlog to the desired pending level by FY 2013.

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Our Findings

To ensure SSA achieves the desired pending hearings level by FY 2013, it should continue to work with the Office of Personnel Management to ensure administrative law judges are hired within the planned time frames. To address inefficiencies in existing MI, ODAR should consider automating the manual reports that are most beneficial and most frequently used by its regional and hearing office management.

To ensure ODAR executives have sufficient MI to adequately plan for the future and measure the results of certain business processes, such as the backlog initiatives, ITAB should give careful consideration to the approval of the Quality Performance Management System Enhancements proposal if it is proven to provide the MI needed to assess the effectiveness of the backlog initiatives. In the future, SSA should consider having an independent assessment of the MI ODAR collects, with a focus on identifying areas where weaknesses exist in providing information for strategic planning.

We did not review the ITAB proposals submitted by all resource recipients. Therefore, we cannot opine on whether ODAR's proposals are the best use of ITAB's resources. ITAB should carefully consider the empirical cost and benefit data supporting all proposals, including ODAR's proposals.