Government Operations:

GAO's Views on H.R. 791, a Bill to Establish the Social Security Administration as an Independent Agency

T-HRD-89-7: Published: Mar 1, 1989. Publicly Released: Mar 1, 1989.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed H.R. 791, which would make the Social Security Administration (SSA) an independent agency. GAO found that the bill would: (1) remove the Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Programs from the Department of Health and Human Services; (2) create an independent SSA headed by a three-member bipartisan board; (3) establish a beneficiary ombudsman within SSA; and (4) establish certain exemptions from the budget, personnel, and administrative requirements of central management agencies. GAO believes that: (1) SSA needs a strong single administrator appointed to a fixed 8-year term and assisted by an advisory board that would provide institutional memory on policy matters; (2) SSA should have the opportunity to show that it has the requisite management expertise to effectively delegate specific management authorities; (3) it should not be required to perform the contradictory functions of consulting on program implementation and reporting on program effectiveness; (4) SSA should have the contract authority for computer purchases and facility construction only after it has strengthened its financial controls; (5) SSA should base its requests for personnel on a comprehensive work-force plan, raise the current pay level for key technical and professional staff, and justify any increases in its senior- and executive-level staff with federal personnel regulations, rather than allowing the board to appoint staff; and (6) the roles of the board, the executive director, and the beneficiary ombudsman need clarification.

Mar 26, 2015

Mar 18, 2015

Mar 16, 2015

Mar 9, 2015

Mar 4, 2015

Feb 27, 2015

Feb 23, 2015

Feb 11, 2015

  • government icon, source: Eyewire

    GAO'S 2015 High-Risk Series:

    An Update
    GAO-15-371T: Published: Feb 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2015.
  • government icon, source: Eyewire

    GAO's 2015 High-Risk Series:

    An Update
    GAO-15-373T: Published: Feb 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2015.
  • government icon, source: Eyewire

    High-Risk Series:

    An Update
    GAO-15-290: Published: Feb 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2015.

Looking for more? Browse all our products here