Open Government Plan 3.0

Plan Milestones and Completion Report

Last updated on March 1, 2016

On June 1, 2014, we launched our refreshed Open Government Plan 3.0. We made several commitments in our plan, and will share our progress with you regularly. Below is our report on milestones.

Goals I-IV: Transparency, Participation, Collaboration, Internalizing Open Government

Milestone Projected Completion Date Status

Issue refreshed Open Government Plan and share it with public and employees

Completed

Open Government Plan 3.0 released on June 2, 2014. You can view plan here.

Identify data assets to include in agency’s enterprise data inventory and public data listing for harvesting by the Data.gov catalog

Completed

Foster use of agency data and solicit input from the public for prioritizing future data releases

Completed

  • Jan 2016 – We use both Data.gov and SSA owned/administered tools. New data is released on an ongoing basis based on public input.
  • Feb 2015 – After receiving feedback on Open Data Customer Engagement, added instant download of tax form SSA-1099 to suite of services available through a my Social Security account.
  • We continue to solicit customer feedback on open data through Idea Scale engagement tool, available to the public through our agency Open Data page. Please give us your thoughts on Open Data.

Build an application to register new and update existing data assets

Completed

  • Nov 2015 – Application went to production and generated files.
  • The development team has finished coding and testing the application. We are now working on deploying through the lifecycle to production. We created a SharePoint site in February of 2014 that is currently being used by SSA agency components to create and update data assets as part of our ongoing effort to document and maintain our Enterprise Data Inventory. Development efforts are underway to create a new web application in a fully supported production environment that will provide similar functionality along with enhanced features to validate data input and provide automated JSON generation of the Enterprise Data Inventory and Public Data Listing. We anticipate that the application will be available for use by the 3rd quarter of FY15 .

Within the data creation process,  develop checkpoints to capture and promote open data

Completed

Completed.

In the planning and analysis lifecycle phase, we have a checkpoint to capture information necessary to support Open Data. Another checkpoint captures the implementation of the data asset in the construction lifecycle phase. The combination of these two checkpoints allows us to identify and register new data assets in a repeatable process.  As we mature and refine our process we will continue to make strides to enable open data throughout the information lifecycle.   

Incorporate data transparency considerations into the systems development lifecycle so we can release data in standard formats in a more efficient and automated way

FY 2016

In FY15, SSA issued an Open Data policy to provide further guidance to the agency. Using this new policy, we will further incorporate a level of transparency into the lifecycle to become more efficient in releasing data.

Engage the public in providing input for disability program policy development

Completed

Completed

  • July 16 2014 – Utilized IdeaScale to solicit feedback from frontline employees and advocacy groups on comprehensive Continuing Disability Review training. Received over 200 comments

Provide the public with the opportunity to comment on our proposed regulations

Completed

Regulations and other proposals are posted for public review and comment on Regulations.gov, and can be accessed by clicking  here.

Hold additional engagements on other potential areas for regulations changes

Ongoing

  • As part of the medical listings business process, we continue to host engagements seeking stakeholder input to inform our work to update and revise the Listing of Impairments (the Listings). This activity will be ongoing as we plan to host an engagement for each of the Listings. We recently hosted the following IdeaScale engagements:
    • In January 2016, we plan to solicit public input on Special Senses – Vision loss.
    • In December 2015, we solicited public input on the Genitourinary body system.
    • In October 2015, we asked for public feedback using IdeaScale on Special Senses- Hearing loss. o In August 2015 we solicited public input regarding the endocrine body system.
    • In August 2015, we also solicited public comments on the cancer body system and specifically asked about a new approach in clinical trials called “basket therapy” that uses drugs or drug combinations based on the genetic profiles of patients’ malignancies.
  • Nov 2015 - Third National Disability Forum held in Washington D.C. Over 700 Twitter followers and over 200 individuals’ participated in-person or by telephone in the discussion on “The Realities of Work for Individuals with Disabilities: Impact of Age, Education, and Work Experience.”
  • The second National Disability Forum held on 7/15/15. The topic was “Transitioning SSI Childhood Beneficiaries to Successful Adulthood.” IdeaScale was used to engage stakeholders in follow-up discussion as well as to solicit topics for future Forums.
  • September 2014 - Launched the National Disability Forum, an open forum moderated by Social Security that gives all interested stakeholders an opportunity to share their unique insights on topics of particular interest to SSA early in the process and directly with policy makers. Topics vary per forum, but can include regulations currently under review.
  • June 2014 - ODP invited stakeholders to participate in an IdeaScale online comment forum to capture innovative training ideas and comments for improving the disability decision process for CDR adjudication.

Provide information on other means to provide feedback on various topics

Completed

  • Feb 2016 – Launched Open Government Plan 4.0 Feedback Process, using IdeaScale tool, to gather input from public for use in drafting the forthcoming Open Government Plan 4.0
  • Oct 2015 – On October 7, 2015, SSA collaborated with the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for a Twitter chat celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
  • Jun 2015 – On April 27, 2015, SSA released its Vision 2025 webpage, which included a dedicated feedback page with three avenues for engagement: a Survey Monkey survey, an Idea Scale engagement community, and a dedicated Vision 2025 email address.
  • April 2015 – Launched Social Security Matters blog, a platform for Social Security to share our goals, programs, and online services with the American public and stakeholders, while providing a forum for readers to share their feedback on various topics.
  • Aug 4, 2014 – Held an “Ask Me Anything (AMA)” public engagement on social media service Reddit. AMA sessions are an online interview forum where online users post live questions for a designated person to answer. Chief Actuary Stephen Goss hosted this session on the topic of Social Security’s long term solvency.

Use focus groups for public input and usability testing before launching online services

Ongoing

  • Mar 2016 - Fourth National Disability Forum held in Washington D.C. Topic of discussion was “Developing and Assessing Medical Evidence for Extreme Limitations in the Ability to Focus on Tasks”
  • May 2015 – Tested the Dynamic Help (DH) and Click to Call Back (CTCB) screens
  • June 2014 – Tested Message Center draft screens
  • July 2014 – Tested Social Security replacement card draft screens
  • July 2014 – Tested SSI Mobile Wage Reporting screen changes

Hold engagements with the public and advocates regarding agency’s services and programs

Completed

  • Nov 2015 - Third National Disability Forum held in Washington D.C. Over 700 Twitter followers and over 200 individuals’ participated in-person or by telephone in the discussion on “The Realities of Work for Individuals with Disabilities: Impact of Age, Education, and Work Experience.”
  • Aug 2015 – Agency hosted a webinar on iAppeals, providing an overview of the latest iAppeals enhancements with a live Q&A session for advocates, social services agencies and other third parties.
  • Jul 2015 – National Disability Forum, held in Washington, DC, engaged disability advocates and other public and private stakeholders in a public meeting on the topic of “Transitioning SSI Childhood Beneficiaries to Successful Adulthood.”
  • Jun 2015 – On April 27, 2015, SSA released its Vision 2025 webpage, which included a dedicated feedback page with three avenues for engagement: a Survey Monkey survey, an Idea Scale engagement community, and a dedicated Vision 2025 email address. As of June 2015, the Survey Monkey page has garnered 1,066 responses from managers, 651 responses from employees, and 122 responses from the public; the IdeaScale engagement has garnered 106 Ideas, 174 Comments, and 690 Votes; and the Vision 2025 email inbox has received 31 messages.
  • May 2015 – We will participate in a brainstorming session with the Center for Disease Control to explore opportunities for data sharing collaborations and data exchange.
  • March 2015 – National Quarterly Advocates Call, for Women’s History Month, to discuss retirement security. Guest speakers included Women’s’ Institute for a Secure Retirement, Operations Hope, and the Department of Treasury.
  • March 2015 – Delivered a presentation of Continuing Disability Reviews to the National Association of Disability Representatives Annual Social Security Law Conference.
  • November 2014-March 2015 – Policy staff hosted Federal Expert Panel on Disability Policy, a series of three discussions with federal experts from other agencies about how the vocational factors of age, education, and past work experience affect the ability to adjust to other work.
  • November 2014 – Met with representatives from Huntington’s Disease Society of America and gave an overview of the Huntington’s Disease Compassionate Allowance template.
  • Sept 2014 - Disability Forum (formerly Disability Coalition) engaged disability advocates and other public and private stakeholders in a public meeting regarding key policy topics.
  • Sept 2014 – National Quarterly Advocates Engagement, for the first time broadcast as a Webinar. To date, has received 360 views (live webinar/YouTube views combined).
  • August 2014 - Met with representatives of the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation who provided information about the condition. We gave background on the Compassionate Allowance List (CAL) templates.

Further enhance our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) website and online reading room

Completed

November 2014 - Updated the system of records notice section of our FOIA website. The compilation contains a notice of each system of records and related appendices that we maintain, and now includes the actual Federal Register publication for each of the systems of records.

Review FOIA cases to determine practicality of posting information on FOIA Library

Completed

You can review the list of Proactive Disclosure items added to the Proactive Disclosure page of the FOIA Library, in row below

SSA’s Office of Privacy and Disclosure received several inquiries regarding the Sanctioned Representatives list, and has added it to the Proactive Disclosure tab in the FOIA Library.

Add items to the Proactive Disclosure web page

Completed

  • Aug 11, 2016 – Updated list of Sanctioned Representatives
  • Sep 14, 2015 – Added FY 2014 Workload Data – Disability Decisions
  • Sep 14, 2015 – Added State of Georgia Appeals Council Request for Review Actions 2009-2014
  • Jul 2015 – Added list of Sanctioned Representatives

Examine alternatives to FOIA system

Completed

Completed - SSA has completed its review of alternative FOIA systems and has concluded that EPA’s FOIA online solution provides the best capabilities that suits SSA’s needs. We are beginning the procurement process and are hopeful in transitioning to the new system beginning by mid- 2017. The new system provides numerous benefits that will enable SSA to better track requests, and more accurately reflect FOIA figures for the Department of Justice annual report.

Give open government honor awards for employees to recognize achievements in advancing open government principles

Annually - Completed

Completed

  • Jun 2016 - Awards for FY 15 given in June 2016, including awards for the teams behind the National Disability Forum and the Congressional Testimony Search Tool
  • Awards for FY 14 given in January 2015, including awards for interagency collaboration, stewardship of open data, and fostering internal and external engagement.
  • Created an Open Government Honor Awards page highlighting current and past honorees, with descriptions of their projects.

Post our open government goals and our performance against the goals on our website

Completed

Implementation progress chart updated throughout the year

Build our online repository of congressional and legislative materials that may be of interest either for historical reasons or to promote transparency

Completed

Completed

  • Jun 2015 – Launched an online tool to search through past congressional testimony from 1995 to the present. Testimony is searchable by subject, names, and year.
  • Nov 2014 – Social Security History page contains chronological set of legislative documents from 1935-2004 pertaining to Social Security, including committee reports, records of congressional debates, legislative bulletins, Administration statements, and other pertinent reference material.

Expand the use of social media tools to support transparency, participation, and collaboration

Completed

  • Oct 2015 – On October 7, 2015, SSA collaborated with the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for a Twitter chat celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
  • Jun 2015 – On April 27, 2015, SSA released its Vision 2025 webpage, which included a dedicated feedback page with three avenues for engagement: a Survey Monkey survey, an Idea Scale engagement community, and a dedicated Vision 2025 email address. As of June 2015, the Survey Monkey page has garnered 1,066 responses from managers, 651 responses from employees, and 122 responses from the public; the IdeaScale engagement has garnered 106 Ideas, 174 Comments, and 690 Votes; and the Vision 2025 email inbox has received 31 messages.
  • April 2015 – Launched Social Security Matters blog, a platform for Social Security to share our goals, programs, and online services with the American public and stakeholders, while providing a forum for readers to share their feedback.
  • Jan 2015 – Piloting SkillsConnect program, a talent-sharing model that allows employees the opportunity to apply for and participate on projects across the agency.
  • Utilized IdeaScale to solicit discussion items for National Disability Consortium meeting, held on September 24, 2014.
  • Aug 2014 – Utilizing IdeaScale to solicit public feedback on agency’s Vision 2025 plan.
  • Aug 21, 2014 – Held Twitter chat titled “mySocialSecurity: Planning for your Financial Future”.
  • Aug 4, 2014 – Held an “Ask Me Anything” public engagement on social media service Reddit, hosted by Chief Actuary Stephen Goss, on the topic of Social Security’s long term solvency.

Improve the open government portal

Completed

Completed

  • Aug 2016 – Updated content on Crowdsourcing and Participation page
  • Jul 2016 – Launched GeoMaps @ SSA  page, featuring geospatial maps created using Social Security data. 
  • Jul 2015 – We published an Open Data Progress web page with a chart tallying the data assets added to the enterprise data inventory. This chart is updated monthly and contains data totals back to August 2014.
  • May 2015 – Updated the Participation page to include collaboration and feedback opportunities for the agency’s Vision 2025.
  • Provided links to Open Data public engagements.
  • Using feedback from Open Data engagement, created Open Data Themes page, with common themes that emerged from public feedback.
  • Created Open Government Honor Awards page highlighting current and past honorees, with descriptions of their projects.

Participate in projects with the Department of Treasury’s Do Not Pay (DNP) Program

Completed

On September 18, 2015, under reimbursable agreement between SSA, Treasury’s Bureau of Fiscal Service (FS), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), SSA sent FS 1.1 million prisoner records and FS passed this information to IRS for tax administration purposes.

Review the Annual Performance Plan to incorporate open government principles and activities

Completed

We have an institutionalized process for reviewing agency documents

Display Whistleblower Protection informational posters throughout the agency and post to appropriate agency intranet pages

June 2014

Completed

Provide new employees with written materials about the Whistleblower Protection Act

June 2014

Completed

Issue statement to all agency employees about the Whistleblower Protection Act

June 2014

Completed

Prepare and begin to show all new hires a video on demand to educate them about the Whistleblower Protection Act

August 2014

Completed

Include Whistleblower Protection Act information with annual personnel reminders

Oct 2014

Completed

Achieve certification in compliance of Whistleblower Protection Act

FY 2016- Completed

May 2016- Achieved certification

Improve secure access to personal data and other online services

Completed

Completed

  • Aug 2015 – Released Dynamic Help (DH) which includes a widget located in the my Social Security portal. DH displays available help features and communication channels. When the customer engages the widget, it immediately displays three, context-specific, FAQs based on page location. If those FAQs are not helpful, the customer can ask a question to get more help.
  • July 2015 – Added the ability for a my Social Security user to download or save the Online Social Security Statement. This enhancement provides the public with the ability to upload the information into financial planning software, or provide the information to the financial planner of their choice in an electronic format.
  • Feb 2015 – Added instant download of tax form SSA-1099 to suite of services available through a my Social Security account. Our agency mails out 62.5 million tax-related forms our each year. This new online service allows those millions of people to access their personal data instantly and securely, and replaces a paper-based replacement form process.

Flagship and Major Initiatives

Milestone Projected Completion Date Status

Flagship: Message Center

Provide generic updates to my Social Security services via personal email or text messages FY 2017
  • Feb 2016 – Currently in development, Message Center is scheduled for a July 2016 release.
  • Sep 2015 – Online Notices will allow my Social Security users to view, save, respond and print notices. Planning and analysis (P&A) of the initial user group for the first release began FY15. P&A will continue for the remainder of FY15 through FY16. The first release tentatively scheduled for FY17.
Provide online notices to a specific user group FY 2017
  • Feb 2016 – Online Notices continues planning and analysis activities for all of FY16. Activities include analyzing the current user base of my Social Security and determining the sequence notices will be released online to those users.
  • Sep 2015 – Online Notices will allow my Social Security users to view, save, respond and print notices. Planning and analysis (P&A) of the initial user group for the first release began FY15. P&A will continue for the remainder of FY15 through FY16. The first release tentatively scheduled for FY17.
  • Planning has begun on this feature and will continue throughout FY 2015. Implementation is scheduled for FY 2016.
Add click to talk to my Social Security services
Ongoing
  • Mar 2016 - Click to Call Back enhancements. These enhancements allow users four new options: The option to schedule a callback; select a reason for the callback request; review and edit their last question and phone number in the DH widget; and the option to cancel the call back request.
  • Sep 2015 - Development and release activities continue for Dynamic Help (DH) and Click to Call Back (CTCB). DH and CTCB are part of a larger group of online customer support services called Customer Engagement Tools (CET). DH released 8/1/15, and CTCB will release 9/19/15.
  • May 2015 - Tested the Dynamic Help (DH) and Click to Call Back (CTCB) screens.
  • March 2015 - Planning and development activities are in full swing for “click to call back” and “dynamic help”. “Click to call back” and “dynamic help” are part of a larger group of online customer support services under development. This project is on track for release at the end of FY 2015.

Major Initiatives

Health Information Technology

Onboard additional medical providers and connect with Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on the eHealth Exchange Completed

Completed

  • As of August 2015, we have a total of 47 partners with 6,821 participating providers in 33 States and the District of Columbia.
  • As of January 31, 2015, we have a total of 37 partners with 4,334 participating providers in 30 States and the District of Columbia.
  • We plan to continue our outreach efforts in FYs 2015 and 2016, to include additional medical providers and connect with VA and DoD on the eHealth Exchange.

Collaborate with government-wide health information technology (IT) policy and standards setting advisory panels, workgroups and task forces

Ongoing

We continue to collaborate with government-wide health IT policy and standards setting advisory panels, workgroups and task forces. We participate in these committees to ensure that Social Security’s unique business needs are included in national standards and policies. For example, we participate on the Office of the National Coordinator’s, Policy Committee’s Privacy and Security Task Force that focuses on resolving questions related to health care records and the protection of personally identifiable information.

Increase the percentage of initial level claims containing health IT medical evidence We anticipate this percentage reaching 2.5 percent in FY 2014 and 4 percent in FY 2015

Completed
  • For all of FY 2015, we increased the percentage of initial disability claims with health IT medical evidence to 6.1 percent(167,626 initial claims), exceeding our FY 2015 performance goal of 6 percent.
  • Through August 2015, about 149,800 initial claims contained health IT medical evidence, an increase to about 5.96 percent of the total initial claims. We anticipate this percentage reaching 6 percent in FY 2015 and 8 percent in FY 2016.

Wounded Warrior Collaboration

Pilot using the nationwide eHealth Exchange to request and receive medical records from DoD and VA Completed
  • Sept 2015 – SSA, DoD and VA continue to work closely to enable the exchange of medical records on the nationwide eHealth exchange.
  • June 2015 – SSA and DoD concluded an initial pilot where DoD records were shared with SSA over the nationwide eHealth exchange. A second pilot planned for October 2015. Based on results, a nationwide roll-out plan will be developed.
Expedite the processing of Social Security disability claims of all Veterans who possess a VA compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total, through all levels of adjudication using a manual process Completed May 2014 – Entered into Information Exchange Agreement with VA to conduct a one-time automated data match in which all pending disability claims from Veterans rated 100% P&T were identified and flagged. We expedited the processing of those cases.
Implement a fully automated process that will automatically flag and expedite claims of all veterans who possess a VA compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total throughout the disability claims process Completed
  • Sept 2015 – SSA successfully tested the exchange of information with the VA in August 2015 and we are on target to begin processing this data by end of September 2015.
  • Sept 2014 – SITAR funds were approved to design an ongoing automated data match agreement.  This planning period should conclude by March 2015 and full automation is expected by September 30, 2015.
Data Exchanges
Collect and share additional prisoner data as authorized by section 204 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 FY 2016
  • Mar 2016 - The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) Bureau of the Fiscal Service (FS) requested cost estimates for the monthly (instead of daily) delivery of prisoner information. SSA Systems is currently working on cost estimates for a monthly process. SSA will then seek commitment from FS on the frequency and then proceed with revising the Phase 2 Business Plan Description for FY16/17– to collect and send additional prisoner information to FS.
  • By April 2016, SSA plans to mail outreach letters and emails to prison reporters requesting the additional prisoner data.
  • Fall 2015 - Under a signed reimbursable agreement, sent Treasury the second load of prisoner files. Over 700, 000 prisoner files were sent to bridge the gap in prisoner files since the initial load was sent in September 2014.

  • Completed 2014 - Under a signed reimbursable agreement, sent the Department of the Treasury 5.6 million prisoner records and over 7,000 prison facility contact files. Our Prisoner Work Group is currently working on developing a business process description.
Upon enactment of new legislation, work with the Department of Treasury to provide the public plus state Death Master File to the Do Not Pay List TBD, based on date and language in the legislation

 

Help grow the data exchange community of practice

2015-2016
  • Jun 17, 2016 – Held Federal Data Exchange Community of Practice meeting in Washington. Bi-monthly meetings held since 2014, with volunteer federal agency participation increasing to over 30 agencies.
  • Apr 15, 2016 – Held Federal Data Exchange Community of Practice meeting in Washington
  • Feb 1, 2016 – Held Federal Data Exchange Community of Practice meeting in Washington Held most recent Federal Data Exchange Community of Practice meeting in Washington on August 21, 2015. Next meeting scheduled for October 2015. Nine bi-monthly meetings held since 2014, with volunteer federal agency participation increasing to over 20 agencies.
  • Held the last Community of Practice meeting in Washington on January 8, 2015. The next meeting is scheduled for March 2015.
  • Held quarterly Community of Practice meetings in Washington on July 10 and October 9, 2014.  Next meeting scheduled for January 2015.