Open Government Plan 3.0

Plan Milestones and Completion Report

Last updated on February 27, 2015

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


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

Post new high-value datasets/information holdings to in 2014, 2015, and 2016


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


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

FY 2015

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



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


Engage the public in providing input for disability program policy development



  • 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


The following regulations and other proposals were posted for public review and comment on, and have closed/will close in the time periods listed below:

  • Sept 2014 – Mar 2015 – “Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment Request.”
    • Mar 24, 2015 – Waiver of Right to Appear, Promoting Readiness of Minors in SSA Evaluation
    • Feb 3, 2015 – Letter to Employer Requesting Information About Wages Earned by Beneficiary; Request to Show Cause for Failure to Appear; Claimant’s Recent Medical Treatment; et al.
    • Dec 30, 2014 – Modified Benefit Formula Questionnaire-Foreign Pension; Filing Claims Under the Tort Claims Act; et al.
    • Dec 9, 2014 - Statement of Funds You Provided to Another and Statement of Funds You Received
    • Nov 25, 2014 – Application for Search of Census Records for Proof of Age; Public Information Campaign; Medicare Subsidy Quality Review Forms; et al.
    • Oct 27, 2014 – Partnership Questionnaire; Statement of marital relationship forms; Workers' Compensation/Public Disability Questionnaire; et al.
    • Oct 6, 2014 – Disability Report-Appeal; Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge; et al.
    • Sept 22, 2014 - Application for Search of Census Records for Proof of Age; Public Information Campaign; Medicare Subsidy Quality Review Forms; et al.
  • March 9, 2015 – “Monitoring Reviews for Certain Representative Payees”  
  • Feb 17, 2015 – “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards: Federal Awarding Agency Regulatory Implementation”
  • Feb 6, 2015 – “Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended: Proposed New Routing Use and Updated Retention and Disposal”
  • Jan 6, 2015 – “Revisions to Direct Fee Payment Rules” 
  • Jan 2, 2015 – “Extension of Expiration Dates for Several Body System Listings” 
  • Sept 2014 – Jan 2015 – “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals.”
    • Jan 21, 2015 - Statement of Funds You Provided to Another and Statement of Funds You Received.
    • Sept 29, 2014 – General Request for Social Security Records; Incoming and Outgoing Intergovernmental Personnel Act Assignment Agreement; et al.
  • Dec 29, 2014 – “Rate for Assessment on Direct Payment of Fees to Representatives in 2015”
  • Dec 2, 2014 – “Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Department of Homeland Security (DHS))--Match Number 1010”  
  • Jun – Nov 2014 – “Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request.”
    • Nov 24, 2014 – Letter to Employer Requesting Information About Wages Earned By Beneficiary; Letter to Employer Requesting Wage Information; et al.
    • Nov 10, 2014 - Supplement to Claim of Person Outside the United States
    • Sept 2, 2014 – SSI Notice of Interim Assistance Reimbursement (IAR)
  • August 11, 2014 – Obtaining Evidence Beyond the Current “Special Arrangement Sources”
  • July 17, 2014 – Notice of the intentto establish a new system of records entitled, Requests for Accommodation from Members of the Public
  • June 2, 2014 – Medical Criteria for Evaluating Neurological Disorders

Hold additional engagements on other potential areas for regulations changes



Provide information on other means to provide feedback on various topics



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


  • Spring 2015 – Testing of the Click to Callback and Dynamic help screens will begin in Spring.
  • 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


  • March 2016 – 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.
  • 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).

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


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




Examine alternatives to FOIA system

June 2015

We are currently evaluating a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) solution.

One of the products we are considering is FOIAonline, a Government off-the-shelf product used to accept FOIA requests from members of the public and allow Federal agencies to process these requests.

FOIAonline would improve our FOIA request program by increasing transparency between the requester community and our agency. FOIA online would accomplish this by allowing the requester community to do the following:

Guest users may:

  • Search for previously released records;
  • Generate reports; and
  • Receive records electronically if they provide an email address.
Registered users may, in addition to the above:
  • Track progress on all of their requests submitted through FOIAonline via a personal dashboard;
  • Communicate directly with the agency at all points in the process;
  • Have their contact information pre-populated in future requests;
  • Receive notification when the status of their request has changed.
More information about FOIAonline is available at

Add items to the Proactive Disclosure web page



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

Annually – once each in FY 2014 & FY 2015

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


  • Feb 6, 2015 – Implementation progress chart updated (with information on the data creation process, new social media tools, and the launch of online SSA-1099 forms)
  • Nov 18, 2014 – Third implementation chart updated (with information on Wounded Warriors, newly published data sets, and completion of Whistleblower Protection Act activities)
  • Sept 26, 2014 – Second implementation chart updated (with information on regulations out for comment, published data sets, public engagement on agency services)
  • Aug 22, 2014 – Implementation progress chart updated (with information on public engagements on Disability policy, online service testing, regulations out for comment, an engagement on Open Data)
  • June 2, 2014 – Published Open Government Plan 3.0, containing Open Government goals.

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



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


  • 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


  • 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 Program

Fall 2015

SSA discloses prisoner information to Treasury’s Do Not Pay portal for tax administration purposes and for re-disclosure to health and income maintenance agencies for programmatic purposes.

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



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

June 2014


Provide new employees with written materials about the Whistleblower Protection Act

June 2014


Issue statement to all agency employees about the Whistleblower Protection Act

June 2014


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

August 2014


Include Whistleblower Protection Act information with annual personnel reminders

Oct 2014


Improve secure access to personal data and other online services


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 2016

The two-way, secure communication via personal email or text messaging feature has been deferred for development from FY 2015 to FY 2016.

Provide online notices to a specific user group FY 2016

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
FY 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 FYs 2014 and 2015

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


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

FYs 2014 and 2015

In FY 2014, about 85,000 initial claims contained health IT medical evidence, an increase to about 3 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 2015

The VA and DoD are engaging in meetings to address the technical issues required for the eHealth Exchange. We plan to pilot the exchange in FY 2015.

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 2014 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 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 Fall 2015

  • 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


  • 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.