Open Government Plan 4.1

Plan Milestones and Completion Report

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On February 17, 2017, we launched our refreshed Open Government Plan 4.1. 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

GOAL I – INCREASE TRANSPARENCY
Milestone Projected Completion Date Status
Issue refreshed Open Government Plan and share it with public and employees September 15, 2016 Complete – Open Government Plan 4.1 published on Social Security's Open Government webpage on February 17, 2017.

Expand and enhance our public open government web presence

Ongoing
  • January 2018 – Added news items
  • August 2017 – Renovated and updated information available on the Open Government website
  • June 2017 – Added data for application developers to the Developer Support Webpage.
  • Nov 2016 – Added three new geospatial maps to our Open Government Map Gallery page (OASDI Beneficiaries & Benefits by State 2013 & 2015, American Indian and Alaska Native Outreach Map.)

Use social media and other tools more effectively to share information, engage the public, and provide easily accessible and relevant data to the public

Ongoing
  • January 2018 – Produced Facebook Live event on retirement planning.
  • Sep 19, 2017 – Produced Facebook Live event, titled “The Future of Social Security Part II” to discuss the newly released 2017 Trustees Report. Featured SSA’s Chief Actuary, Steve Goss
  • June 2017–We continue to use two-way feedback, crowdsourcing tool, IdeaScale, to host the Open Data Project, as a way to engage with internal and external data researchers.
  • May 2017 – Produced Facebook Live event to promote the release of 2016 Top Baby Names
  • Mar 22, 2017 – Held National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE Webinar): "The ABLE Act: Achieving a Better Life Experience."
  • Feb 22, 2017 – Held National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE Webinar): "Choosing a Service Provider That's Right for You."
  • Jan 25, 2017 – Held National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE Webinar): "Make it Happen: The Ticket to Financial Freedom."
  • Dec 21, 2016 – Held National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE Webinar): “Debunking the Three Biggest Myths about Disability Benefits and Work.”
  • Nov 16, 2016 – Held National Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE Webinar): “Ticket to Work and Mentorship: Achieving Financial Independence.”
  • Oct 2016 – For the National Disability Forum held on October 27, 2016, we used SSA’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog to promote and engage stakeholders. 

Continue to identify and release data in an open, accessible, and machine-readable format

Ongoing
Continue to identify public Social Security data to adapt into geospatial maps and Application Programming Interfaces (API) Ongoing
  • February 2018 – Added new locations to geospatial map.
  • Sep 2017 – Reviewed office locations and coding to ensure data accuracy
  • June 2017 – Released field office and resident station address information with an API service
  • Nov 2016 – Adapted three datasets into new geospatial maps featured in our Open Government Map Gallery page (OASDI Beneficiaries & Benefits by State 2013 & 2015, American Indian and Alaska Native Outreach Map.)
Foster the use of agency data through ongoing contacts with stakeholders and interested parties Ongoing
  • February 2018 – Met with Federal agencies on geoplatform and data.gov.
  • August – Sept 2017 – Benchmarked with other federal agencies and departments about how they are organized to support the principles of open government and open data. More in-depth discussions were held with the Department of Health and Human Services to discuss both data and other initiatives.
  • August 2017 – Developed a flyer for use at conferences with stakeholders to highlight data available to the public. Used a targeted version of the flyer at the 2017 Home and Community Based Services Conference held in Baltimore.
  • June 2016 – Conducted conference calls with researchers and business users about data and new tools that can provide insights into our processes.
  • Dec 2016 – We continue to engage with data users, stakeholders, and other interested parties through our moderated Open Data Project engagement.
Explore implementation of new FOIA system Completed- May 29, 2017
  • February 2018 – New system selected for March 2018 Sunshine material.
  • May 29, 2017 – The agency started using the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) FOIA solution, FOIAonline. All new FOIA are being processed in FOIAonline so all the processing is now in a fully electronic format instead of the paper files needed for our old system.
Expand the release of proactive disclosure items to FOIA Proactive Disclosure web page Ongoing
  • November 2017 – New items added to Read Room.
  • September 2017 – Additional proactive disclosure items added to our Reading Room
  • June 2017 – Agency continues to expand proactive disclosure items in our Reading Room, including annual reports regarding ALJ disposition data, SSI payment and award information, sanctioned representatives, etc. We have been posting more documents to our FOIA Library and now that we are using FOIAonline, this fully electronic system is designed so FOIA documents and proactive disclosure items can be automatically placed into the Reading Room.
  • Dec 2016 – Agency continues to expand proactive disclosure items in our Reading Room, including annual reports regarding ALJ disposition data, SSI payment and award information, sanctioned representatives, etc. With SSA transitioning to FOIAonline next year, we will be implementing the new system’s FOIA Reading Room for proactive disclosures. FOIAonline is a fully electronic system, so FOIA documents and proactive disclosure items can be automatically placed into the Reading Room.
Provide our employees with training, new tools, and access to data to use innovation methods in support of our core mission Ongoing
  • February 2018 – Accessible Name and Description Inspector (ANDI) code added to Github. ANDI detects accessibility issues.
  • Sep 2017 – Agency workgroups such as the Business Intelligence and the GIS working groups regularly meet and share information about tools, training opportunities and innovations in data analytics to promote access and use of data in support of our mission.
  • Sep 2017 – Agency continues to develop, and consistently improve, the internal Communications Outreach Activity Reporting System (COARS) system. Employees across the agency are being trained on COARS reporting as a means of tracking external/public engagement.
  • Jan - June, 2017 – Tableau training for SSA employees. Tableau is an interactive data visualization tool focused on business intelligence for SSA.
  • In FY 16, ODEPP implemented an interim solution to improve the centralized tracking of interagency data sharing requests. The SharePoint-based tracking tool allows for reporting on certain data exchange performance measures, tracks the workflow for incoming data exchange requests (new requests and modifications to existing agreements), and separately tracks the administrative/legal and financial agreement workflows (including annual renewals). The data exchange tracker contains all FY 15 and FY 16 data exchange requests received to date. Additionally, ODEPP is in the process of developing an Integrated Data Exchange Application (IDEA), which will establish a single interface using a universal business process for processing, administering, tracking, and reporting on all data exchange agreements within the agency. This is critical for the long-term leadership and enterprise governance of our data sharing services.
Continue to provide Open Data quarterly reports to OMB, as required Ongoing
  • February 2018 – SSA submits report.
  • November 2017 – SSA submits report.
  • Aug 2017 – Quarterly report to OMB on open data accomplishments was submitted on time, as required.
  • May 2017 – Quarterly report to OMB on open data and accomplishments, was submitted on time, as required.
  • Feb 28, 2017 – Quarterly report on the Open Data CAP Goal was submitted to OMB on time by the due date of February 28, 2017.
  • Nov 30, 2016 – Quarterly report on the Open Data CAP Goal was completed submitted to OMB on time by the due date of November 30.
  • May 2017 – Quarterly report to OMB on open data and accomplishments, was submitted on time, as required.
Complete records management requirements in the timeframes contained in the M-12-18 issued by OMB on August 24, 2012 Ongoing
  • February 2018 – Self-Assessment Process begins.
  • Nov 4, 2016 – SSA began managing permanent and temporary email records in an accessible electronic format in 2016. We submitted NA Form 1005 to NARA for approval on November 4, 2016.
GOAL II – EXPAND PARTICIPATION
Use crowdsourcing tools and techniques to expand public participation and collaboration opportunities on our program policy developments, strategic planning, and other program initiatives. Ongoing
  • February 2018 – Social Security employees participated in new Innovation.gov + Better Government Movement meetings. This new effort expands on traditional crowdsourcing ideas and methods.
  • July 2017 – For the National Disability Forum on Disability Best Practices, we used SSA’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and IdeaScale to increase visibility of the key disability policy topics, and encourage participation from attendees throughout the country.
  • June 2017 – We continue to use two-way feedback, crowdsourcing tool, IdeaScale, to host the Open Data Project, as a way to engage with internal and external data researchers.
  • March 2017 – For the National Disability Forum on Ticket to Work Regulations, we will use SSA’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and IdeaScale to increase visibility of the key disability policy topics, and encourage participation from attendees throughout the country.
  • Sept 2016 – Using crowdsourcing tool IdeaScale, launched public engagement on the topic of “Exploring Opportunities to Advance the Disability Program through Telehealth and Telemedecine” in anticipation of the National Disability Forum held on Oct 27, 2016. IdeaScale engages stakeholders to provide strategic comments and possible solutions.
Promote the feedback mechanisms we have in place for gathering info for our programs and services Ongoing
  • February 2018 - We updated the Crowdsourcing and Participation Opportunities webpage.
  • August 2017 – We actively promoted a National Disability Forum held on August 1 which focused on “Serving Individuals with Disabilities: Best Practices and the Modern Day Workforce”. At this session, we gathered ideas and feedback from stakeholders interested in this topic.
  • Apr 2017 – Following the National Disability Forum on April 5, 2017, we opened IdeaScale for comments for two weeks to allow stakeholders to provide comments they could not share during the National Disability Forum.  This post-Forum comment period also gives stakeholders the opportunity to submit feedback after they have reviewed the presentations and considered the discussion.
  • Oct 2016 – Following each National Disability Forum, we open IdeaScale for comments for two weeks to allow stakeholders to provide comments they could not share during the National Disability Forum.  This post- National Disability Forum comment period also gives stakeholders the opportunity to submit feedback after they have reviewed the presentations and considered the discussion.
Provide the public with the opportunity to comment on our proposed regulations Ongoing SSA provides the public with opportunity to comment on proposed regulations through Regulations.gov portal.
Use focus group and usability testing with members of the public before launching online services Ongoing
  • Sept 2017 – Click-to-Chat will use a soft-launch, in FY18, to gather feedback from my Social Security customers, and test usability. The soft launch will only be accessible to 10% of the total population of my Social Security customers, and will allow for adjustments of the new online service before a wider release and marketing efforts are implemented.
GOAL III – INCREASE COLLABORATION
Conduct a Proof of Concept at various third-party locations using stand up kiosks with the Social Security Express Customer Service Stations.  If successful, this concept would be piloted at other businesses targeting the same partners as the Icon 12/31/2016

Completed

12/31/2016 – The Customer Service Station Proof of Concept (POC) ended on 12/31/2016.  We have decommissioned all 7 kiosks.  Although there were some technical issues during the POC, overall 96% of our customers were satisfied with their experience.  We are currently conducting market research and planning for a possible expansion to a pilot contingent upon available funding and executive concurrence.  
Encourage and increase the use of internal knowledge-sharing databases as a way to increase collaboration and employee engagement Ongoing
  • February 2018 - EngageSSA provides employee engagement.
  • June 9, 2017 – As of June, 59 projects have been posted to the SkillsConnect site. These projects offer 178 employees the opportunity to share their skills across the agency. As of June 9, 2017, employees had filed 774 applications and 118 employees had been selected to participate on projects.
  • Mar 31, 2017 – Since the agency-wide launch on September 30, 2016, 41 projects have been posted to the SkillsConnect site.  These projects offer 129 employees the opportunity to share their skills across the agency.  As of March 2, 2017, employees had filed 465 applications and 82 employees had been selected to participate on projects. Nov 30, 2016 - SSA won second place for the Human Capital Management for Government’s (HCMG) “Public Sector Innovation Award for the 21st Century,” which recognized SkillsConnect as an innovative approach to mobilizing talent to accomplish important agency work.
  • Nov 30, 2016 – SSA won second place for the Human Capital Management for Government’s (HCMG) “Public Sector Innovation Award for the 21st Century,” which recognized SkillsConnect as an innovative approach to mobilizing talent to accomplish important agency work.
  • Sept 30, 2016 – SkillsConnect program launched agency-wide to an additional 40,000 employees.
GOAL IV – INTERNALIZE OPEN GOVERNMENT PRINCIPLES
Give open government honor awards for employees to recognize achievements in advancing open government principles Annually
  • Jan 2017 – Awards for FY 2016 given in Jan 2017; honorees included Richard Hadley for transparency efforts, and Veteran’s Administration (VA) Pension Referral Group for excellence in collaboration
Post our Open Government Progress Report showing progress made against the commmitments in our plan. Ongoing

Flagship and Major Initiatives

Milestone Projected Completion Date Status
Flagship: National Disability Forum

Continue to conduct National Disability Forum meetings

Ongoing
  • Nov 7, 2017 – We held a National Disability Forum on the topic of “Compassionate Allowances and Rare Diseases.”
  • Aug 1, 2017 – We hosted a National Disability Forum on the topic “Serving Individuals with Disabilities: Best Practices and the Modern Day Workforce”
  • April 5, 2017 – We hosted a National Disability Forum on the topic “Exploring Potential Changes to the Ticket to Work Regulations."
  • Oct 27, 2016 – Hosted National Disability Forum on the topic “Exploring Opportunities to Advance the Disability Program through Telehealth and Telemedecine."

Continue to use public facing venues like IdeaScale, bulletins, and surveys, before any meeting to gain input on specific issues

Ongoing
  • Aug 2017 – For the National Disability Forum on Disability Best Practices, we used SSA’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and IdeaScale to increase visibility of the key disability policy topics, and encourage participation from attendees throughout the country.
  • March 2017 – For the National Disability Forum on Ticket to Work Regulations, we used SSA’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and IdeaScale to increase visibility of the key disability policy topics, and encourage participation from attendees throughout the country.
  • October 2016 – For the National Disability Forum on Telehealth/Telemedicine, we used SSA’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, and IdeaScale to increase visibility of the key disability policy topics, and encourage participation from attendees throughout the country.

Increase the number of organizations and individuals participating in discussions and meetings

Ongoing
  • Sep 2017 – The National Disability Forum covers different topics related to disability and adds new stakeholders interested in disability topics. Each new stakeholder from the National Disability Forum is added to the Office of Communication’s existing database of SSA’s Disability program stakeholders. Currently, this database holds over 2,800 stakeholders.
  • April 2017 – The National Disability Forum covers different topics related to disability and adds new stakeholders interested in disability topics.  Each new stakeholder from the National Disability Forum is added to the Office of Communication’s existing database of SSA’s Disability program stakeholders. Currently, this database holds over 2,200 stakeholders.
  • Dec 2016 – The National Disability Forum covers different topics related to disability and adds new stakeholders interested in disability topics.  Each new stakeholder from the National Disability Forum is added to the Office of Communication’s existing database of SSA’s Disability program stakeholders. Currently, this database holds over 650 stakeholders.
  • Dec 2016 – In 2016, approximately 200 disability advocates, benefit-paying state, federal agency, and private industry representatives participated in each forum.

Major Initiatives

Customer Engagement Tools (CET)

Implement Click to Chat feature to my Social Security FY 2018
  • Fiscal Year 2018 – Click-to-Chat is scheduled to launch in FY18. Recent progress includes beginning employee training to help SSA technicians anticipate and respond to the different types of chat inquiries we expect. New design features were approved to allow customers to type their chat message in the font style, size, and color they prefer. This new communication channel for supporting SSA customers will be available through the Dynamic Help widget behind my Social Security.
  • April 2017 – Click-to-Chat is progressing toward a scheduled launch in July 2017. Recent progress includes drafting employee training materials to help SSA technicians anticipate and respond to the different types of chat inquiries we expect. New design features were approved to allow customers to type their chat message in the font style, size, and color they prefer. This new communication channel for supporting SSA customers will be available through the Dynamic Help widget behind my Social Security.
Develop and implement Click to Video and Screen Sharing features for my Social Security as an extension of the dynamic help widget TBD
  • Sept 2017 – The Click to Video and Screen Sharing features have been submitted for investment board review within SSA’s internal Information Technology Investment Process (ITIP). High level business process diagrams have been created incorporating Click to Video and Screen Sharing ability will enhance service for online customer inquiries. These documents will help key stakeholders within SSA identify how these new technologies may best be leveraged to enhance the customer engagement tools on my Social Security.
Data Exchanges
Work with the regional prison coordinators on outreach efforts aimed at requesting prisoner information from institutions as per the legislation September 2018
  • Sept 2017 – Continue to work on outreach efforts aimed at requesting additional prisoner information from prisoner institutions per the legislation
  • Dec 2016 – Continue to work on outreach efforts aimed at requesting additional prisoner information from prisoner institutions per the legislation.
Continue to grow the Federal Data Exchange Community of Practice Ongoing
  • Sept 2017 – The Data Exchange Community of Practice (DXCOP) continues to meet bi-monthly to identify, explore, and find ways to overcome common data exchange obstacles.  We provide member agency presentations of their experiences, programs, and best practices while exploring data exchange challenges and potential solutions
  • Nov 16, 2016 – An SSA official provided a presentation to the White House Data Cabinet about the federal Data Exchange Community of Practice. SSA has been an organizer and facilitator in establishing this new group.
Continue to grow the State Community of Excellence Ongoing
  • Sept 2017 – SSA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) signed a data exchange agreement that allows states to use SSA data transmitted via CMS’s HUB to make TANF and SNAP eligibility determinations in connection with an Insurance Affordability Program.  Three states (Pennsylvania, Oregon and Montana) have signed an agreement with SSA to take advantage of this expanded data use.  We are working with about 20 states to expand this data sharing to improve the states’ business processes.
Analytics Center of Excellence (ACE)

Complete its staffing, internal training, and organizational startup activities

September 2016 Complete

Establish an Analytics Maturity Model and assess high-level agency analytics maturity

September 2016 Complete
Complete at least three analytics projects each year; and deliver insights to achieve agency priorities and goals Annually
  • June 2017 – ACE has delivered on 3 more analytics projects between Dec 2016 and June 2017.
  • Dec 2016 – Analytics projects completed for 2016.
Continue and expand advanced analytics training conducted by GRA Ongoing
  • ACE will expand and partner with internal training components to expand advanced analytics training opportunities at SSA.
  • ACE Developed and piloted an Analytics course exclusively designed for executives titled “Executive GRA - Data-Driven Decisions: An Executive's View of Analytics” in Mar 2017.
  • Dec 2016 – Completed 5 training Sessions in 2016.

Establish an internal and external advanced analytics community of interest and practice to enable knowledge sharing

September 2017
  • ACE has hosted 9 Data Science Technology Exchanges (DSTE) since January 2016. The DSTE covers a wide range of advanced analytics topics including:
    • January 2016: RFC Form Data Collection using Python by Julia Porcino (Office of Disability Adjudication Review/National Institute of Health)
    • March 2016: Natural Language Processing & the INSIGHT Algorithm by Kurt Glaze (Office of Appellate Operations)
    • May 2016: Analyzing Office of Disability Adjudication Review’s Hearing Offices’ Performance: Multi-stage Data Envelopment Analysis by Larry Tang (Office of Disability Adjudication Review/National Institute of Health)
    • August 2016: Using Natural Language Processing to Extract Clinical Concepts from Medical Evidence by Jeff Visakowitz and John Petersam (Office of Disability Systems/Accenture)
    • October 2016: Social Security Solvency and Knowing Your Data and its Limitations by Steve Goss (Office of the Chief Actuary)
    • December 2016: Text Analytics at BLS by Alex Measure (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
    • February 2017: Data-Driven Discovery of Models (D3M) by Wade Shen (Department of Defense/Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
    • April 2017: Fraud Analytics by Devin Fensterheim (Office of Anti-Fraud Programs)
    • June 2017: Smart Grid Balancing by Sudip Bhattacharjee (U.S. Census)
    • ACE will continue to engage and host these knowledge sharing activities of advanced analytics.
      • ACE will continue to publish periodic newsletters to engage advanced analytics community in SSA
      • ACE is participating and contributing to the Federal Data Cabinet - a federal work group that serves as the principle Community of Practice for data professionals from across the federal government to share proven practices and critical insights, advance data-driven management, maximize the use of the data, and enhance problem-solving throughout government. The Data Cabinet had 3 working groups – Data Talent, Data Policy, Data Governance, but has now established a fourth, the Data Analytics working group whose objective will be to foster development of data analytics as a discipline tied to agency mission, and follow guiding principles to foster collaboration, increase capabilities, drive decisions and facilitate product and service development.
    • ACE is participating in the activities of the Data Analytics working group in lieu of establishing another external advanced analytics community of Interest.
      • ACE will collaborate and partner with other advanced analytics community both internally and externally.
      • Dec 6, 2016 – The Analytics Center of Excellence provided a presentation to the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodolog, titled "Necessary Changes: Updating Workforce Skills and Management Styles for Work with Hybrid Data."
      • Nov 4, 2016 – Established Internal Community of Interest.
Publish any new data assets created as a result of in-depth analyses to the Enterprise Data Inventory and, if appropriate, to the open government platform Ongoing  
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program (WIPA)
Continue to inform beneficiaries about WIPA services and Social Security’s (SSA) efforts to support returning to work Ongoing
  • Aug 2017 – Data on beneficiaries served by 83 WIPAs has been reported to SSA annually; 2016 report submitted in December, 2016.
Continue to track the performance measures established for the 83 WIPA projects and the beneficiaries they serve Ongoing
  • Aug 2017 – Program data is reported annually. Analysis and report report submission of annual program performance and beneficiary findings is planned for December 2017.
  • Dec 2016 – Collection and analysis of yearly program data is underway. Analysis of program outcomes is planned for 2017.
    Continue to track services, established performance elements, and benchmarks Ongoing
    • Sept 2017 – Benchmark and services reports submitted quarterly.
    Continue to inform beneficiaries about Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) services and other agency efforts to support returning to work Ongoing
    • Oct 2017 – Data on beneficiaries served by 57 PABSS grants/projects has been reported to SSA annually; 2016 report submitted in November 2016.
      Continue to track beneficiary demographics, services provided to beneficiaries, and systems advocacy for 57 PABSS projects Ongoing
      • Sept 2017 – Collection of annual program data is underway.
        Health Information Technology (IT)
        Continue our outreach efforts in FYs 2016, 2017, and 2018, to include additional medical providers and the Department of Veterans Affairs Ongoing
        • Sep 2017 – We have a total of 80 partners with 10,881 participating providers in all 50 States plus 5 U.S. Territories. In addition, DoD and VA have international facilities. We plan to continue our outreach efforts in FYs 2018 and 2019, to include additional medical providers.
        • June 2017 – We have a total of 76 partners with 10,595 participating providers in all 50 States plus 5 U.S. Territories. In addition, DoD and VA have international facilities. We plan to continue our outreach efforts in FYs 2017 and 2018, to include additional medical providers.
        • Feb 2017 – We have a total of 65 partners with 9,176 participating providers in all 50 States plus the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.  We plan to continue our outreach efforts in FYs 2017 and 2018, to include additional medical providers.
        • Nov 2016 – We have a total of 57 partners with 7,288 participating providers in 49 States plus the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.  We plan to continue our outreach efforts in FYs 2017 and 2018, to include additional medical providers.
        • Nov 2016 – Completed a national rollout with the Department of Veterans Affairs on the eHealth Exchange.

        Expand connections on the eHealth Exchange

        Ongoing
        • Sept 2017 – In FY 17, we expect that 12 percent of initial disability claims will contain health IT medical evidence.  We are in various stages of actively onboarding additional healthcare organizations, expanding our current partner facilities, and conducting discussions with healthcare organizations and vendors to partner with SSA through the eHealth Exchange.
        Participate on government-wide health IT policy and standards setting advisory panels, workgroups and task forces Ongoing
        • Sept 2017 – We continue to participate on the Office of the National Coordinator’s Federal Health IT Advisory Council that coordinates federal health IT policy decisions and serves to address high-priority issues that impact the evolution of the nation’s health IT infrastructure.