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Government Accountability Office, Information Technology: Social Security Administration's Data Exchanges Support Current Programs, but Better Planning Is Needed to Meet Future Demands (GAO-09-966) (Sept. 16, 2009) (full-text).
The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives electronic data from other agencies to support its own programs, and provides electronic data to support more than 800 state and federal agency partners. This information aids in, among other things, the processing and distribution of beneficiary payments and the delivery of services such as driver's license issuance and voter registration.
SSA relies on its information technology (IT) infrastructure — its databases, applications, networks, and IT management practices — to support its current and future needs for exchanging data with its state and federal partners.
The GAO was asked to (1) determine the extent to which SSA's IT infrastructure effectively and efficiently supports current data exchanges, and any system-related problems affecting its exchange partners; and (2) describe SSA's efforts to ensure that its IT infrastructure can support the agency's and its partners' future data exchange environment.
The GAO recommended that SSA conduct the analyses needed to define requirements for delivering data exchange services to its partners in the future and use the results of these analyses to update its target architecture.