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Jul 13, 2012

ACUS Wants To Study "Duty Of Candor And The Submission Of All Evidence"

     From a Request for Proposals (RFP) announced by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) as best I can tell on July 12:
The Administrative Conference is seeking a consultant to undertake a research project that will consider the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) statutory authority and current regulations regarding the duty of candor and the submission of all evidence in Social Security disability claims. Proposals are due by 6:00 pm Eastern time on July 16, 2012. ...

SSA [Social Security Administration] has requested that the Conference study its statutory authority1 and regulations2 regarding the duty of candor and the submission of all evidence in Social Security disability claims. Specifically, the agency is concerned about reports that some claimants’ representatives routinely withhold from the government, medical records which they believe to be potentially damaging to claimants’ claims.3 Accordingly, the Conference wishes to conduct a focused study of SSA’s statutory authority and current regulations regarding the duty of candor and the submission of all evidence, such as a claimant’s medical records and/or other evidence necessary to accurately develop the record in a non-adversarial proceeding. ...

... [T]he consulting fee has been estimated at $15,000 plus travel and research assistance expenses of $5,000. ...

[Applicants should] Propose a schedule for the project based on the September 2012 deadline for submission of the Office of the Chairman report to SSA. Because this project is under an unusually short time deadline, a draft report, which should be substantially complete and ready for review by the Chairman and Conference staff would be needed by the end of August 2012 and the final report by the middle of September 2012.
     You put out an RFP due four whole days later! How many proposals are you expecting in response? No, I'm not interested in submitting a proposal. Obviously, someone has already been picked for this (probably Harold Krent) and the RFP is just window-dressing. Is this the sort of administrative process that ACUS would recommend to agencies? And what's with the short time for this study? We're about to have a general election and the Commissioner of Social Security is a short-termer. It's not like anything is going to happen on this subject in the near future.
     I written about my concern that ACUS and its leadership have demonstrated that they are pathetically out of touch with reality when it comes to Social Security. I will be surprised if this study is of any help to anyone.
     Maybe the Republicans were right to defund ACUS years ago and Democrats were wrong to resurrect it. Perhaps, ACUS wants to get this study done quickly because it's afraid it will soon be out of business again.

     Update: One commenter has stated that the RFP date had actually been announced on June 8 and that July 16 was an extension of the deadline. I would appreciate it if someone could point me to any PUBLIC announcement of this RFP prior to yesterday. I receive the ACUS online newsletter. I didn't see any sign of this RFP prior to yesterday. I can't seem to find anything on the ACUS website. This is the URL for the RFP itself: http://www.acus.gov/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/07/SSA-Reps-Conduct-Project-RFP-6-21-12.pdf 
      Notice that date of June 21, 2012 at the end of the URL? Why would that date be on there if it had been announced on June 8?
     And, by the way, ACUS didn't announce this on FedBizOpp.gov either.
     Who knew about this prior to yesterday and how did they find out about it? I think it's a reasonable question.


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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Seems like a relevant study to me. The timeframe is short, but since it's such a small scope, seems reasonable.

    7:03 AM, July 13, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    My problem here is that the study ought to look at WHETHER OR NOT there is any problem with evidence withholding in the first place. This seems to presume it.

    8:36 AM, July 13, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    To anyone attempting to arrive at the truth regarding a claimant's medical condition that would seem to be a reasonable assumption, don't you think??

    8:40 AM, July 13, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    There is already evidence of representatives withholding information; the question is how common is the practice.

    9:45 AM, July 13, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Considering the study is just a review of current SSA law, regulations, and policies compared to best practices from other agencies and federal rules of evidence, this is a study that should not take long to complete. The person/people will be gathering readily available information and then analyzing it.

    11:40 AM, July 13, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Four days? The linked document includes what appears to be a date of 6/21/12 in the title -- was it really only released today?

    1:03 PM, July 13, 2012  
    Blogger Nobbins said...

    4 day RFP window is pretty insulting. Just give the job to your college buddy and call it a day. You're not fooling anyone.

    1:10 PM, July 13, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    If people, including Charles, had bothered to look a little harder, they would have discovered that on June 8, 2012, ACUS extended the deadline for submissions to July 16, 2012 (over a month later), which means that the project was actually proposed prior to June 2012. It is not the rush job you want to assume.


    1:21 PM, July 13, 2012  

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