Nov 29, 2016

Order Of Succession To Become Acting Commissioner Of Social Security

     Assuming that Acting Commissioner Colvin submits her resignation at the end of President Obama's term of office as expected, here is the order of succession to become Acting Commissioner of Social Security:
  • Deputy Commissioner for Operations Nancy Berryhill
  • Deputy Commissioner for Budget, Finance, Quality, and Management Michelle King
  • Deputy Commissioner for Systems Robert Kloop
  • Regional Commissioner, Atlanta Rodney Taylor
  • Regional Commissioner, Dallas Sheila Everett
     Note that this order of succession could be altered by President Obama before he leaves office or by Donald Trump after he takes office.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

a veritable "who's who" of people we don't want running a large government agency...

Anonymous said...

Isn't Klopp also a political appointee who would resign with Colvin?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1 - care to elaborate? A few of those folks I have worked for and would have no problem with them running the Agency. So easy just to throw darts though. Back up your negativity, please.

Anonymous said...

12:29 = management shill

Anonymous said...

3:10 = unhinged former attorney who thinks it's totally reasonable the agency hire a whole other employee to type her dictation rather than use Dragon.

Anonymous said...

Now now kids, we have enough e-tantrums to deal with without experiencing them here.

Anonymous said...

3:10 - Nope. Just tired of some folks talking pot shots at any and all agency leadership on this blog without backing up what they say. I am certain that my request for clarity was not unreasonable. It's just too easy for folks to take a negative route, without any substance to back up their perspective. I'm all ears....

Anonymous said...

I would be fine with berryhill taking the reins and see how it goes. I am curious why the RCs of atlanta and dallas are in the succession out of all the regions. seems more logical to have the longest tenured RC of them all be first in the line of succession. i am guessing it is because atlanta is the largest region? but i thought chicago or san francisco was bigger than dallas. any ideas?

Anonymous said...

@5:09 stated, "Unhinged former attorney . . ."

SA 27 here. Ha! I did not make the comment you are referencing. This shows how little you really know.

I do object to you referring to me as, "Unhinged." Regular, intelligent readers of this blog know far too much about me, and the horrific manner the Agency has treated me to buy your nonsense.

Your attack on my disability, which significantly interferes with my ability to persistently type, and my request for a reasonable accommodation to allow me to verbally transcribe my work in the manner I productively performed my job for so many years, which the Agency has repeatedly denied for years because they offer the Dragon software reveals what a low life you are. Just try writing detailed legal decisions on disability cases with use of medical terms, etc., 8 hours a day/40 hours per week, and see how many people can actually master that and meet ridiculously high production quotas.

Before you open mouth and insert foot, you really should learn to think - IDIOT.

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Anonymous said...

Just note that the 2014 Memo that sets this order predates Klopp in Systems and maybe even the current people holding those RC positions; it was done as an update to a prior succession memo done in the early 2000s and picks RCs deliberately to ensure if no one from the 3 HQ components was qualified, field experienced people would be in line. This thing is updated maybe every 10 years or so, not written with real people in mind.

Anonymous said...

@8:23 I worked with a brief writer who produces nothing but OTR briefs everyday, he is a quad that uses Dragon and nothing but Dragon. The ADA states reasonable accommodations, not what you want and offering Dragon Speak is a reasonable accommodation.

On the topic at hand, really does it matter who is Commish? If there is nobody to be commish of and they keep starving the agency for staff.

Anonymous said...

930, a RA needs to be reasonable. Dragon stinks for our application and just about everyone knows it. In fact, a survey was just sent out in the last few months trying to figure out what the issues are. The reason that we are stuck with it is because some contract officer was bambooseled into spending a crapload of money on the program before doing due diligence and now we are stuck. You can file Dragon in the million dollar screw category.

Anonymous said...

5:38 - Here's backup/substance: (1) no respect for labor as evidenced by behavior at many meetings, (2) dismantling SAA adjudicator program and not knowing what to do with that skilled level of employee, (3) implementing performance metrics that an expert deemed discriminatory, (4) not even acknowledging ALJ's requests to streamline hearing process, (5) field office (operations) encouraged to deny claims, (6) laptop and software issues rampant. And that's just off the top of my head...

Anonymous said...

I feel like that's mostly in line with what the country just voted for.

Anonymous said...

@9:30 with regard the Dragon software being a sufficient reasonable accommodation.

Your opinion is malarkey, as in BS piled hip deep. So, you worked with someone who could use the Dragon software. BIG DEAL. With a great deal of extra time and energy to persistently play around with the Dragon software ad-nauseum, some people are able to master the software. I (SA 27) could not, despite devoting an ungodly amount of my own time over the years trying to learn. At some point, one has to say enough is enough already? I literally reached my wits end trying to use the Dragon software. I was never even able to get it to accurately type a 3-4 word simple sentence. Yet, you seriously think this is a reasonable accommodation to write detailed legal decisions? You are off your rocker. Moreover, you are referencing ONE person in your comment. Undoubtedly, we all know someone here and there who has mastered the Dragon software. How many of those are using the software to write detailed legal decisions, the vast majority denials, with reference to medical terms, and are also responsible for the time required to perform detailed editing of each decision? It is clearly inappropriate for the Agency to say using this type of standard to assert the Dragon software is a reasonable accommodation for a long term employee in my SA position.

In addition, it’s also important to remember the Agency changed the manner in which my job is performed. I converted well to the use of computers in my SA work, but I informed the Agency from the start that because of my disability, I would never be able to persistently type legal decisions 8 hrs. day/40hrs. wk. You know what the Agency told me way back then? Don’t worry about it. You will no longer have production quotas to meet. Please do your very best. That is all we ask. At no point did anyone ever tell me as a SA, I suddenly had production quotas to meet? I never got that memo. Ever. To the contrary, I was illegally forced out the door in a horrific manner no one would want to happen to them, especially after giving 27+ years of their life as an employee who had earned numerous performance awards and QSI’s over a period of several years.

Of course, there were also other opportunities for which I applied, and was repeatedly denied, despite credentials to the contrary because, as the Jantz Disability Class Action case revealed, SSA/ODAR has a SYSTEMIC ISSUE of refusing to promote anyone with a disability or health issue – PERIOD.

Anonymous said...

You got fired because you couldn't do the job.

Get over it.

Get a new job.

Anonymous said...

@5:09: Yes, I think it is totally reasonable for the Agency to hire someone to type my dictation. Support staff is very much needed by Attorneys and ALJ’s, and the Agency stupidly eliminated the vast majority of these positions in 2000 with the roll out of HPI. They promoted individuals from those positions up through the ranks and tried to groom them to be attorneys. We all know how that worked out.

The issue here is Undue Hardship, i.e., would hiring someone to type my dictation be an Undue Hardship to the Agency. The answer is absolutely not. The cost of retaining a private contractor to type my dictation, or having support staff again in the field offices to perform such work, is far less than the cost of relocating an ODAR Hearings Office near the former Atlanta ROCALJ’s home in a wealthy suburb of Atlanta, inconvenient to no one but him. How much do you think this cost taxpayers? What about the continued cost of failing to rein in and hold accountable a powerful ALJ in a management position whom the Agency already knows has a demonstrated track record of Discriminatory personnel practices, especially against those with disabilities, not to mention encouraging managers below him to engage in illegal Retaliation and other Prohibited Personnel Practices, even to the point of pitting coworkers against targeted employees, and turning a deaf ear to the unspeakable harassment those targeted were subjected to in and outside the office over a period of several years. How much in litigation fees has and does this continue to cost the Agency?

What about the cost of ridiculously high bonuses given to certain Agency SES employees who have done nothing but run ODAR so far into the ground it will take years and years to recover. You may recall the $60K bonus to Gerald Ray a couple years ago. All these ridiculously high bonuses are public record available online - Look them up. Then, compare the drop in the bucket a typist would cost to type my dictation verses the ridiculous conduct top Agency officials and managers have cost the Agency for many years. Undue Hardship? Hardly.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:51: No, I did not get fired. I was illegally forced out the door through no fault of mine. I performed my job very well. Many ALJ’s and others can corroborate this.

No, I will NEVER get over it. Justice must and will be served, or hell will have to freeze over first.

I will NOT get a new job. I was illegally forced out of a CAREER of 27+ years. This is my area of expertise. It is what I do. I will be damned if I will allow corrupt managers and top Agency officials involved in my case, actively or in the cover-up, to get away with what they have done.

Anonymous said...

1251, you are a poor excuse for a human being. Picking on 27 for sport, really? Your day will come and when it does, I hope you keep seeing the number 27 everywhere, just for sport.

27, please take this next comment in the manner in which it was intended. I know the Agency did you wrong and there is simply no excuse for what they did. I have been on the wrong side of an improper and vindictive personell action, so I know how devastating it can be. However, try to let it go as best as you can because it only allows your tormentors extra milage on an outdated ticket.

Tim said...

12:51 PM. Why must you persistently INSIST in demonstrating that you are an inconsiderate A$$? I sure hope you are just a troll with nothing better to do, rather than a SSA employee. I sure wouldn't want you deciding my case! Why don't you tell us who you really are? Or, are you just a worthless coward?

Anonymous said...

Just for sport I will add 27 to my lotto numbers. I am tired of the endless rants. Fair is a place where they judge pigs.

Anonymous said...

Soooo... You can pretty much take all this recent dialogue and file under "(1)" of my previous post at 10:46AM regarding the agency browbeating its employees.

5:09/5:38 asked me for specifics and was "all ears...." Sounds like he/she is part of a great management team! (read: sarcasm). It would be comical if it weren't so sad.

Anonymous said...

Dragon Speak does take time to train. Like all speech recognition programs the user has to be dedicated to learning the program and teaching it how the individual speaks. Unfortunately, many people think they just have to start talking to it and it will be perfect right out of the box. You have to train it to the medical and legal jargon. Dragon comes in the top 5 consistently as a speech recognition program with the average user report 1 error in 250 spoken words after training. Depending on accent, speech pattern, jargon and sentence complexity of the user, 40 to 100 hours of program training are needed, with ongoing manual updates. The goal of these programs is not a 100% perfect fit, but to reduce the need to type by 95% or more.

Anonymous said...

246 do you sell Dragon or are you the dopey contracting officer who latched on to this lemon? I tried to get Dragon to work properly and I really tried because I am a big fan of dictation. Dragon sucks for our application. Many people get better dictation on their IPhone.

Anonymous said...

Your mileage may vary, but that does not lessen the value of the product just because it did not work for you. MILLIONS of others use it daily.

Anonymous said...

And no, I do not work for the agency, contractors or Dragon, I work for a Center for Independent Living or CIL, we strive to keep people with disabilities in the workplace and in the community and out of long term care facilities. We have used the product mentioned on several occasions to help people return to work with a disability. Sorry it didn't work for you but that does not lessen the effectiveness for those that successfully use it.

Anonymous said...

I think it is the way our decisions read or speak as the case may be. Glad it works for you, it does not for a lot (not all) in the Agency.

Anonymous said...

246- The problem with Dragon at SSA is that it works poorly with the applications and our systems are inadequate to run the software well. We received new laptops a couple years ago, but they run on inadequate memory/ bit. I might have the terminology off but look up the congressional testimony from a field manager who talks about employees endlessly waiting for the "blue circle."

In this technological mess, Dragon does not have a fighting chance.

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope that the person berating a disabled former employee is not a member of Agency management. But I fear that is the case.

Anonymous said...

10:46 and 2:44 Nope. But thanks for making broad assumptions about me and my thoughts. Most of the points are broad and don't address any of the potential candidates specifically. Many of those folks had nothing to do with the issues you raised. Who would you want to lead the agency, given the inevitable conflicts of budget vs. reality vs. public expectations vs. employee expectations? No one leader will make everyone happy. So what/who do you suggest? And by the way, have you read some of the union communications? Granted, the unions are supposed to vigorously represent their folks, but respectful dialog is not supposed to be a one-way street....

Tim said...

12:57 AM. If you are the same troll who was been badgering SA 27, then the only "assumption" any of us have made is that you are an A$$!! If you are not interested in what she has to say, then you have the right to ignore her! Since you claim you are not in SSA management, enlighten us to who you are. What is your interest in these potential candidates. Can you enlighten us to who you think would be a good leader for SSA? Can you give us any insight? Or are you just a looser troll?

Anonymous said...

@12:06

This was discussed in some other threads--the current version (system image in our parlance) of Windows used by SSA employees is a 32-bit version of Windows 7. 32-bit versions of Windows can only utilize a maximum of 4 gb of RAM (our new laptops have 8). 4 gb of RAM is a very low amount, especially considering the bandwidth-hogging, image-based nature of many of our systems and the fact that we have so many teleworkers and servers, VPN usage, etc. etc.

So yeah, I'm sure a program like Dragon suffers under current conditions.

But we're getting a new Windows system image first thing 2017 and I understand it is 64-bit. If this is true, we should immediately realize huge performance improvements.

Anonymous said...

@8:17AM, Dec 2:


First, this is goob-ed-ly gook to me. You adamantly indicate the Dragon software works well, and is considered one of the best on the market, providing one spends a great deal of time with it. I spent years, and years trying to use it to no avail. I have a strong Midwestern accent. Perhaps this is one reason why I did not have success with the software. The point I wish to get across is I desperately tried to use the Dragon software on my own personal time for many, many years. Do you think the Agency ever provided adequate time to learn the software, let alone all the additional time for training required each year the software is updated? The answer is a resounding, “No.”

Moreover, ones performance at ODAR has always been measured by production numbers/quotas, whether it is supposed to be, or not. With that kind of pressure and the volume of cases with which I continuously handled as a SA, how, pray tell, would you suggest the Dragon Software is an appropriate reasonable accommodation for an employee with a disability, which precludes persistent typing all day, every workday? I reached my wits end with the software long ago. I literally cannot stand to hear the name Dragon because the entire situation angers me to my inner core.

Now, what do you say to a SA with 27+ years’ experience with the Agency, whose performance was stellar the first half of their career when she performed her work with verbal transcription and support staff who typed the dictation? You say you work with the disabled. Do you believe illegally forcing a disabled attorney out of their 27+ year career with a stellar performance history using verbal transcription is the right thing to do? Keep in mind, this SA applied for other opportunities with SSA over the years which would not have required the degree of persistent typing. Yet, despite great credentials, was denied. One position was an advancement opportunity in which a total of 17 individuals were selected, and the person with whom I interviewed had recently been to my office, reviewed the initiatives I had personally taken with the new SA program, and congratulated me on my work.

Then, years later, you learn of the Jantz class action disability case against SSA, which reveals SSA and ODAR has had a SYSTEMIC ISSUE for many, many years of not advancing employees with any known health issues or disabilities. The Plaintiff in the Jantz case started with SSA the same year as you. Remember, I told the Agency I would not be able to persistently type decisions 8 hrs. day/40 hrs. week in 2000 when they first began to require it, and I was told not to worry about it, and just do the best I could do. The bottom line is despite all the years I tried to learn the Dragon software, I was never even able to get it to type three words correctly, such as , “See Spot run.” Yet, you and the Agency, SSA/ODAR realistically believe this is an appropriate reasonable accommodation to type detailed legal decisions referencing medical terms all day, every workday, and meet unrealistic production quotas? I seriously doubt the “Millions” you reference utilize the Dragon software are not using it under these conditions. During all this time, I involved in litigation with the Agency over this very issue, and this litigation continues well over a decade now. Do you agree with the way the Agency has treated me?

Anonymous said...

I believe you have the right to employment, that employment may be different from what you did prior to disability. This may mean a change in fields, a different line of work, even a cut in pay. Just as a former utility line worker given the best of modern assistive tech cannot continue to climb poles from a wheelchair not all conditions can be mated back to prior work.

I take great offense that you continue to attack me, again and again in a bullying and demeaning manner. Your hateful attacks are not appreciated. Because something does not work for ONE individual does not mean it does not have extensive value to others. Without seeing the documentation from both sides, I cannot make a call about ADA requirements being met or not in your case. Even if not met, it does not excuse your behavior and attacks.

I wish you Happy Holidays and wish you well in your personal pursuits.

Anonymous said...

@12:53, Dec. 2:

I have absolutely no idea who you are. I also have not been attacking any specific individual. I have no idea why anyone could find any of my comments offensive. In my opinion, you are way off base with your allegations about me. Apparently, it's not enough for you that my career and life have been destroyed, but you wish to make a sport of demeaning me on this blog. Your comparison of a disabled former pole worker who now finds himself disabled in a wheelchair, has NO RELEVANCY whatsoever to my situation. Just look at the amount of money in litigation and damages it is going to cost the Agency for refusing my RA request to verbally transcribe my work, as I performed at such an outstanding level for many years verses what it would have cost for a contract typist to type my dictation. Blog readers, you do the math. Litigation going on for more than 10 years now with no end in sight. Just imagine the amount of attorney fees on both sides the Agency has and will be paying, in addition to damages, etc.

Anonymous said...

6:15. Nope. Not a troll and not even close to being a loser. And I don't have a problem with the list, although it wasn't initially my own opinion that I was questioning. I was questioning the broad brush that was used to say that all of these potential (A)COSS candidates are unfit for the position. I don't think I'm out of line for asking folks to do more than just complain. If you do have a problem with asking folks to back up their assertions, then too bad. I am trying to figure out who would be preferable. And I have nothing to do with the SA-27 conversation that hijacked this thread.

Anonymous said...

@6:15

None of these (A)COSS candidates are fit for the position because they have proven themselves to be an abject failure at running and managing SSA, especially the disability components. No one has painted a " broad stroke" about these candidates. They are viewed as a collective whole in the sense they are top ranking officials and managers who run the Agency. It would be imprudent to place their failed management and ability to run the Agency on anyone of them. They clearly massage one another's backs, protect one another, and cover up for one another when one of them has engaged in misconduct or wrongdoing. Those of us on this blog who have vociferously indicated they have failed miserably, have repeatedly stated reasons and evidence which support the assertions we have made. You, and others who have made similar remarks as you, all have one thing in common: You refuse to accept the numerous reasons and evidence which we have lclearly listed over and over until we are blue in the face. For example, in this thread alone, 10:46 distinctly and clearly cited reasons and evidence. However, at no point have you, or those with comments similar to yours, even once acknowledged and addressed the numerous reasons and evidence we have brought to your attention. You intimate you are, "All ears," but when we go to great lengths and list them, you NEVER ADDRESS the reasons and evidence we distinctly identified. To the contrary, you consistently refuse to address any of the reasons and evidence we identified. You act as though we did not list or state any reasons or evidence. This is so typical of Agency management. By deliberately choosing not to address the reasons and evidence we have cited, you repeatedly refuse to accept responsibility for your failed management and running of the Agency, especially the disability components. You talk over us, ignore the numerous reasons and evidence we have given you, and put on a pseudo facade that you are superior to us, " Complainers." Many of us, "Complainers," are retirees or current employees with many more years of Agency experience than any of you. We really do have something substantive to offer. But the truth is none of you guys want to hear what we are saying. It is this very type of behavior exhibited over and over by Agency management that is so utterly infuriating.

Anonymous said...

SA 27 did not hijack this thread 5:09 on November 29 did by clearly describing her specific situation, calling her "unhinged," citing Dragon, and incorrectly insinuating she authored an earlier comment. SA 27 had every right to respond and partake in the discussion which ensued. She did not initiate steering the conversation away from the article of this thread.