Jun 5, 2009

Things Not Looking So Good For ABT

From a September 2008 report of the Government Accountability Office:
Over the last decade, SSA has initiated 14 demonstration projects under its authority to test possible DI [Disability Insurance] and SSI [Supplemental Security Income] policy and program changes; however, these projects have yielded limited information for influencing program and policy decisions. Of the 14 projects, SSA has completed 4, cancelled 5, and had 5 projects in progress as of June 2008. In total, SSA spent about $155 million on its projects as of April 2008, and officials anticipate spending another $220 million in the coming years on those projects currently under way. Yet, these projects have yielded limited information on the impacts of the program and policy changes they were testing. ...
From a Presolicitation notice just posted by Social Security on FedBizOpps:
As part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, Congress mandated the SSA conduct a demonstration project testing a program under which Title II disability benefits are reduced, or offset, $1 for $2 above a specific amount of earnings. SSA moved forward with this Congressional mandate by competitively awarding design contract number SS00-04-60110 in 2004. This contract stated that upon successful completion of a design, SSA would award an Implementation and Evaluation contract to the design contractor on a sole source basis. Contract #SS00-04-60110 ended in September 2008 and SSA is ready to implement and evaluate the $1 for $2 demonstration project.

We have now concluded that “successful completion of the previous contract” does not meet any of the exceptions in the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA). Additionally, the President issued a Memorandum on March 4, 2009 directing Executive Agencies to make every effort to use a competitive process for contract awards. We have thus determined that a sole source contract award based upon previous contract performance is no longer appropriate. For all of these reasons, we will award the Implementation and Evaluation contract through a competitive procurement process.
ABT Associates had the BOND contract. Social Security's Inspector General has been critical of ABT's performance on this contract.


Anonymous said...

So 10 years after passage of an Act that required a demonstration project, SSA is at the beginning point of soliciting bids to conduct the project. This shows how much interest SSA has in providing information to Congress and shaping the programs it administers.

Anonymous said...


Or it shows that BOND is a complicated issue that required a lot of time to get it right; and also that SSA thought it was good to spend the time up front so that BOND won't be accused of "yield[ing] limited information on the impacts of the program and policy changes they were testing".