Feb 20, 2013

Another Problem On Colvin's Desk

     According to a new audit report from Social Security's Office of Inspector General, Social Security and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) are having a serious disagreement. OPM has been billing Social Security for its work in administering Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) positions. OPM's work includes administering the ALJ exam, which isn't an exam in the traditional sense, but which takes plenty of staff time to administer.Social Security is refusing to pay OPM's bills. Social Security is not satisfied with the documentation that OPM is providing for the bills and is generally unsatisfied with the quality of OPM's work. It appears that budgetary problems at OPM and Social Security's desire to undertake hiring of ALJs without OPM's help are both playing a part in this dispute. There's no indication that this could delay future ALJ hiring -- assuming there's ever money to hire more ALJs -- but problems of some sort are inevitable if this dispute isn't resolved. To this point, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is part of the White House, seems to be trying to stay out of the dispute but they may have trouble staying out if the two agencies can't come to an agreement.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FYI: The SSI HE/ALJs (GS-13/14) were appointed under "special examining" authority delegated from OPM to SSA to do their own testing, register, and (temporary that became permanent) firing. I am less clear on the earlier Black Lung ALJ hiring process.

This whole idea of one government department or agency "charging" another for services is silly. It is all accounting entries and "play money" with the same old taxpayer paying.