Jul 27, 2014

Johnson Demands End To DCPS

     From a House Ways and Means Committee press release:
Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) sent a letter to Social Security Administration (SSA) Inspector General Patrick O’Carroll requesting a full and immediate investigation into the SSA’s mismanagement and failed implementation of the $300 million Disability Case Processing System (DCPS).  Johnson also sent a letter to Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Carolyn Colvin, calling for her to stop further spending on the implementation of the DCPS.
     And what, exactly, does SSA use to replace the DCPS, which is already partially implemented?


Anonymous said...

To: NADE Board of Directors
From: Dale Foot, Systems Liaison
Date: August 27, 2012
Subject: End of Year Report

The only significant systems issues since the mid year report involve the announcements about DCPS. During a recent national teleconference SSA announced that the overall timeline is still on target. The first two states, Idaho and Illinois appear to be slightly delayed. Major system design announcements were also recently made. The application will be web based. It will work off a redundant series of computers from the Durham, NC national SSA computer center. The Baltimore National Computer Center will serve as the back-up site. Disaster recovery processes have advanced so the back-up site could take over in a short period of time if needed.

As far as legacy equipment, it will be removed from the DDS. This includes the IBM iSeries and letter print servers. The fiscal servers, outbound fax and FECS servers will at the beginning stay in the DDS but there will probably be plans to consolidate them nationally.

There are no plans to pull the cases and data off of the legacy applications. The plan is to work the legacy application until the last case is closed. Then after a period of time that SSA specifies, the legacy system will be turned off for each state. The data will somehow be stored in a SSA archive. It is still unknown where that will be stored and how the DDS will be able to access that information for management information such as fiscal audits.

During the time period where a state is using DCPS and is working down the remaining legacy application cases to zero, there is no plan to combine (i.e. synch) the data so management information reports will include both legacy and DCPS. Currently most SSA national reports do not break down information by area office, unit and examiners.

Notices will be created on a new system called Thunderhead. Each DDS can either remotely create their own letters or adapt their letters to what has already be put there by prior states. The local Solaris depository sites (such as Ohio, Illinois, Georgia) will all change over to a centralized depository site.

SSA plans to use a robust management information system called MicroStrategy. Reports can be shared by a variety of means including exporting into Excel.

DDS users will get a variety of Top Secret profiles that can include query user, super user and when needed, can be switched fairly rapidly such as when needing to fill in for another user that is absent such as running the assignment of intake.

Anonymous said...

To: NADE Board of Directors
From: Dale Foot, Chair, Systems Liaison Committee
Date: February 18, 2014

Subject: Mid-Year Report

1. DCPS (Disability Claims Processing System) – SSA is updating the DCPS schedule into multiple groups. The beta updates are scheduled to end in April 2016. This is the date the non-federal caseloads are first going to be available to use DCPS. Multiple groups are meeting and demonstrations have been shown such as using DCPS for state fiscal payments, performance report, etc…

2. New Servers – New Dell servers have begun to arrive at the DDSs.

3. Networx – SSA is planning on finishing the switch to the new upgraded network contractors this year.

4. SSA is requiring more and more security reports to be filled online. The required security checklist is upgraded to include multiple SSA and DDS partners to insure reviews are completed, reviewed and approved. This is generally limited to local security officers and SSA security staff.

5. SSA is requiring more documentation about software exceptions. This is evolving and means the DDS must register all software it intends to use that is not part of the standard SSA used software on its servers and workstations. For example, in the Michigan DDS we are required to use state provided timekeeping software.

6. SSA is still funding legacy upgrades while DCPS evolves. The primary purpose is to have the legacy applications incorporate the eDIB enhancements. DDS initiated upgrades require a return on investment analysis and funding is limited.

Anonymous said...

It just stuns me that any legislator would want to just abandon a system after MILLIONS have already been spent!!! Keep SSAs feet to the fire? Sure. Make it work!! What are they going to do--go back to paper files????

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:07,

It makes sense from a political point of view. Re-read the letter, but from the point of view of a politician who needs stuff to write in his newsletter to potential donors that portrays himself as tough on entitlements and government waste. Ultimately, that perception, whether deserved or not, is more important to the politician's job security than doing something well thought out that actually helps SSA's systems work better.