Oct 15, 2014

Why Social Security Is Lagging In IT

     From Federal Times:
The “next generation” of the Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Program (T4NG) — the Department of Veterans Affairs’ contract to manage its IT [Information Technology] systems — will almost double in scope from the current T4 contract, with the projected value rising from a ceiling of $12 billion to $22.3 billion.
     Has Social Security spent $22.3 billion on managing its IT systems in the last ten years? Twenty years? In its entire history?


Anonymous said...

geez - Charles.....a little difference seems to be that VA is running hundreds of hospitals and clinics for direct health care.....while I'm unaware that SSA doesn't anything like that.

Anonymous said...

But SSA's IT is horrible. Records cannot be updated dynamically - updates take place by batch processing. Key data is not stored using relational database technology. Core systems are plagued with exceptions. Policys and procedures are written with workarounds, but there never seems to be any effort to make software corrections and updates. Many exceptions could be avoided with simple computer programming. It is really scandalous to any one knowledgeable in computer systems. A big investment should be made considering our records contain the essential identity records of everyone in the nation. The problems with the weak "backbone" will continue to be exacerbated as the use of the online services expands.

Anonymous said...

I have only a basic knowledge of coding and database building but can see that our core systems are a steaming pile of hot garbage.

It's almost like the evolution of the human brain--we started off with the primitive reptilian brain base systems that look like DOS and are super archaic, then new programs were scooped on top of it with more functionality, etc. Over the years I'm sure SSA IT folks have gone crazy trying to make all these generationally-varied and widely different capability-wise systems talk to one another with any sort of efficacy.

Our system needs to be completely redone. No more bandaids, no more new systems perched atop the mass of crap coming before it with attemps to make everything (kinda) work with everything else. Scrap it and start over. It will be super painful, but goodness knows it will be so worth it in terms of day-to-day use, troubleshooting, and updating in the future.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, talk to the newbie pros, the Obamacare network. Whenever their system is fixed, maybe we will talk about ours. We are using stuff from 20 years ago. They had all the latest and greatest and it didn't work..