Expert Panel to Review SSA’s $677 Million Modernization Effort

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The Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB), an independent agency tasked with advising the President, Congress, and the Social Security Administration (SSA), announced the creation of an expert panel of experienced leaders in the Federal IT community to review SSA’s IT modernization efforts.

Announced on August 28, the panel of 11 will review how much progress SSA has made, how systems processes are being developed, and how helpful the new systems are for the end user. The panel will report its findings to SSAB in early fiscal year 2021.

The panel will examine SSA’s implementation of it’s five-year, $677 million IT modernization plan that aims to improve service, replace core business systems that are over 30 years old, expand the usage of commercial off-the-shelf tools, and attract talent to the agency’s IT workforce. The effort is currently underway, and a year-one progress report to Congress in October 2018 showed the project on schedule and on budget. However, SSA’s modernization effort has been the subject of congressional scrutiny due to previous projects at the agency facing challenges.

Chairing the panel of longtime Federal IT experts will be Alan Balutis, senior director of Cisco’s North American Public Sector business. Like nine of the 11 panel members, Balutis has experience working in government, serving as CIO at the Department of Commerce and a founding member of the Federal CIO Council.

Other members include:

  • Martha Dorris, head of Dorris Consulting International;
  • Bill Eggers, executive director of Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights;
  • Dan Chenok, executive director of IBM’s Center for the Business of Government;
  • Mark Alan Forman, vice president, digital government at Unisys Federal;
  • Nani Coloretti, senior vice president for financial and business strategy at the Urban Institute;
  • Renato DiPentima, board member for Cap Gemini Government Solutions;
  • Greg Giddens, partner with Potomac Ridge Consulting;
  • Dave McClure, leader of transformational IT initiatives at Accenture Federal Services;
  • Mark Richert, director of public policy for the National Disability Institute; and
  • Jim Williams, partner at Schambach and Williams Consulting.

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