The number of reported threats against Social Security Administration (SSA) employees or property has increased significantly in recent years, according to a report from SSA Inspector General Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr.
SSA has procedures in place to ensure prompt incident reporting. Within two workdays of an incident, SSA requires completion of detailed incident reports and fact sheets. SSA disseminates these documents to various levels of SSA management, including the Commissioner's office.
The Office of the Inspector General received e-mail survey responses from 2,141 randomly selected SSA employees whose duties were likely to involve interaction with the public. The employees provided general opinions on workplace safety as well as SSA's threat reporting process. About 13 percent of respondents indicated they were threatened at work during the past three years-half of those respondents were threatened more than once. A high percentage of these employees reported the threat(s) to management and was satisfied with the Agency's response. The vast majority of employees was familiar with SSA's threat reporting procedures and "always" or "usually" felt safe at work.
In response, SSA stated it has already recognized this disturbing trend and has taken action to protect its employees and the public. For example, SSA has increased the presence of armed security guards and is considering additional security enhancements, such as installation of duress alarms and closed circuit surveillance.
To view the full report, click here, or for additional information, contact Jonathan Lasher, Assistant Inspector General for External Relations, at (410) 965-2671. Refer to Common Identification Number A-06-10-20123.