Report Summary
Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General

September 2009

Quick Response Evaluation:  Self-Help Personal Computer Pilot


To determine the effectiveness of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Self-Help Personal Computer (PC) pilot. Specifically, this evaluation focused on the impact of Self-Help PCs on electronic services’ (eServices) use and field office (FO) performance as well as security concerns related to the public’s use of Agency computers.


SSA’s Self-Help PC pilot offers FO visitors the option of using FO PCs to conduct their business. 
To assess the amount of assistance needed, as well as determine the impact of Self-Help PCs on FO workflow and waiting times, the Agency planned to use employee feedback, surveys, and electronic usage reports.  The Self-Help PC pilot is part of the Commissioner’s Space Modernization and Reception Transformation service initiative.

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Our Findings

We could not evaluate the pilot’s effectiveness because user feedback and usage information were insufficient.  Surveys were the primary mechanism of collecting Self-Help PC user feedback; however, we determined employee surveys conducted at attended sites were not consistently completed, and the responses may not accurately reflect the overall user experience.  Surveys from unattended sites provided limited feedback, with half the sites not receiving any completed surveys over a 12-week period.  Furthermore, the Agency has been unable to accurately track usage through surveys or electronic usage logs.  Improving the Self-Help PC pilot evaluation process is critical to SSA’s ability to assess and manage the implementation of such a key information technology investment and assist the Agency in meeting the requirements of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996.  We believe the Agency can improve on its evaluation techniques by obtaining Office of Management and Budget approval to directly question Self-Help PC users and by using Visitor Intake Process data in conjunction with employee surveys to better analyze Self-Help PC usage.