Report Summary
Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General
September 2010

The Social Security Administration's Plan to Reduce Improper Payments Under Executive Order 13520 (A-15-10-20163)

Our Findings

Overall, the Social Security Administration (SSA) generally presented all required information of Executive Order 13520 in the Annual Report accurately. The Agency met all requirements of the Executive Order; however, the Agency incorrectly reported several monetary and non-monetary figures based on the supporting documentation obtained. The Agency should have detected the errors through its quality review process.

Also, supporting documentation for some of the figures was not readily available for review. In some instances, the Agency did not retain the supporting data and had to recreate it for our review.

Matters for Consideration

To ensure the accuracy of the data in the Annual Report, SSA should improve the internal quality review procedures surrounding the information contained in the Annual Report. SSA should also retain all applicable documentation to support the figures in the Report.

To ensure improvement in the prevention, collection, and detection of improper payments continues, SSA should continue efforts that address improper payments. Specifically, SSA should evaluate legislative proposals to determine those that would have a positive effect on prevention, collection and detection of improper payments. Additionally, SSA should continue to seek funding to cover the full cost of program integrity workloads, such as continuing disability reviews and Supplemental Security Income redeterminations.

SSA should also continue to evaluate existing programs to identify improvements in the processes for preventing, collecting and detecting improper payments. Continuous efforts are needed to ensure improper payments are detected timely if they already occurred.


To review the Accountable Official's Annual Report to the Office of the Inspector General, as required by Executive Order 13520, Reducing Improper Payments, and determine whether the (1) figures presented were accurate and (2) Agency complied with all requirements of the Executive Order.


On November 20, 2009, the President issued Executive Order 13520. When the Government makes payments to individuals and businesses, such as program beneficiaries, grantees, or contractors, or on behalf of program beneficiaries, it must make every effort to confirm that the right recipient is receiving the correct payment. The purpose of this Executive Order is to reduce improper payments by intensifying efforts to eliminate payment error, waste, fraud, and abuse in the major Government-administered programs.

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