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The award is a new contract resulting from the expiration of a current contract the agency has with Lockheed Martin, SSA spokeswoman Dorothy Clark said via e-mail. The Lockheed contract reached its cap of $525 million. The potential term of the new contract is nearly eight years.
The SSA, which has an enormous IT workload, plans to award the contract to multiple vendors to perform a numerous array of tasks across the agency, according to the award's original request for proposal documents.
Required skills of those chosen for the contract include, but aren't limited to, expertise in the following areas: business analysis, application design and development, software maintenance, image and document management, database administration, risk analysis, and storage.
In addition to managing retirement claims and a massive library of health records, the SSA -- like other agencies -- is implementing a range of new IT solutions to meet the transparency and engagement requirements of the Obama administration's Open Government Directive. According to a recent survey of people's satisfaction with e-government sites, the agency must be doing something right.
A Foresee Results poll rated government sites in various categories, with 100 being the highest score and anything above 80 being excellent. An SSA website received the highest score in the survey -- a retirement calculator the agency offers was rated 89 in customer satisfaction. Other SSA sites that fared well and scored in the high 80s were SSI iClaim, Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs, and the Social Security Business Services Online portal.
Even as it has been recognized for achievements, the agency -- which processes nearly 5 million retirement claims a year that pay out more than $700 billion -- is under pressure to make its claims processing more simple and efficient, and offer even more online services.