Better Management Needed in Social Security Administration's Toll-Free Telephone Service to the Public

Gao ID: MASAD-82-3 October 28, 1981

GAO reviewed the Social Security Administration's (SSA) toll-free telephone service to the public.

In fiscal year 1980, SSA spent an estimated $9.5 million providing toll-free, long-distance telephone service to the public. This cost resulted from two sources: (1) the approximately 1,400 SSA offices accepting collect, long-distance calls from the public; and (2) some of the 32 Teleservice Centers using Wide Area Telecommunications Service providing toll-free, long-distance telephone service to the public. GAO found that better management of the SSA toll-free service would reduce costs because collect calls are an expensive way to provide toll-free service, and alternative telephone services would require cost analyses to maintain the most economic configuration. In addition, SSA management lacked central direction, and its management philosophy limited cost-effective alternatives. The need for cost-effective management has become even more important because of: (1) SSA efforts to reduce the cost of its programs, (2) major price increases in long-distance telephone services, and (3) SSA consideration of expanding the Teleservice Center concept nationwide.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: Richard Davis Team: General Accounting Office: Mission Analysis and Systems Acquisition Division Phone: (202) 512-3504

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.