DI 39536.001 EDP Systems -- Background
SSA's policy is to provide the State DDSs with the electronic data processing (EDP) capabilities necessary to accomplish their disability determination work in a cost effective manner. These capabilities may be provided by independent systems in the DDS, State or parent agency systems to which DDSs have access, case control, and management information systems developed by SSA or a combination of these systems.
Previously, Fiscal and Administrative Letter (FAL) No. 176 provided the guidelines and requirements for documentation needed by a DDS to establish justification for a system. Most DDSs now have some EDP capability and every DDS without a current operating system is in the process of developing such capability. These instructions recognize that future requests for EDP procurement will involve requests to either upgrade or expand existing systems. Some DDS systems are approaching the end of their life cycle and may need to be replaced. These requests, like requests for completely new systems, will require a thorough feasibility study and cost/benefit analysis.
EDP is essential and necessary for DDSs to operate efficiently. As the Systems Modernization Plan (SMP) evolves, it will be necessary for DDSs to have greater capability to interface with SSA's systems.
While SSA recognizes the need for EDP by DDSs, expenditures must be fully documented and justified. EDP must be well managed or the anticipated benefits may not be realized.
The documentation requirements which follow apply to any DDS which is considering any EDP acquisition. If a feasibility study has been prepared for State review purposes, it may be used in lieu of the suggested format (see DI 39536.210 and DI 39536.240, Exhibit 1.) as long as it covers all of the requirements of this document. For minor requests for additional EDP equipment or software, the RO may give approval after conferring with OD. For major acquisitions such as upgrading a central processor unit (CPU) with major software enhancements Central Office must give prior approval. Decisions concerning what constitutes a “minor” or “major” request, will be made on an individual case-by-case basis. The regional office will always consult OD to determine which category applies. (See 39536.235.A). For the acquisition of a completely new system or replacement of an existing system, either hardware or software, a complete feasibility study and cost/benefit analysis will be required as outlined in this document and RO and Central Office approval obtained. (An exception to this requirement will apply if the new system is SSA's SSADARS).