SSA has one of the largest physical footprints of any federal agency. It has about 1,500 facilities nationwide, including field offices where customers can meet with SSA staff to apply for benefits and conduct other business. SSA is re-examining its footprint in light of expanding online and other remote service options and a 2012 government-wide initiative to make more efficient use of physical space.
SSA reduced the total square footage of its facilities by about 1.4 million square feet (or about 5 percent) from fiscal years 2012 to 2016, according to GAO’s analysis, by applying new standards for determining the size of offices and consolidating facilities (see figure). SSA has also expanded the services it offers remotely, and online use has increased for certain services such as disability and retirement applications. Despite this increase, in-person contacts at field offices have not changed substantially, with about the same number in fiscal year 2016 as in fiscal year 2007 (approximately 43 million).Read the full report