After over three years serving as the Chair to the Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel (OIDAP), this will be my last Message from the Chair. On 21 May 2012, the Social Security Administration (SSA) decided that because of fiscal issues associated with the current Federal financial crisis, they would not extend the OIDAP charter beyond its expiration in July. We are the last Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) panel at SSA at this time.
The OIDAP conducted a telephonic public meeting on June 4th. Arising out of panel deliberation at this meeting was final General Recommendation #9 that reads:
~ Continued Transparency and Public Engagement ~
The OIDAP brought transparency to SSA’s occupational information development process that will impact the lives of millions of Americans. We believe SSA must continue this transparency as it develops any occupational information that will affect decision-making in the disability programs. We offer the following advice:
~ The Science ~
The foundation upon which any occupational information database rests is its taxonomy of attributes to be measured and the scales that actually measure them. As with anything anyone builds, if the foundation is inadequate, the structure will fail. We reiterate the importance of developing a taxonomic content model that is strong enough to withstand legal challenge. We affirm our belief that:
Failure to fully ensure the scientific veracity of the occupational taxonomy, data collection instrument, sampling strategy, and sources of data or data collection methods, will make SSA vulnerable to legitimate litigation.
As outlined in the OIDAP’s Operating Procedures, any recommendation voted upon by the Panel must go out for public comment. Given the timeline associated with the charter’s expiration, please expect a Federal Register publication notice soon soliciting written public comment and announcing the OIDAP’s final teleconference, which will include allotted time slots for individuals or organizations who wish to comment by telephone during the meeting. Space is limited. If you are unable to offer verbal public comment, feel free to email your written comment to the OIDAP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All written comment received by the closing date will be reviewed by the Panel and provided to SSA.
Thank you for your engagement in this process that affects millions of Americans. Your voice is important.
Mary Barros-Bailey, PhD