Agency customer service efforts could come under increased scrutiny

Agencies may have a new Office of Management and Budget special team to examine their future customer services, according to a new bill.

Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) introduced bipartisan legislation July 30, aiming to improve customer service delivery across agencies.

The Government Customer Service Improvement Act (S. 3455) would require OMB to work with agency officials to develop specific standards for customer services. The bipartisan legislation also would establish what Warner dubbed a "SWAT team." It would be a special unit within OMB to temporarily assist those agencies that consistently fail to meet customer service standards.

Further, each agency would have to designate a “service improvement officer,” who would be responsible for monitoring progress. There would also be annual progress reports by agency.

“As any business school graduate can tell you, ‘what gets measured gets done,’” Warner said. “I believe citizens should expect federal agencies to deliver customer service at least as well as the private sector does and, unfortunately, too often that is not the case.”

The bill also targets the Office of Personnel Management. It would set specific service improvement targets for OPM, an agency which has experienced chronic backlogs for several years in processing retirement benefits for federal employees.

The bill was sent to the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee for further consideration. Also, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) introduced the bill initially in the House in 2011. The House has yet to vote on it.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Wed, Aug 1, 2012

Great another 300 jobs to support the initiative that won't help much since each office does what they want anyway.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group