House to press agencies on customer service

Back from its August recess, the House is expected to pass legislation Sept. 12 regarding customer service standards for agencies.

The Government Customer Service Improvement Act (H.R. 538) would require the Office of Management and Budget to develop performance measures and standards for agencies and incorporate the standards into employee performance appraisals. In addition, agencies would have to designate a customer relations representative to assure compliance, and officials would have to gather input from customers to measure their service performance.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reported in June that existing law falls short in promoting good customer service. Some agencies have customer services standards; others, however, do not.

“Agencies currently have discretionary authority to include ‘courtesy demonstrated to the public’ in employee performance appraisals,” according the committee’s report on the bill.

Citing a MeriTalk survey on customer service from 2011, only 31 percent of 1,000 people surveyed were very satisfied with the government’s service. Moreover, 79 percent said the government can do a better job.

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

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Reader comments

Tue, Sep 11, 2012

What customer? If my agency is not focused inwards then it's only because it's doing someone else's bidding. In either case it's just keeping up appearances, furthering an internal agenda, or protecting turf. Case in point is ISO certification; in most case A ISO audit evaluation is based upon contrived artifacts that do not represent actual processes & procedures, (which in most cases is ad hoc or laissez faire). It's just eyewash!

Tue, Sep 11, 2012

Citing Congress's approval rating in single digits by the majority of public, it seems a special committee should be formed to make a law regarding LOCKing Congress's salery and raises to performance as scored by general publics polls. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

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