By Steve Kelman

Blog archive

The Lectern: A returned expat reflects on changes in citizen services

In the lobby area of the Washington Hilton last night, waiting to check into my room for the GCN dinner gala (now that FCW and GCN have merged, can mention this in an FCW-sponsored blog!!!), I got into a conversation with somebody in town for a convention of actuaries (!). He had lived outside the U.S. for the last twenty years, and recently returned to live full time in the States. He said that he really noticed a change for the better in the level of customer service from government. Civil servants he dealt with were friendlier and more helpful. He could renew his driver's license over the Internet. And at the conference he was attending, both the IRS and the Securities and Exchange Commission had booths -- he said that twenty years ago, those agencies would hardly talk with people from his profession, much less have booths at their meetings. This may be more difficult for most citizens to notice because the changes may have been gradual enough so that the different increments of change passed unobserved. The perspective of somebody out of the country for twenty years is therefore interesting and remarkable -- and this returned expat says he's seen a big improvement.

Posted by Steve Kelman on Oct 25, 2007 at 12:08 PM


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