MA

A Focus on Federal Customer Experience has Tech Implications

Published: January 06, 2022

Federal Market AnalysisDigital GovernmentGovernment PerformanceInformation TechnologyPolicy and Legislation

A recently released executive order and a draft PMA learning agenda place IT at the forefront to implementing the Biden Administration’s vision for improved federal services delivery.

Filing taxes, obtaining passports, and applying for benefits should not be burdensome, according to recently issued documents by the Biden Administration. A December Executive Order (EO) highlights the need for quality, equitable and secure federal services delivery to optimize customer experience. The EO defines customer experience as the public’s overall approval with federal government interactions.

“Agencies must work with the Congress; the private sector and nonprofit organizations; State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments; and other partners to design experiences with the Federal Government that effectively reduce administrative burdens, simplify both public-facing and internal processes to improve efficiency, and empower the Federal workforce to solve problems,” according to the EO.

The document calls on technology to modernize government services to achieve prime customer service.

Tech Implications in the EO

With technology at the helm of improving federal government customer service, the EO suggests increased information sharing among agencies, as well as prioritizing common standards, platforms and digital products for an efficient and integrated government.  Moreover, the EO demands streamlined processes between federal, state and local governments, as well as reductions in information collection that burden customers.

To that end, the EO calls out several tech-based agency actions to improve customer experience, identifying planned or underway IT-laden initiatives throughout several federal departments.

Federal Agency

Intiatives

State

Design and deliver a new online passport renewal experience

Treasury

Design and deliver new online tools and services to ease tax payments and schedule customer support telephone call-backs; work with DOD, Education and OPM on a more streamlined public service loan forgiveness process

Interior

Redesign the Fish and Wildlife Service website with a modernized electronic permitting system

Agriculture

Test online purchasing options for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; simplify enrollment and recertification for nutrition assistance programs; and design and implement a simplified direct farm loan application process

Health and Human Services

Design and deliver new personalized online tools for Medicare enrollees; ensure applicants and beneficiaries in one program are automatically enrolled in other eligible programs; streamline State enrollment and renewal processes; and test methods to automate patient access to electronic health records

Education

Design and deliver a repayment portal capability on StudentAid.gov

Veterans Affairs

Provide digital services through a single, integrated digital platform; add personalized online chat with a virtual or live agent; work with GSA to provide seamless integration of login.gov

Homeland Security

Test innovative technologies at airport security checkpoints; and design and deliver a streamlined, online disaster assistance application

Social Security Administration

Submit a report to OMB on all processes requiring original or physical documentation or physical appearance with recommendations for reforms to modernize the customer experience; develop a mobile-accessible online process for application

General Services Administration

Develop a roadmap for the USA.gov redesign; and consolidate content on Benefits.gov, Grants.gov and other related websites;

Draft PMA Learning Agenda

The Biden Administration continued the customer experience endeavor with the release of a draft President’s Management Agenda (PMA) Learning Agenda.  The learning agenda supports the PMA’s three-pronged vision to improve federal government operation and performance by: empowering the federal workforce, delivering prime customer experience, and improving government business. Specifically, the learning agenda identifies draft questions and examples of sub-questions for each priority to prompt innovative research and to bridge silos. In customer delivery, for example, the learning agenda asks for touch point recommendations between the government and its customers, tools needed to navigate processes, and automation and virtualization approaches to efficiently deliver services. Comments on the draft are due by January 31, 2022.

In all, contractors can expect the recent push for improved federal services to result in a variety of opportunities to make the government more efficient, digital, integrated, and mobile. The EO and draft learning agenda prompt agencies to review, measure and identify the gaps in services processes, making it the time to start talking to federal customers to help achieve milestones set forth by the current administration.