A bill that would improve Americans’ customer experience with Federal agencies was approved by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and now moves along to the full Senate for further consideration.

The Federal Agency Customer Experience Act of 2021 (FACE Act) was introduced by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H, and James Lankford, R-Okla., in March. The bill, if it becomes law, would require certain agencies to gather “voluntary feedback with respect to their services and transactions,” and publish the feedback annually on their public websites and report it to the Office of Management and Budget.

Additionally, the legislation would require the Government Accountability Office to publish a report on the data collected from the various agencies.

Previous versions of the bill passed the Senate in 2017 and 2018, as well as the House in 2018, but none were signed into law.

Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., introduced a companion version of the FACE Act in the House in July.

“Improving customer service at Federal agencies is not a partisan issue. Federal employees are dedicated civil servants who want to deliver services to taxpayers as best they can,” Rep. Connolly said in a statement. “The FACE Act will improve customer service by allowing agencies to collect feedback, measure customer satisfaction, and use the feedback to improve their service.”

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“The American people deserve a Federal Government that provides efficient, effective, and high-quality service. Unfortunately, the Federal Government ranks among the bottom of all U.S.-industries when it comes to customer satisfaction,” added Rep. Fitzpatrick.

“The Federal Agency Customer Experience Act ensures that Federal agencies collect voluntary feedback from individuals about their interactions with the government. By gathering user comments, agencies will be able to gauge customer service concerns and publicly report the feedback they receive,” he said. “The result is a win-win. The American public receives better services and customer care, while agencies achieve greater impact and ability to fulfill their missions.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.