Reps. Katie Porter, D-Cali., and Gerry Connolly, D-VA., introduced new legislation last week that aims to strengthen how the Federal government serves the American public by giving six agencies specific marching orders on improving online and other services.

The Trust in Government Act of 2022 lays out requirements for those six agencies to improve specific service offerings, and mandates periodic reports to Congress on their progress. The bill directs:

  • The Department of State to set up an online passport renewal process;
  • The Department of Treasury to expand electronic tax filing and offer support via email;
  • The Department of Education to create a centralized loan repayment portal;
  • The Department of Homeland Security to take action to reduce passenger wait times at airports;
  • The Small Business Administration to streamline online disaster applications; and
  • The Social Security Administration to develop a mobile-accessible, online process for applying or receiving benefits.

“The American people deserve nothing less than top-notch service from their Federal agencies,” said Rep. Porter in a press release. “A lack of accessibility and efficiency not only wastes taxpayer dollars and Americans’ time; it also erodes the people’s trust in our government.”

“The Federal government is only as good as the quality of services it provides to the American people,” said Rep. Connolly. “That’s why it’s absolutely imperative that the public interacts with a modern, accessible, and customer-focused government.”

The legislation seeks to bolster ongoing customer service improvements ordered by President Biden in his Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery, which he signed in Dec. 2021, Rep. Connolly added.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.