President Biden today issued an executive order that broadly supports new efforts by the government to improve the quality of citizen interactions with the government, and requires 17 Federal agencies to make customer experience (CX) improvements in 36 areas ranging from accessing retirement benefits to renewing travel passports.

The executive order follows close on the heels of last month’s Presidential Management Agenda “vision” document that identifies CX improvements – along with workforce and acquisition issues – as centerpieces of the administration’s agenda going forward.

The new EO’s focus on citizen service improvements also falls squarely in line with major policy objectives outlined in numerous speeches this year by Federal CIO Clare Martorana.

Broad Aims

The White House said today that the new EO “directs Federal agencies to put people at the center of everything the Government does.”

As a first step, the order sets forth 36 customer experience improvement “commitments” across 17 Federal agencies, “all of which aim to improve people’s lives and the delivery of Government services.”

On top of that, the White House said it will “work to identify and define critical services that meet customers’ needs and expectations, assess performance delivery and report it publicly, incorporate customer feedback during each interaction, and ultimately ensure services deliver a better experience to the public.”

Specific Federal agency commitments under the new EO will see them “modernizing programs, reducing administrative burdens, and piloting new online tools and technologies that can provide a simple, seamless, and secure customer experience,” the White House said.

New CX ‘Front Door’

Notably, the White House said that the existing website will be redesigned as a central “digital Federal front door” for the public to access all government benefits, services, and programs  “in just 1 to 3 clicks, taps, or commands from the homepage, without navigating duplicate and outdated Federal websites.”

“That home page will feature a new user experience based on the key life events, moments that matter most, and top tasks that Americans experience throughout their lives when interacting with Government,” the White House said.

“The Federal Government interacts with millions of people each day and provides vital services during some of the most critical moments in people’s lives,” the White House said. “Whether searching for vaccine safety information, claiming retirement benefits, receiving health insurance, passing through a security checkpoint, or checking the status of a farm loan application, Americans expect Government services to be responsive to their needs.”

“But too often, people have to navigate a tangled web of Government websites, offices, and phone numbers to access the services they depend on,” it said.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.