U.S. House passes federal ‘customer service’ bill
The House approved legislation that aims to improve “customer service” across federal agencies. The House passed the bill, the Government Customer Service Improvement Act (H.R. 1660), by unanimous consent on July 31. According to the bill’s sponsors, the legislation will build on existing performance management frameworks to track service delivery across the government and speed up service. The bill now heads to the Senate.
“Just like the private sector strives to provide excellent customer service to bring in business, the federal government should embed better service to bring efficiency,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas). “I have a strong belief that we owe our taxpayers more than delays and service breakdowns – we owe them an effective, efficient, and responsible government because, ultimately, the government is in the business of customer service.”
The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to develop baseline customer service standards that agencies must use to improve response times for citizen inquires to federal agencies, and to modernize processes to bolster the efficiency of customer service. Agencies also would have to work with OMB to create a system that allows customers to provide feedback.
The legislation also calls for the creation of a two-year pilot program under which federal process improvement experts would work with agencies that fail to meet the new service standards.
Additionally, the bill would the Office of Personnel Management to provide more detailed monitoring and reporting on the ongoing backlog for retirement claims and other benefits, as well as present regular updates on OPM’s retirement systems modernization project.
About Robert C. Lucas
Bob Lucas has been a trainer, presenter, customer service expert, and adult educator for over four decades. He has written hundreds of articles on training, writing, self-publishing, and workplace learning skills and issues. He is also an award-winning author who has written thirty-seven books on topics such as, writing, relationships, customer service, brain-based learning, and creative training strategies, interpersonal communication, diversity, and supervisory skills. Additionally, he has contributed articles, chapters, and activities to eighteen compilation books. Bob retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after twenty-two years of active and reserve service.
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