The guidance had been eliminated by the Trump administration during the lame-duck session in late December.
The Office of Management and Budget last week reinstated previous guidance directing federal agencies to develop goals and track progress regarding customer experience goals and the delivery of government services.
The guidance—Part 6 of OMB Circular A-11—had been eliminated by the Trump administration in December and comes as federal agencies formulate budget proposals and undergo priority goal-setting for the year.
“Agencies were clear, and unanimous, in their desire to have the earlier framework reinstated,” Pam Coleman, OMB’s associate director of performance and personnel management, said in a blog post announcing the change. “Grounded in proven management practices of high-performing organizations both private and public, the framework emphasizes a focus on implementation by engaging senior leaders through ambitious and data-driven goal setting, regular reviews of progress, and public reporting of results.”
The new guidance directs agencies to align new goals with Biden-Harris administration priorities. It further directs agencies to prepare strategic plans, performance goals and targets that must be submitted to OMB by June, and calls on agencies to partner with each other to make progress on those goals.
Stephanie Thum, founding principal of Practical CX and former vice president of customer experience at the Export-Import Bank, told Nextgov the guidance “is a win” for federal agencies. Collectively, the federal government continues to perform below standards set by leading private sector companies in customer service, though there has been improvement in recent years.
“I anticipated the reinstatement of agency strategic planning and performance reporting. Based on my past experience as a government agency leader who also shared responsibility for strategic plans and performance reports, I can say these practices are important to keeping agency leadership teams on the same page,” Thum said. “As a long-time CX advocate, this is a win for continuing to build CX practices and mindsets into the fabric of government culture.”