The White House shared updates on cross-agency projects designed to improve and streamline government service delivery.
The White House released details about two cross-agency customer experience projects meant to improve how the government provides benefits and services in the latest update on the President's Management Agenda posted on performance.gov on Wednesday.
The Biden administration has ongoing projects across over 10 agencies looking to improve government services offered during specific life experiences — retirement; disaster recovery; transitioning from military service to civilian life; having a child; and financial shock.
The work, part of the White House’s focus on improving customer experience, is meant to improve how people experience government – something the administration says is critical to improving trust in democracy overall.
Cross-agency teams already are working on projects meant to make it easier for individuals to get what they need. Among these are efforts to decrease the number of applications people have to submit for government benefits, to find a standardized methodology for measuring administrative burdens and to pilot text message reminders about enrollment and renewal deadlines for government benefits.
Efforts to streamline Medicare-only enrollment and disaster assistance processes, announced earlier this year, hit milestones recently, according to the updates.
The Social Security Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are doing in-depth user research about Medicare-only enrollment processes and developing potential cross-agency solutions, although a planned prototype is on hold due to a lack of staff capacity at SSA, according to performance.gov.
On disaster assistance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration have already been analyzing data and are now working on a roadmap meant to guide a “cross-team task force and shared backlog of projects.” They are also working to improve messaging around FEMA’s intake application for individual assistance and SBA’s disaster loan program.
Disaster assistance processes have recently drawn the attention of some lawmakers as well. The Disaster Assistance Simplification Act passed the Senate in May.
New IDEA Act and CX hiring tools
The update also previews forthcoming tools and resources meant to help agencies implement the 21st Century IDEA Act, a law meant to improve government websites and digital services.
Among the updates agencies can expect are for search.gov to get faceted search functionality, or a smart filter, as well as plain-language checklists for the U.S. Web Design System.
Federal chief information officer Clare Martorana told Nextgov/FCW that guidance on the law is coming this summer, although it’s yet to be released. The Technology Modernization Fund is also already shopping for funding proposals for IDEA Act implementation, too.
Agencies that need help hiring CX professionals can also look for more resources — the latest PMA update points to a forthcoming “CX Talent Acquisition Guide” meant to “make it easier for agencies to hire customer experience personnel.”
There’s already an ongoing pooled hiring action meant to hire at least 50 CX professionals across different agencies, and the White House’s fiscal 2024 budget request asked for over 100 CX hires across government.
In the latest PMA update, the administration also touted ongoing work at agencies designated as “high impact service providers” to report data on trust and customer feedback from the public.