3 ways President Biden’s executive order on the customer experience encourages interagency collaboration
Late last year, President Biden signed an executive order that sought to transform the federal customer experience to rebuild trust in government. One key goal of this executive order was to deliver accessible and seamless services to the public through coordinated action by different federal agencies. This goal aligns strongly with the Partnership’s work to advocate for and join forces with government organizations to encourage interagency collaboration.
Often, people who attempt to access federal services need to fill out multiple forms located on hard-to-navigate complicated websites and interact with various agencies. However, most members of the public do not possess the institutional knowledge of the federal government to complete these tasks effectively.
The principle of seamless customer experience aims to tackle this issue by creating shared services—services traditionally provided by one organization that can be used by multiple agencies and departments. Additionally, the order aims to create more “one-stop shops” that enable people to get what they need without working across multiple agencies.
By placing administrative burden on the federal government instead of the public, seamless customer experience makes it easier for people to access vital services. At the Partnership, we recommended agencies take steps to integrate services and service channels for a more seamless customer journey in our most recent “Government for the People” report.
Fortunately, the Biden administration’s executive order will enable agencies to develop a more seamless customer experience for those they serve. Here are three ways that this principle is being implemented on the federal level through interagency collaboration.
Make it easier to have federal student loans forgiven.
Currently, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program allows many in the public or nonprofit workforce to have their student loans fully forgiven if they make consistent payments while serving in the federal workforce.
However, currently, it can be difficult to track loan payments and verify if employers qualify for loan forgiveness benefits in a timely manner, causing potential delays. The executive order will help streamline the process to ensure federal workers are able to have their student loans forgiven as soon as possible.
Create a “one-stop shop” for individuals to change their mailing address.
Many people receive mail from different government agencies. Unfortunately, when they change addresses, they may have to notify more than one agency in order to continue to receive the mail they need.
The executive order instructs the Office of Management and Budget, the General Services Administration, and the United States Postal Service to work together so that individuals only have to change their address once through the Postal Service to have the update recorded by all agencies.
Work to streamline online access to critical services.
Currently, many people need multiple logins to access Department of Veterans Affairs resources and information online. As a result of the order, the VA and the General Services Administration are directed to work together to create a seamless single login process that will make it easier for veterans attempting to access these materials.
When federal agencies work together to create a better customer experience, they drive positive and lasting change for the public. Hopefully, with continued assistance from the Partnership and sustained focus from the federal government, this critical interagency collaboration will become more prevalent.
Liam Day is an intern on the Partnership’s Research and Evaluation team.