President Joe Biden has signed an executive order that’s intended to reduce the complexity of government services, such as the processing of benefits and passports. He stated that the U.S. needs to design and deliver services in a way that every American can navigate easily.
“We must use technology to modernize Government and implement services that are simple to use, accessible, equitable, protective, transparent, and responsive for all people of the United States,” he said in an announcement.
Improving customer service and service delivery
When the baseline for interacting with Americans was set in 1993, it required agencies that provide significant services directly to the public to gather feedback from consumers and establish standards that meet or exceed those provided by the private sector.
Under the new order, government agencies will be tasked with improving service delivery and customer experience, making them “fundamental priorities.” One of the major service delivery items that the Biden administration is focusing on involves passports.
As any American who has tried to apply for or renew a passport knows, the process can take time and require a lot of jumping through hoops. To change that perception, Biden is asking the Secretary of State to “design and deliver a new online passport renewal experience that does not require any physical documents to be mailed.”
Digitize, digitize, digitize
Biden hammered home the importance of digitizing government forms and services. He specifically pointed out that the Veterans Administration needs to provide digital services through a single, integrated, and equitable digital platform on VA.gov and the VA mobile app.
He also asked for a complete makeover of the USA.gov website so that it can be a centralized, digital “Federal Front Door” that citizens can use to access all government benefits, services, and programs.
“Every interaction between the Federal Government and the public, whether it involves renewing a passport or calling for a status update on a farm loan application, should be seen as an opportunity for the Government to save an individual’s time (and thus reduce “time taxes”) and to deliver the level of service that the public expects and deserves,” Biden said.
“By demonstrating that its processes are effective and efficient, in addition to being fair, protective of privacy interests, and transparent, the Federal Government can build public trust.”