The Washington Post

House passes bill to improve federal customer service

The House on Friday approved a bipartisan bill aimed at improving customer service from federal agencies.

The measure, sponsored by two Texas congressmen, Henry Cuellar (D) and Michael McCaul (R), would require the Office of Management and Budget to set government-wide customer service standards, including targets for response times. It would also establish a specialized team to help agencies that consistently fail to meet the goals.

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP) (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The legislation has a high likelihood of passing in the Senate, as a bipartisan companion measure was already proposed in that chamber. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who sponsored the Senate bill along with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), applauded the House vote on Friday.

“Citizens should expect federal agencies to deliver customer services at least as well as the private sector does, but this often is not the case,” Warner said.

Johnson also commended the vote, saying: “By embedding the concept of customer service into government operations, agencies will ultimately become more efficient and effective. This is just common sense.”

The Office of Personnel Management this year launched an initiative to improve one of the federal government’s most serious customer service problems affecting its own workforce: A backlog in retirement claims that has caused delays lasting more than a year in some cases.

The office is expected to release a report next week detailing improvements in the wait times since the program was launched.

To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed, friend his Facebook page or e-mail josh.hicks@washpost.comFor more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics. E-mail with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Next Story
Josh Hicks · August 2, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.