The Senate has passed and sent to the House S-1088, which would expand options available to agencies regarding when and how they can solicit feedback from the public, to be used in evaluating and improving their services.

Under the measure, agencies would have discretion to ask individuals questions to be developed by GSA and OMB regarding overall satisfaction with the interaction or service provided; the extent to which they accomplished their intended task; whether the service was timely; whether they were treated with respect and professionalism; and similar questions as appropriate.

It further would require that responses be voluntary and that agencies make no distinction in their treatment of those who respond or don’t.

Responses would be posted on agency websites, there would be a central site linking all agency reports, and GAO would annually report on the quality of customer service that agencies provide.

Sponsors argue that the Paperwork Reduction Act, which was designed to minimize the burden imposed on the public, effectively made it more difficult to gather such feedback by setting certain standards and requiring OMB review and approval.