Federal Manager's Daily Report

Two House Democratic leaders on civil service issues are pressing the Biden administration to issue guidance to agencies on carrying out the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, or IDEA Act, noting that the law passed more than two years ago.

Because OMB under the Trump administration did not issue implementing guidance, “federal agency implementation has been inconsistent, creating uneven access to the federal government’s essential information and services,” Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York and Gerry Connolly of Virginia, chair of the Oversight and Reform Committee and its government operations subcommittee, said in a letter to OMB.

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The law requires agencies to upgrade their websites, intranets, and related online experiences; provide digital and mobile-responsive options to replace paper-based forms; and create plans for the expanded use of electronic signatures. The intent was to “accelerate digital modernization at agencies to improve how individuals access federal services, and to increase trust in government while driving down the cost of government operations,” they wrote.

They said that the changes in how some federal services are delivered due to the pandemic make the guidance even more important. “Moreover, the burgeoning telework environment demands that agencies provide the public the ability to efficiently interact with their government on a digital medium. The 21st Century IDEA helps ensure those interactions are clear, efficient, and useful to agency customers,” they wrote.

They asked that the OMB guidance address topics including accelerated use of electronic signatures; modernizing websites, improving their security and redesigning them with the customer in mind; and shifting from paper-based to digital forms.

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