The Senate has passed S-671, to aid agency efforts to improve their customer service by encouraging them to collect voluntary feedback about the quality and perceptions of their services and interactions with the public.
The measure would create an exception for such purposes from provisions in the Paperwork Reduction Act, which otherwise requires OMB approval of agency proposals to collect data and that mandates that the government minimize the administrative burden it imposes.
The exception would apply to seeking voluntary feedback from the public at the point of service—often now meaning online—on topics such as overall satisfaction; whether an individual accomplished his/her intended purpose; whether an individual was treated with respect and professionalism; and timeliness of service.
Also under the bill, respondents must be kept anonymous, individuals who decline to respond not be treated differently by agencies for the purposes of providing services or information, and agencies would have to publish their customer feedback online.
The Senate also passed S-3510, to require OMB to issue guidance on how to incorporate natural disaster resilience into those decisions, require it to work with the GAO and FEMA on helping agencies identify potential gaps in their disaster resilience prevention efforts, and require reporting to Congress on implementation.
The bill is a response to a report GAO issued last year saying that while a Biden administration executive order told agencies to develop a climate action plan describing their vulnerabilities, neither that order nor later OMB guidance require agencies to use the information collected to make investment decisions.