Washington, D.C. – Senator Ron Johnson (WI) today announced that he has joined Senator Mark Warner (VA) to introduce the Government Customer Service Improvement Act. The legislation requires the Office of Management and Budget to work with agencies to develop and implement customer service standards.
Johnson, who led a plastics manufacturing company prior to being sworn into the Senate, noted the importance of ensuring that taxpayers receive quality service from government employees:
“Companies that have to succeed in the free market have an incentive to constantly improve customer service. Bad customer service means reduced profits and the risk of failure. Government agencies simply don’t have to respond to competition the way private companies do. This legislation ensures that federal agencies are responsive to the taxpayers who fund them by requiring the development of customer service standards and performance measures at each agency. By embedding the concept of customer service into government operations, agencies will ultimately become more efficient and effective. This is just common sense.”
Warner, a former telecommunications executive, stated:
“Customer service delivery breakdowns appear in the headlines all too often. Too many of our veterans wait too long for critical medical services, and federal retirees often wait months – and sometimes even years – before they begin to receive full benefits. That is not acceptable. As any business school graduate can tell you, ‘what gets measured gets done.’ I believe citizens should expect federal agencies to deliver customer service at least as well as the private sector does.”
Millions of Americans depend on federal agencies for vital services, and delays in processing those requests oftentimes causes understandable frustration and unacceptable hardship. This bipartisan legislation seeks to make the federal agency customer service process more transparent and efficient. Agencies will be monitored and held accountable, and this legislation seeks to better focus limited resources on improving front-line customer service functions.
Finally, the Government Customer Service Improvement Act of 2012 also sets specific service improvement targets for the Office of Personnel Management, an agency which has experienced chronic backlogs for several years in processing retirement benefits for federal employees.