Date: August 24, 2007
House Passes H.R. 404, “ Federal Customer Service Enhancement Act ”
On July 23, 2007, the House passed H.R. 404, the Federal Customer Service Enhancement Act. On July 24, 2007, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Among other provisions, the legislation would require the establishment of customer service standards for Federal agencies, including SSA.
Upon enactment, the House-passed bill would:
• Require the Comptroller General and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to jointly develop performance measures and standards to determine whether Federal agencies are providing high quality customer service;
• Require the head of each Federal agency to collect information from its customers regarding the quality of its services and to include such information in the agency's Performance and Accountability Report;
• Direct the head of each Federal agency to assign an employee to be the customer relations representative of the agency;
• Require each Federal agency to include its address and phone number on any agency stationery. In the case of correspondence originating from a regional or local office, the agency would be required to include the address and phone number of the regional or local office on the stationery; and
• Require the Comptroller General to report on each agency's customer service performance no later than two years after enactment. The report could be used by Congress as well as the Director of OMB to update performance measures for customer service. Compliance with customer service standards would, to the extent practicable, be an element of each agency's performance appraisal system.