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H.R. 538 (112th): Government Customer Service Improvement Act


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 8, 2011 (Introduced).


I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 538

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 8, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

A BILL

To require the establishment of customer service standards for Federal agencies.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Federal Customer Service Enhancement Act.

2.

Development of performance measures and standards for customer service provided by federal agencies

(a)

Requirement

(1)

Performance measures and standards

The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall develop—

(A)

performance measures to determine whether Federal agencies are providing high-quality customer service; and

(B)

standards to be met by Federal agencies in order to provide high-quality customer service.

(2)

Requirement to take into account certain information

The standards under paragraph (1) shall be developed after taking into account the information collected by Federal agencies under subsection (b).

(b)

Customer service input

The head of each Federal agency shall collect information from its customers regarding the quality of customer services provided by the agency. The information shall be collected through a survey, focus groups, or other appropriate methods. Each Federal agency shall include this information in its performance report submitted under section 1116 of title 31, United States Code.

(c)

Annual report

The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall issue an annual report on the success of Federal agencies in meeting the customer service performance measures and standards developed under subsection (a).

3.

Implementation of customer service standards

(a)

Customer relations representative

The head of each Federal agency shall designate an employee to be the customer relations representative of the agency. Such representative shall be responsible for implementing the customer service standards developed under section 2 and the agency requirements under subsection (b).

(b)

Agency requirements

(1)

Guidelines and contact information

(A)

In general

The head of each Federal agency, acting through its customer relations representative, shall—

(i)

issue guidelines to implement the customer service standards developed under section 2 within the agency, including specific principles of customer service applicable to that agency; and

(ii)

publish customer service contact information, including a mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

(B)

Availability

The guidelines and the customer service contact information required under this paragraph shall be available on the agency's public Web site.

(2)

Stationery requirements

Each Federal agency shall include its address and phone number on any agency stationery. In the case of correspondence originating from a regional or local office of a Federal agency, the agency shall include the address and phone number of the regional or local office on the stationery.

4.

Report by government accountability office

(a)

Report required

Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate a report analyzing the information reported by agencies under section 2(b).

(b)

Matters covered

The report shall include—

(1)

whether agencies are implementing the customer service standards;

(2)

whether there is an increase in overall quality in customer service in the Federal Government; and

(3)

any recommendations the Comptroller General may have to improve performance measures and standards for customer service in the Federal Government.

(c)

Use of report

The report may be used by Congress as well as the Director of Office of Management and Budget to update performance measures for customer service.

5.

Incentives for customer service

(a)

Award program

The head of a Federal agency may establish an awards program to pay a cash award under chapter 45 of title 5, United States Code, to employees for demonstrated excellence in customer service.

(b)

Performance appraisal

Compliance with customer service standards developed under this Act shall, to the extent practicable, be an element of a performance appraisal system referred to in section 5307(d) of title 5, United States Code.

6.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

The term customer, with respect to a Federal agency, means any individual or entity, including a business, State or local government, other Federal agency, or Congress, to which the agency provides services or information.

(2)

The term Federal agency has the meaning given the term Executive agency by section 105 of title 5, United States Code, except that the term does not include an agency if the President determines that this Act should not apply to the agency for national security reasons.