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115th Congress      }                               {         Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session         }                               {        115-1043

======================================================================



 
             FEDERAL AGENCY CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE ACT OF 2018

                                _______
                                

 November 27, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Gowdy, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2846]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 2846) to require the collection of 
voluntary feedback on services provided by agencies, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended 
do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Summary and Purpose of Legislation...............................     4
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     4
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     6
Legislative History..............................................     6
Committee Consideration..........................................     6
Roll Call Votes..................................................     6
Explanation of Amendments........................................     6
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     7
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     7
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     7
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     7
Unfunded Mandates Statement......................................     7
Earmark Identification...........................................     7
Committee Estimate...............................................     7
New Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost 
  Estimate.......................................................     7
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     9

    The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Agency Customer Experience Act 
of 2018''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; SENSE OF CONGRESS.

  (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
          (1) the Federal Government serves the people of the United 
        States and should seek to continually improve public services 
        provided by the Federal Government based on customer feedback;
          (2) the people of the United States deserve a Federal 
        Government that provides efficient, effective, and high-quality 
        services across multiple channels;
          (3) many agencies, offices, programs, and Federal employees 
        provide excellent service to individuals, however many parts of 
        the Federal Government still fall short on delivering the 
        customer service experience that individuals have come to 
        expect from the private sector;
          (4) according to the 2016 American Customer Satisfaction 
        Index, the Federal Government ranks among the bottom of all 
        industries in the United States in customer satisfaction;
          (5) providing quality services to individuals improves the 
        confidence of the people of the United States in their 
        government and helps agencies achieve greater impact and 
        fulfill their missions; and
          (6) improving service to individuals requires agencies to 
        work across organizational boundaries, leverage technology, 
        collect and share standardized data, and develop customer-
        centered mindsets and service strategies.
  (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that all agencies 
should strive to provide high-quality, courteous, effective, and 
efficient services to the people of the United States and seek to 
measure, collect, report, and utilize metrics relating to the 
experience of individuals interacting with agencies to continually 
improve services to the people of the United States.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of General Services.
          (2) Agency.--The term ``agency'' has the meaning given the 
        term in section 3502 of title 44, United States Code.
          (3) Covered agency.--The term ``covered agency'' means an 
        agency or component of an agency that is designated as a 
        ``covered agency'' pursuant to section 5(a).
          (4) Director.--The term ``Director'' means the Director of 
        the Office of Management and Budget.
          (5) Voluntary customer service feedback.--The term 
        ``voluntary customer service feedback'' means a response to a 
        collection of information conducted by a covered agency in 
        accordance with this Act.

SEC. 4. APPLICATION OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION 
                    ACT TO COLLECTION OF VOLUNTARY CUSTOMER SERVICE 
                    FEEDBACK.

  Sections 3506(c) and 3507 of title 44, United States Code (provisions 
of what is commonly known as the ``Paperwork Reduction Act'') shall not 
apply to a collection of voluntary customer service feedback.

SEC. 5. GUIDELINES FOR VOLUNTARY CUSTOMER SERVICE FEEDBACK.

  (a) Evaluation and Designation.--The Director shall assess agencies, 
agency components, and agency programs to identify which have the 
highest impact on or number of interactions with individuals or 
entities. Based on the assessment, the Director shall designate 
agencies, agency components, or programs as covered agencies for 
purposes of this Act.
  (b) Guidance.--The Director shall issue guidance that requires each 
covered agency that solicits voluntary customer service feedback to 
ensure that--
          (1) any response to the solicitation of voluntary customer 
        service feedback remains anonymous, the collection method does 
        not include a request for or opportunity for the respondent to 
        provide information that could identify such respondent, and 
        any response is not traced to a specific individual or entity;
          (2) any individual or entity who declines to participate in 
        the solicitation of voluntary customer service feedback shall 
        not be treated differently by the agency for purposes of 
        providing services or information;
          (3) the solicitation does not include more than 10 questions;
          (4) the voluntary nature of the solicitation is clear;
          (5) the collection of voluntary customer service feedback is 
        only used to improve customer service and will not be used for 
        any other purpose;
          (6) any solicitation of voluntary customer service feedback 
        is limited to 1 solicitation per interaction with an individual 
        or entity;
          (7) to the extent practicable, the solicitation of voluntary 
        customer service feedback is made at the point of service with 
        an individual or entity;
          (8) any instrument for collecting voluntary customer service 
        feedback is accessible to individuals with disabilities in 
        accordance with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 
        (29 U.S.C. 794d); and
          (9) internal agency data governance policies remain in effect 
        with respect to the collection of voluntary customer service 
        feedback from any individual or entity.

SEC. 6. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE DATA COLLECTION.

  (a) Collection of Responses.--The head of each covered agency (or a 
designee), assisted by and in consultation with the Performance 
Improvement Officer or other senior accountable official for customer 
service of the covered agency, shall collect voluntary customer service 
feedback with respect to any service of or transaction with the covered 
agency that has been identified by the Director, in consultation with 
the Administrator, in accordance with the guidance issued by the 
Director under section 5.
  (b) Content of Questions.--
          (1) Standardized questions.--The Director, in consultation 
        with the Administrator, shall develop a set of standardized 
        questions for use by each covered agency in collecting 
        voluntary customer service feedback under this section that 
        address--
                  (A) overall satisfaction of individuals or entities 
                with the specific interaction or service received;
                  (B) the extent to which individuals or entities were 
                able to accomplish their intended task or purpose;
                  (C) whether the individual or entity was treated with 
                respect and professionalism;
                  (D) whether the individual or entity believes they 
                were served in a timely manner; and
                  (E) any additional metrics as determined by the 
                Director, in consultation with the Administrator.
          (2) Additional questions.--In addition to the questions 
        developed pursuant to paragraph (1), the Director shall consult 
        with the Performance Improvement Council to develop additional 
        questions relevant to the operations or programs of covered 
        agencies.
  (c) Additional Requirements.--To the extent practicable--
          (1) each covered agency shall collect voluntary customer 
        service feedback across all platforms or channels through which 
        the covered agency interacts with individuals or other entities 
        to deliver information or services; and
          (2) voluntary customer service feedback collected under this 
        section shall be tied to specific transactions or interactions 
        with customers of the covered agency.
  (d) Reports.--
          (1) Annual report to the director.--
                  (A) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date 
                of the enactment of this Act, and not less frequently 
                than annually thereafter, each covered agency shall 
                publish on the website of the covered agency and submit 
                to the Director, in a manner determined by the 
                Director--
                          (i) a report that includes--
                                  (I) the voluntary customer service 
                                feedback for the previous year; and
                                  (II) descriptions of how the covered 
                                agency has used and plans to use such 
                                feedback; and
                          (ii) a machine readable dataset that 
                        includes--
                                  (I) the the standardized questions or 
                                additional questions described in 
                                subsection (b) and the response choices 
                                for such questions; and
                                  (II) the response rate for each 
                                collection of voluntary customer 
                                service feedback for the previous year.
                  (B) Centralized website.--The Director shall--
                          (i) include and maintain on a publicly 
                        available website links to the information 
                        provided on the websites of covered agencies 
                        under subparagraph (A); and
                          (ii) for purposes of clause (i), establish a 
                        website or make use of an existing website, 
                        such as the website required under section 1122 
                        of title 31, United States Code.
          (2) Aggregated report.--Each covered agency shall publish in 
        an electronic format and update on a regular basis an 
        aggregated report on the solicitation and use of voluntary 
        customer service feedback, which shall include--
                  (A) the intended purpose of each solicitation of 
                voluntary customer service feedback conducted by the 
                covered agency;
                  (B) the appropriate point of contact within each 
                covered agency for each solicitation of voluntary 
                customer service feedback conducted;
                  (C) the questions or survey instrument submitted to 
                members of the public as part of the solicitation of 
                voluntary customer service feedback; and
                  (D) a description of how the covered agency uses the 
                voluntary customer service feedback received by the 
                covered agency to improve the customer service of the 
                covered agency.

SEC. 7. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE SCORECARD REPORT.

  (a) In General.--Not later than 15 months after the date on which all 
covered agencies have submitted the first annual reports to the 
Director required under section 6(d)(1), and every 2 years thereafter 
until the date that is 10 years after such date, the Comptroller 
General of the United States shall make publicly available and submit 
to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the 
Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the 
House of Representatives a scorecard report assessing the data 
collected and reported by the covered agencies and each instrument used 
to collect voluntary customer service feedback.
  (b) Contents.--The report required under subsection (a) shall 
include--
          (1) a summary of the information required to be published by 
        covered agencies under section 6(d);
          (2) a description of how each covered agency plans to use and 
        has used the voluntary customer service feedback received by 
        the covered agency; and
          (3) an evaluation of each covered agency's compliance with 
        this Act.

SEC. 8. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

  It is the sense of Congress that adequate Federal funding is needed 
to ensure agency staffing levels that can provide the public with 
appropriate customer service levels.

    Amend the title so as to read:
    A bill to require the collection of voluntary customer 
service feedback on services provided by agencies, and for 
other purposes.

                   Summary and Purpose of Legislation

    H.R. 2846, the Federal Agency Customer Experience Act of 
2017, establishes a process for federal agencies to collect 
voluntary customer service feedback. Data collected will be 
made publicly available to provide transparency for Congress 
and the public.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The American people deserve a federal government that 
provides a positive customer service experience. However, 
according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the 
Federal Government is near the bottom of all industries in the 
United States when it comes to customer satisfaction.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\See The American Customer Satisfaction Index, ACSI Benchmarks 
for U.S. Federal Government 2017, http://www.theacsi.org/images/
stories/images/govsatscores/18jan_gov-report-2017.pdf (federal 
government aggregated score compared to Benchmarks by Industry).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) 
reviewed the customer service standards of six Federal 
programs.\2\ GAO analyzed the extent to which these programs 
met customer service standards that include targets or goals 
for performance, include performance measures, and are publicly 
accessible.\3\ GAO found none of these six programs examined 
included all of the key customer service elements.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\U.S. Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-15-84, Managing for 
Results: Select Agencies Need To Take Additional Efforts To Improve 
Customer Service (2014).
    \3\Id.
    \4\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In private industry, businesses obtain feedback from 
customers to improve products and services.\5\ In fact, the 
bottom line of a company often depends on the quality of 
service they provide.\6\ Federal agencies need to reorient 
their policies related to customer service. The Federal Agency 
Customer Experience Act is a step toward that goal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\See generally Jane Fountain, Paradoxes of Public Sector Customer 
Service, 14 governance: An International Journal of Policy and 
Administration 55 (2001); Dep't of Health and Human Servs., Office of 
Inspector General, OEI-02-94-00060, How the Private Sector Monitors 
Customer Satisfaction: a Benchmarking Report (1994).
    \6\See Tony D'Emidio, David Malfara, and Kevin Neher, McKinsey & 
Company, Improving the Customer Experience to Achieve Government-Agency 
goals (2017), https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-sector/our-
insights/improving-the-customer-experience-to-achieve-government-
agency-goals.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 2846 builds upon the existing practices of the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Information 
and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which are charged with enforcing 
the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The PRA requires federal 
agencies to receive approval from OIRA for their information 
collection activities, including customer feedback surveys.\7\ 
This process generally requires agencies to, among other 
things, submit a detailed proposal to OIRA and seek public 
comment on their information collection proposal.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\See 44 U.S.C. Sec. 3507 (2016); 44 U.S.C. Sec. 3502(c); 5 C.F.R. 
Sec. 1302.3(c) (2018).
    \8\44 U.S.C. Sec. 3507.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For information collections that are voluntary and 
noncontroversial, OIRA created generic clearance and fast-track 
procedures to expedite the normal approval process.\9\ To 
obtain a generic clearance, agencies must receive approval 
through the normal process for a broad proposal that is 
representative of how the agency will collect the covered 
information.\10\ Once this proposal is approved, agencies may 
then customize similar information collections for specific 
purposes and receive expedited approval from OIRA.\11\ Among 
the agency activities eligible for this expedited approval are 
customer service surveys and other feedback mechanisms.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\See generally Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 
Exec. Office of the President, Flexibilities Under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act for Compliance with Information Collection Requirements 
(2016), https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/
inforeg/inforeg/pra_flexibilities_memo_7_22_16_finalI.pdf.
    \10\Id.
    \11\Id.
    \12\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 2846 requires select federal agencies to collect 
voluntary customer service feedback. The bill also sets 
guidelines for the solicitation of voluntary feedback provided 
by the public. The questionnaires permitted under H.R. 2846 are 
short and the responses are anonymous. Collecting customer 
service data alone will not improve the relationship between 
the American public and the Federal Government. H.R. 2846 adds 
transparency and accountability requirements, including agency 
reports on the description, purpose, and results of the 
feedback they receive and a government-wide customer experience 
scorecard prepared by GAO, based on individual agency reports.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the previous section.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goal or objective of this bill is to require the collection of 
voluntary feedback on services provided by agencies, and for 
other purposes.

                          Legislative History

    On June 8, 2017, Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX) 
introduced H.R. 2846, the Federal Agency Customer Experience 
Act of 2017, with Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). H.R. 
2846 was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform. The Committee considered H.R. 2846 at a business 
meeting on March 15, 2018, and ordered the bill favorably 
reported to the House, as amended, by voice vote.
    Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Senator James Lankford 
(R-OK) introduced S. 1088, the Senate companion to H.R. 2846, 
on May 10, 2017. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs considered S. 1088 at a business meeting 
on May 17, 2017, and ordered the bill favorably reported, as 
amended, by voice vote. On November 7, 2017, S. 1088 passed the 
Senate, as amended, by unanimous consent.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 15, 2018, the Committee met in open session and, 
with a quorum being present, ordered the bill favorably 
reported to the House, as amended, by voice vote.

                            Roll Call Votes

    There were no roll call votes requested or conducted during 
Committee consideration of H.R. 2846.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    During Committee consideration of the bill, Representative 
Blake Farenthold (R-TX) offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to H.R. 2846. The amendment clarifies the exemption 
to certain components of the Paperwork Reduction Act is limited 
to the specific information collections authorized under the 
bill as determined by OIRA. The amendment in the nature of a 
substitute was adopted by voice vote.
    During Committee consideration of the bill, Representative 
Jamie Raskin (D-MD) offered an amendment to H.R. 2846. The 
amendment adds a section stating it is the sense of Congress 
that adequate funding is needed to ensure appropriate customer 
service levels. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill requires the collection of voluntary feedback on 
services provided by agencies, and for other purposes. As such, 
this bill does not relate to employment or access to public 
services and accommodations.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    In accordance with clause 2(c)(5) of rule XIII no provision 
of this bill establishes or reauthorizes a program of the 
Federal Government known to be duplicative of another Federal 
program, a program that was included in any report from the 
Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a 
program identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    This bill does not direct the completion of any specific 
rule makings within the meaning of section 551 of title 5, 
United States Code.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of Section 5(b) of the appendix to title 5, 
United States Code.

                      Unfunded Mandates Statement

    Pursuant to section 423 of the Congressional Budget and 
Impoundment Control Act (Pub. L. 113-67) the Committee has 
included a letter received from the Congressional Budget Office 
below.

                         Earmark Identification

    This bill does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI of the House of Representatives.

                           Committee Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(2)(B) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee includes below a 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

   New Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the House of 
Representatives, the cost estimate prepared by the 
Congressional Budget Office and submitted pursuant to section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is as follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, April 12, 2018.
Hon. Trey Gowdy,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2846, the Federal 
Agency Customer Experience Act of 2018.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2846--Federal Agency Customer Experience Act of 2018

    H.R. 2846 would authorize the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) to identify agencies to collect feedback from 
customers regarding agency services using standard questions 
developed by OMB and the General Services Administration. The 
bill also would require agencies to post responses online and 
to use the feedback to improve their services. Finally, the 
bill would establish a website that would link to all agency 
reports and it would require the Government Accountability 
Office to report annually on the quality of those agencies' 
customer service.
    According to information from selected agencies, most 
provisions of the bill would expand on current law, policies, 
and practices of the federal government. The White House Office 
of American Innovation, established through a presidential 
memorandum, recommends policies and plans to improve government 
operations and services. Executive Order 13571 also directed 
agencies to develop customer service plans. In addition, the 
Government Performance and Results Act and the Government 
Performance and Results Modernization Act require agencies to 
improve performance. Because such efforts are ongoing and the 
bills new reporting requirements are not significantly 
different from current requirements, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would have no significant cost.
    Enacting H.R. 2846 could affect direct spending by agencies 
that use fees, receipts from the sale of goods, and other 
collections to cover operating costs. Therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures apply. Because most of those agencies can adjust the 
amounts collected as their operating costs change, CBO 
estimates that any net changes in direct spending by those 
agencies would be insignificant. Enacting the bill would not 
affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2846 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 2846 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On July 14, 2017, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
1088, the Federal Agency Customer Service Act of 2017, as 
ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security 
and Governmental Affairs on May 17, 2017. The two pieces of 
legislation are similar and CBO's estimates of their budgetary 
effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. This estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 establishes the short title of the bill.

Sec. 2. Findings; sense of Congress

    Section 2 states the findings and the sense of Congress 
that agencies should strive to provide high-quality services 
and collect voluntary customer service feedback.

Sec. 3. Definitions

    Section 3 establishes definitions for terminology used 
throughout the bill.

Sec. 4. Application of certain provisions of the Paperwork Reduction 
        Act to collection of voluntary customer service feedback

    Section 4 exempts collection of voluntary customer service 
feedback from certain provisions of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act: Sections 3506(c) and 3507 of title 44, United States Code.

Sec. 5. Guidelines for voluntary customer service feedback

    Section 5 sets guidelines for agencies soliciting feedback. 
Agencies will ensure feedback remains anonymous; any individual 
who declines the solicitation will not be treated differently; 
the questionnaire is limited to ten or fewer questions; the 
voluntary nature of the questionnaire will be clear; the 
collection will only be used to improve customer service; 
feedback will be requested only once per interaction; the 
feedback will be requested at the point of service; any 
instrument for collecting feedback will be accessible to 
individuals with disabilities; and the agency data governance 
polices remain intact.

Sec. 6. Customer experience data collection

    Section 6 states the head of the agency, or a designee, is 
responsible for the collection of voluntary feedback. The 
Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will 
develop a set of standardized questions to be used across the 
agencies. Additional questions may be developed to address 
topics relevant to specific operations or programs. Agencies 
will publish to their website and submit to the Director of OMB 
an annual report that includes the voluntary feedback collected 
by the agency.

Sec. 7. Customer experience scorecard report

    Section 7 directs the Comptroller General of the United 
States to create a report assessing the data collected by each 
agency. The report will be made publicly available and 
submitted to the House Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs.

Sec. 8. Sense of Congress

    Section 8 states the sense of Congress that adequate 
funding is needed to ensure appropriate customer service 
levels.

                                  [all]