Four Federal government officials talked about how they’ve been working to implement the customer experience executive order issued by the Biden administration late last year that aims to put citizens at the center of better government service delivery.

During a panel discussion hosted by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management on Sept. 28, officials from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) explained how they are transforming customer experience and service delivery to rebuild trust in the government with one common tool: digital services.

These Federal officials – who are all in charge of keeping customers happy at their respective agencies – voiced their passion for collaborating to further drive agency mission and “deliver a better government for the American people.”

“No two agencies are created the same,” said Noreen Hecmanczuk, who is OMB’s Digital Experience Advisor to Federal Chief Information Officer Clare Martorana.

“Just like we have to meet our customers where they are to deliver a better government to them, we also need to meet our . . . Federal employee workforce where they are to deliver better tools and technology,” she said, “so they can actually focus on the mission of why they came to government – which is to serve the American people.”

At the IRS, Ken Corbin, the agency’s chief taxpayer experience officer, is taking a human-centered design approach to ensure customers have seamless experiences while they are filing or paying their taxes – or even if they simply have a question that needs answering.

“Making sure that the experience is a good one is important and significant for our country to be able to move forward,” Corbin said.

Earlier this year, Hecmanczuk played a large role in OMB collaborating with the General Services Administration (GSA) in targeting $100 million of funding from the Technology Modernization Fund to help improve customer experience.

She explained that the two agencies came together and leveraged their “superpowers” of tech policy to not only better serve the nation, but also government employees.

“Technology underpins and empowers our ability to deliver on the Federal government’s mission, and technology reduces costs, lowers burden, improves employee engagement, and it inspires people to come and serve,” she said.

Corbin echoed those sentiments of collaboration across the government to modernize the approach in delivering services that meet the public’s expectations.

“I think government comes from public-private partnerships. We need partnerships with private sectors in order to make good government,” he said. “We can’t stop innovating . . . We need to find ways to reach everyone where they are to deliver good government and build trust.”

Hecmanczuk ended the discussion with a piece of advice for Federal leaders: “If you’re talking about your mission and mission delivery, and your customers and technologists and cybersecurity experts and your tech team and human center designers are not in on those conversations, please pause your conversation and invite them to the table,” she said. “By having those folks listen in, you will deliver a better government to the people you came to serve.”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.