The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) unveiled its latest President’s Management Agenda (PMA) quarterly updates today that outline the Biden-Harris administration’s progress on its three PMA priorities: strengthening the Federal workforce, delivering excellent customer experience, and improving government business management.


OMB highlighted two new pilot projects – aimed at streamlining Medicare-only enrollment and disaster assistance processes – that fall under a broader umbrella of PMA effort to improve citizen experience by focusing on multiple “life experience” areas where citizens lean heavily on the government for help.


The Life Experience Pilot Projectsannounced in OMB’s previous quarterly PMA update, leverage technology to help streamline the delivery of Federal government services at some of the most critical moments in people’s lives. In last quarter’s updates, OMB announced that the nine pilot projects include ones on facing a financial shock, navigating the transition to civilian life, and having a child and early childhood for low-income families.


The streamlining Medicare-only enrollment project, which falls under the approaching retirement life experience project, focuses on improving the customer experience for individuals who are 65 and eligible for Medicare but not yet receiving Social Security retirement benefits.


“The goal is to eliminate tedious and repetitive paperwork to ensure seniors receive the full benefits to which they are entitled,” OMB said.


For the rest of this year, OMB said it expects work in this area to produce a blueprint of the Medicare enrollment experience, project objectives based on data, and a design-phase development roadmap and objectives including an acquisition strategy and an implementation plan for testing concepts and prototypes.


The second pilot project, the streamlining disaster assistance processes project which falls under the recovering from a natural disaster life experience, aims to clarify and simplify the experience of applying for Federal disaster assistance programs by cutting down on the paperwork and bureaucracy for those rebuilding after a natural disaster.


“Currently, survivors must navigate and apply for each relief program separately. These processes can be confusing, and survivors are unclear about the different kinds of assistance they may be eligible for and how to apply; once they do, they must keep track of multiple processes and communication channels and often enter the same data multiple times,” OMB noted.


For 2023, OMB anticipates acquiring a complete analysis of data for Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) individual assistance registration and Small Business Administration’s (SBA) disaster loan program; creating a roadmap and methods of collaboration between FEMA and SBA; and improving messaging around FEMA’s intake application and SBA’s loan program on the web, outbound communications, and call center scripts.


In addition, OMB touched on updates in improvements made in workplace training to equip the Federal workforce with the skills to work both remotely and in person. OMB also highlighted the introduction of new acquisition tools that make it easier for Federal purchasers to equitably purchase services.


Under the PMA priority to strengthen and empower the Federal workforce, agencies made progress in areas ranging from the future of the workplace to employee wellbeing, OMB said.


Among the progress updates is the creation of a first-of-its-kind government-wide training program for supervisors on managing in a hybrid workplace. According to OPM, sessions are ongoing, and to date thousands of Federal employees have attended. The General Services Administration also released an updated menu of service offerings to help agencies manage workforces that are both in-person and remote.


OPM also launched the OPM Data Portal, and said the portal marks the “first time this data is available in a user-friendly and intuitive format,” improving transparency around the Federal hiring process.


The OPM Data Portal features data dashboards on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, hiring manager satisfaction, and the Federal cyber workforce.


Lastly, in the priority focused on managing the business of government, strategy leads continued to implement plans to advance priorities for sustainability and equity through Federal acquisition and financial assistance. This includes a guideline issued by OMB to streamline and modernize “the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting program, the training and development program for the contracting workforce, [and] publishing government-wide grants management training.”


According to OMB, these actions are investments in both the contracting and grants management workforce to help better advance the goals of the PMA.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.