As hard as it is to imagine, Washington cares about customer service.
So says the House of Representatives, which approved the Government Customer Service Improvement Act on Tuesday.
No one suggested a federal version of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's directive for state workers to cheerfully answer the phone, "It’s a great day in South Carolina,’’ or to call in Nordstrom’s experts to advise the IRS, TSA or VA how to reduce long waits and render service with a smile.
Instead, the bill, passed on a voice vote, would require the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to establish customer service performance standards for federal agencies and require departments to name customer relations representatives. A similar bill, supported by a lawmakers from both parties, is awaiting a Senate vote.
"When taxpayers interact with a government agency, they deserve the same timely, reliable assistance they would expect from a private sector business,’’ said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), the bill’s chief sponsor. Just 31% of people surveyed last year were very satisfied with federal customer service, he noted.