Friday, December 8, 2023
Articles & insights in public management & leadership for the week ending December 8, 2023

Federal CIO: ‘This is the Moment’ for Government CX Gains. Federal CIO Clare Martorana exhorted government officials along with technology vendors to seize the present moment to make needed improvements in how citizens interact with government agencies and services. Speaking about the imperatives of Biden administration policies that aim to improve citizen experience, the Federal CIO pointed to the coronavirus pandemic as an experience that “taught us a lot” about citizen service needs, and she argued that the correct set of conditions now exist to make progress.

OMB’s Miller wants to ‘destroy’ the saying ‘good enough for government work. The administration’s top management leader says it’s time to retire the saying, “it’s good enough for government work.” As the two-year anniversary of the customer experience executive order nears on Dec. 13, Jason Miller, the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, challenged agency CX leaders at a White House event Wednesday to reject that line of thinking. Miller said agencies should not be satisfied with the current delivery of citizen services and never again say, “It’s good enough for government work.”

Customer Experience Capabilities ‘Taking Root’ Across DHS. Federal customer experience (CX) officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said this week that CX capabilities are finally starting to “take root” across the agency’s different components, which are keeping customers top of mind when designing government services. At the top level, Nicshan Floyd is serving as the deputy director of the newly established DHS Customer Experience Directorate (CXD), which was formed in July 2023 to drive human-centered practices that elevate customer experiences.

DHS Implementing AI for Human-Centered Design. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is turning to responsible AI to implement human-centered design across the department to serve its many customers, according to DHS Chief Scientist Sam Howerton. Howerton explained that DHS has one of the largest contact surfaces with people of any Federal agency. “Responsibly designed AI for the department gives us a chance to provide services at scale and speed that we have not been able to before,” he added. “It’s going to reduce the friction that people have when they work with the department.”

IT integration problems are latest setback for DoD’s multibillion dollar moving system overhaul. A long-awaited overhaul of the Defense Department’s system for moving military members’ household goods from place to place will be delayed yet again — and for a still-undetermined period of time. Unlike previous setbacks, the latest stumbling block isn’t related to the numerous legal challenges that have faced the Global Household Goods contract (GHC), which is worth up to $17.9 billion over nine years. This time, IT integration problems are to blame.

DIU Lead: U.S. ‘on our way’ to Deterring China. The Defense Department’s (DoD) innovation arm has been working hard and fast since 2015 to leverage emerging commercial technologies to better enable warfighters, but Doug Beck its director acknowledged that the defense organization is not yet where it needs to be to successfully deter a potential conflict with China. He did admit though “we’re on our way.”

Intel agencies look to build skills through public-private talent exchange. The intelligence community’s “public private talent exchange” got off the ground this fall after years of development. The program sends IC officers on rotational assignments to private sector companies to develop deeper expertise and skills in specific technology and policy areas. The assignments can last anywhere between three and 12 months.


CELEBRATING 25 Years and the release of a NEW BOOK. This week, the IBM Center for The Business of Government was honored to host many leaders to commemorate the Center’s 25th anniversary, and to launch a new book, Transforming the Business of Government:  Reflections on Resiliency, Innovation, and Performance.   With this post, we share some observations and images about the event and a first view of the book.

ICYMI – Leading IT at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): A Conversation with David Bottom, CIO at SEC. This week Michael Keegan welcomed David Bottom for an engaging discussion on his efforts to transform how the SEC does IT. They explored such topics as the agency’s IT priorities, its modernization strategy, and the innovatively ways it is leveraging emerging technologies to improve operations and meet its regulatory mission.