H.R. 538: Government Customer Service Improvement Act

H.R. 538

Government Customer Service Improvement Act

September 11, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 538, the Government Customer Service Improvement Act, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval.  The bill was introduced on February 8, 2011, by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which ordered the bill reported.    

Bill Summary

H.R. 538 would require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to do the following:

  1. Develop performance measures to determine whether federal agencies are providing high-quality customer service and improving delivery service to their customers;
  2. Develop standards to be met by agencies to provide high-quality customer service and improve service delivery; and
  3. Include achievements in meeting customer service performance measures and standards in agency performance updates.

The bill would require each federal agency to do the following:

  1. Collect information from its customers regarding the quality of its customer services;
  2. Include this information in its performance report to the President and Congress; and
  3. Designate an employee as the agency's customer relations representative to be responsible for implementing customer service standards.

The bill would provide that employee compliance with agency customer service standards shall be measured in employee performance appraisals.  The bill would also authorize the president to exempt an agency from the application of this Act for national security reasons.  The bill would require agencies to implement this Act from available funds and allows agencies to reprogram funds if necessary.

Finally, the bill would require the following that any savings or reductions in expenditures resulting from this Act to be used to offset the cost of implementing this Act, and that any additional savings to be used to reduce the deficit.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 538 would have no significant cost over the next five years.  The bill could affect direct spending by agencies not funded through annual appropriations; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.  CBO estimates, however, that any net increase in spending by those agencies would not be significant.  Enacting H.R. 538 would not affect revenues.