The Biden administration wants federal agencies to remove the administrative burdens that Americans bear when interacting with the government.

This is a term that Donald Moynihan and Pamela Hurd, both professors at Georgetown University, have been studying since 2010. Their book is from 2018. Administrative burden: Policymaking by other means has helped popularize the term and the phrase has since appeared in the guidelines , goals and even the executive branch. orders from the Biden-Harris White House.

Now the two hope to create a standard way to measure it.

“It’s exciting for us… People see this as a lever to make the government work better for the people,” Moynihan said. The standard measure has this potential to unite research communities and political communities for the same goal. So in part, we’re also trying to build tools to make these partnerships more feasible. “

Administrative burdens are the troubles or burdensome experiences people go through when interacting with the government, Hurd and Moynihan said. A more precise definition of administrative burdens covers the costs of training, compliance and psychological costs that people experience with government.

“We are not born with an innate knowledge of governance,” Moynihan said. “But in order to find out about a program or where to vote, we need to invest some time and effort to find out what services we qualify for, whether it’s worth the time, how we can apply.”

Compliance costs are “the time and effort one spends waiting in line, gathering paperwork, spending money and trying to interact with the government in some way,” he continued.

And the psychological costs, the “emotional experiences” like “a sense of frustration, a feeling of in some cases as extreme as fear because you had these negative experiences,” Moynihan said.

“An immigrant who interacts with the state” may have more traumatic experiences, as well as feelings of insecurity and stress, which may come with an experience where there is a lot at stake and you are not sure what the outcome will be, “he said. .

Now Moynihan and Hurd hope to develop a measure to capture the administrative burden.

At present, “different people approach it differently. For example, the federal government has a measure of the customer experience they use, but it doesn’t include things like training costs or psychological costs,” Moynihan said, leaving “a potential need for something. which better fits the concepts that federal agencies are now being asked to identify on a government basis. “

The couple is in the early stages of the project and is securing funding as agencies work to better account for this type of experience.

The Office of Management and Budget recently published new guidelines on the Document Reduction Act, which made agencies take into account the “start-up experience” that Americans have when agencies gather information from them to apply for programs.

The executive order for the Biden White House client experience, which repeatedly highlights administrative burdens, also called for specifically identifying administrative burdens, with things like experience data, ethnographic research, public feedback, data analysis and research on how people should orient themselves in the services of an agency.

After making and testing the measurement tool, it can be incorporated into customer surveys conducted by government agencies and then used to determine whether new weight reduction efforts are helping or not, for example. It can also capture demographic data to identify specific groups that may experience more friction than others.

“All of these agencies will need to understand how to talk to the public and get public feedback on their experience with these agencies,” Hurd said. “It’s really important for agencies to get feedback from people in these programs.



https://www.govexec.com/management/2022/05/measuring-administrative-burden/366746/

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