A new executive order signed by President Joe Biden on Monday could make getting a passport renewed easier.
The order, which is titled “Putting the Public First: Improving Customer Experience and Service Delivery for the American People,” tasks government leaders to start accounting for how the public is experiencing government services.
The full text of the order can be found here, but its essence is tasking 17 different Federal agencies to improve commitments to customer service, a list that includes the country’s passport agency that had been stretched so thin during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what the text says:
Specifically, the Executive Order includes 36 customer experience (CX) improvement commitments across 17 Federal agencies, all of which aim to improve people’s lives and the delivery of Government services. The Executive Order also creates a sustained, cross-government service delivery process that aligns to the moments that matter most in people’s lives – like turning 65, having a child, or applying for a small business loan. As part of this framework, the Administration will work to identify and define critical services that meet customers’ needs and expectations, assess performance delivery and report it publicly, incorporate customer feedback during each interaction, and ultimately ensure services deliver a better experience to the public.
For passports specifically, the order promise to allow Americans to renew their passports securely online with “safety security" and to make it easier to connect with TSA in order to get questions and concerns answered.
For traveling, it also promises that “passengers will have shorter security and check-in lines at airports due to increased use of technologies, like new security machines and computers with advanced screening features that streamline these processes.”
If the order does what it promises to do, it could provide some relief to so many travel advisors and consumers. Last summer, reported wait times for getting a passport renewed were longer than 18 weeks in some cases. Travel advisors speaking to TMR at the time said that the issue was making it even more difficult to book international travel for clients.