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Information Collection; Improving Customer Experience (OMB Circular A-11, Section 280 Implementation)

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Social Security Administration.


Notice and request for comments.


As part of the Administration's commitment to improving customer service delivery, the following proposed Information Collection Request “Improving Customer Experience (OMB Circular A-11, Section 280 Implementation)” is pending at the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration will submit it to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et. seq.) within 60 days from the date of this notice.


Submit comments on or before: May 18, 2020.


Submit comments identified by Information Collection 0960-XXXX, Improving Customer Experience (OMB Circular A-11, Section 280 Implementation), by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments to, will be posted to the docket unchanged.
  • Mail: Social Security Administration, OLCA, 3100 West High Rise, 6401 Security Blvd., Baltimore, MD. ATTN: Reports Clearance Director, Improving Customer Experience (OMB Circular A-11, Section 280 Implementation).

Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 0960-XXXX, Improving Customer Experience (OMB Circular A-11, Section 280 Implementation) in all correspondence related to this collection. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check, approximately two-to-three business days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

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Title: Improving Customer Experience (OMB Circular A-11, Section 280 Implementation).

Abstract: A modern, streamlined and responsive customer experience means: Raising government-wide customer Start Printed Page 15557experience to the average of the private sector service industry; developing indicators for high-impact Federal programs to monitor progress towards excellent customer experience and mature digital services; and providing the structure (including increasing transparency) and resources to ensure customer experience is a focal point for agency leadership.

This proposed information collection activity provides a means to garner customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving customer service delivery as discussed in Section 280 of OMB Circular A-11 at​wp-content/​uploads/​2018/​06/​s280.pdf.

As discussed in OMB guidance, agencies should identify their highest-impact customer journeys (using customer volume, annual program cost, and/or knowledge of customer priority as weighting factors) and select touchpoints/transactions within those journeys to collect feedback.

These results will be used to improve the delivery of Federal services and programs. It will also provide government-wide data on customer experience that can be displayed on to help build transparency and accountability of Federal programs to the customers they serve.

As a general matter, these information collections will not result in any new system of records containing privacy information and will not ask questions of a sensitive nature, such as sexual behavior and attitudes, religious beliefs, and other matters that are commonly considered private.

Social Security Administration will only submit collections if they meet the following criteria.

  • The collections are voluntary;
  • The collections are low-burden for respondents (based on considerations of total burden hours or burden-hours per respondent) and are low-cost for both the respondents and the Federal Government;
  • The collections are non-controversial and do not raise issues of concern to other Federal agencies;
  • Any collection is targeted to the solicitation of opinions from respondents who have experience with the program or may have experience with the program in the near future;
  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected only to the extent necessary and is not retained;
  • Information gathered is intended to be used for general service improvement and program management purposes; and
  • Upon agreement between OMB and the agency all or a subset of information may be released as part of A-11, Section 280 requirements only on Summaries of customer research and user testing activities may be included in public-facing customer journey maps.
  • Additional release of data must be done coordinated with OMB.

These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency, its customers and stakeholders, and OMB as it monitors agency compliance on Section 280. These responses will inform efforts to improve or maintain the quality of service offered to the public. If this information is not collected, vital feedback from customers and stakeholders on services will be unavailable.

Current Action: New Collection of Information.

Type of Review: New.

Affected Public: Individuals and Households, Businesses and Organizations, State, Local or Tribal Government.

Estimated Number of Respondents: Below is a preliminary estimate of the aggregate burden hours for this new collection. Social Security Administration will provide refined estimates of burden in subsequent notices.

Average Expected Annual Number of Activities: Approximately 17,866,680 customer experience activities such as feedback surveys, focus groups, user testing, and interviews.

Average Number of Respondents per Activity: 1 response per respondent per activity.

Annual Responses: 5,955,560.

Average Minutes per Response: 12 minutes, dependent upon activity.

Note: This burden per response figure is not exact, as we will have multiple collection modalities under this OMB Number with different response time estimates, and we input the closest minute estimate to complete the chart. In the Supporting documents, we will explain in further detail the different modalities and their actual numbers.

Burden Hours: Social Security Administration requests approximately 1,142,192 burden hours.

Request for Comments: Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

All written comments will be available for public inspection at

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.

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Dated: March 13, 2020.

Naomi Sipple,

Reports Clearance Officer, Social Security Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2020-05636 Filed 3-17-20; 8:45 am]