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Burden Reduction at DHS

Improving Customer Experience by Reducing Burden

To improve the customer experience across DHS services and products, we must decrease the burden they place on the public. We can identify and validate changes together to promote better experiences and more confidence in our agency by conducting human-centered research to understand the goals, needs, and challenges of our customers.

Believe it or not, both the Burden Reduction Initiative and the Paperwork Reduction Act create space for DHS CX practitioners to talk to customers to gather feedback on our services and products. And it makes good sense, as data from customer research and feedback can be used improve DHS services and products and reduce the same public burdens the PRA seeks to regulate.

The DHS Burden Reduction Initiative has set a goal of reducing the public burden associated with accessing DHS services by 20 million hours by May 2023.  In support of this goal, DHS Customer Experience (CX) practitioners help Components better understand the goals, needs, and behaviors of their customers. By building more equitable and accessible experiences for our customers, DHS is reducing burden on the public.

  • How do I Start a Burden Reduction Initiative?

    Are you part of an Agency or Office looking to create your own burden reduction initiative? DHS has some tips, tricks, and lessons learned to share.

DHS interacts with millions of customers every year through digital, in-person, and often combined digital and in-person experiences. As our customers try to access DHS services and products, they often encounter burdensome processes, websites, forms, outdated tools, logins, and brands that add up to a confusing, frustrating, inequitable, or inaccessible customer experience. The DHS Burden Reduction Initiative, the Executive Order on Transforming Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government, and several equity-building initiatives work together to deliver better experiences and build trust in government.

Improving Access to Public Benefits Programs Through The Paperwork Reduction Act

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provides guidance in this April 13, 2022 memo to help Federal agencies identify and reduce burdens associated with applying for and maintaining eligibility for public benefits programs, with a particular focus on members of under served and marginalized communities.

Key Information from Memo

  • Largely in support of the recent Executive Order on transforming Federal customer experience and service delivery.
  • Calls for more transparency on the burdens and costs of collections.
  • Centers on reducing burden for the people who are most adversely affected.
  • Encourages using design practices to assess, evaluate, and improve the experience of providing information to the United States Government.
  • Emphasizes assessing burdens across the entire service that a collection is part of, including psychological burdens and learning costs (such as having to figure out where in government to apply for a benefit).
  • Agencies should get generic clearances if they don’t already have them.
  • If you believe your exact collection (and its format and delivery) is required by law, get with your General Counsel to reexamine your options.

Additional Information

Last Updated: 06/13/2024
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