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  4. DHS Improves Customer Experience by Simplifying Services Used by the Public

DHS Improves Customer Experience by Simplifying Services Used by the Public

Release Date: May 30, 2023

Department Reduces the Total Time the Public Spends on Paperwork and Other DHS Services by Over 20 Million Hours Annually 

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it has reduced the total amount of time the public spends accessing DHS services by 20 million hours annually, a goal set by Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas in 2022 to build a more equitable and accessible experience for DHS customers.  Following President Biden’s Executive Order 14058 "Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government," Secretary Mayorkas established the DHS Burden Reduction Initiative (BRI) to remove administrative barriers, increase equity, build trust, and strengthen security. As the Department that interacts more frequently on a daily basis with the American public than any other federal agency or department, the achievement announced today will have a tremendous impact on the safety, security, and well-being of residents across the country.

“Improving the customer experience is one of the Department's top priorities. Through the tremendous talent and dedication of our personnel, we have made great strides in doing so,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “There is much more work to be done. We will continue to find new ways to modernize services and harness technology to improve efficiency, equity, and accessibility in everything that we do.”

The Department reached this milestone by simplifying online paperwork processes, including through the use of automatic renewals and short forms; enabling online submission of forms, where appropriate; and pre-populating forms and reusing data where applicable. Initiatives that have contributed to DHS reaching the burden reduction milestone include:

  • Improving Credentialing Process for Transportation Workers. The Transportation Security Administration reduced the total time transportation workers spend reapplying for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program by enabling online renewals, rather than requiring in-person visits, and reducing overall renewal fees. The result is transportation workers spend less time on paperwork and can devote more time ensuring the smooth operation of our transportation system.
  • Strengthening Fire Safety Nationwide. The Federal Emergency Management Agency saved users of the National Fire Incident Reporting System, a voluntary reporting standard that fire departments use to uniformly report on the full range of their activities, a collective 2.81 million hours by using type-ahead features and replacing legacy stand-alone software with online submissions of forms.
  • Reducing timeframe for transporting cargo. U.S. Customs and Border Protection streamlined the process for transporting cargo into the U.S. by ocean vessel. The agency saved time for trade customers by transitioning to the use of pre-populated data and reuse of existing data when completing the necessary actions. These changes have cut the time to submit required information to five minutes, rather than up to three hours.
  • Improving the student and exchange visitors experience. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement improved the application experience for all students and exchange visitors. This was accomplished by pre-filling fields, sharing data between related collections, facilitating electronic information sharing/automatic fee transfers, and building responsive, mobile-friendly experiences. They also reduced the application time to 5 minutes for certain groups of applicants.

The Department will continue to take proactive steps to ensure the public can efficiently access the services and programs it offers, including by increasing transparency and accessibility through policy and regulatory changes, and improving the digital experience for DHS customers.

The Department continues to actively recruit for roles in customer experience, product management, design, software engineering, and data science at multiple levels. To learn more, visit DHS.gov/Join-DHS-CX-Team.

To learn more about the Department’s progress to improve customer experience, please visit the DHS CX portal or contact cx@hq.dhs.gov.


Last Updated: 05/30/2023
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