This bill — the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience (IDEA)Act — would set clear benchmarks and speed up the timeline for federal agencies to improve their internal and external digital service delivery and infrastructures. It has four key pillars — user-friendly websites, access for digital transactions, e-signature usage, and security standards — which are translated into the 21st Century digital government priorities detailed below:
Ensuring Website Consolidation and Consistent Look and Feel
The bill requires government agencies to eliminate or consolidate duplicative web pages and update their content platforms to ensure a consistent look and feel.
Improving Government Website Accessibility
Agencies would be required to ensure that their websites and web-based forms meet the standards in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. This would ensure that every taxpayer can access the information they need online, regardless of their physical abilities.
Leveraging Data Analytics
Agencies would be required to use data analytics to build better websites that are responsive to users’ needs. This means websites would have to be designed around citizen experiences, and data would influence the management and development of web properties.
Agencies would be required to provide users an option for a more customized digital experience, allowing them to complete digital interactions more efficiently and accurately.
Internal Digital Services
Agencies would be required to modernize their internal government employee digital experiences in order to produce the most effective and productive possible workforce.
Digitizing Government Services and Forms
The head of each executive agency would be responsible for making a web-based, mobile-friendly, digital services option available to the public for any in-person government transaction or paper-based process.
Adopting Electronic Signatures
Within 180 days of this bill’s enactment, agencies would submit plans to accelerate their use of electronic and digital signatures.
Prioritizing Customer Experiences
Chief Information Officers (CIOs) at agencies would be required to focus on improving customer experiences across digital and in-person interactions.
Creating a Designee to Ensure Effective Implementation
Each executive agency shall designate its CIO or a senior agency official whose primary responsibility is to ensure the implementation of this bill’s requirements. This person would be responsible for coordinating and ensuring alignment of the agency’s customer experience programs, monitoring digital service delivery, recommending changes to the agency head when needed, and providing advice to agency leaders on digital service delivery and customer service improvements.
Additionally, the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service would be charged with developing website standards for all government agencies. Any new websites that go live after this bill passes would have to abide by the increased standards from day one. This includes websites currently in production that would go live after a vote.