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To date, President Biden has issued 76 executive orders in his first year in office. I am not sure how many affect contracting.

  • Clinton issued a total of 364 while president (two terms).
  • Bush II issued 291 (two terms).
  • Obama issued 276 (two terms).
  • Trump issued 220 (one term).

The record is held by Franklin Roosevelt, with 3,728. Of course, he served three full terms and part of a fourth during a national depression and a world war.

Cumulatively, Biden's EOs come to 320 pages in Federal Register fine print.

Bidens two longest are 15 pages each:

  • E.O. 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, January 27, 2021, 86 FR 7619, 02/01/2021
  • E.O. 14028, Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity, May 17, 2021, 86 FR 26633, 05/17/2021

Biden's most recent one was E.O. 14060, Establishing the United States Council on Transnational Organized Crime, December 15, 2021, 86 FR 71793, 12/20/2021.

The most intriguing title was E.O. 14058, Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery To Rebuild Trust in Government, December 13, 2021, 86 FR 71357, 12/16/2021. Ten pages. It includes the following definitions, among others:

Quote

(a) The term ‘‘customer’’ means any individual, business, or organization (such as a grantee or State, local, or Tribal entity) that interacts with an agency or program, either directly or through a federally-funded program administered by a contractor, nonprofit, or other Federal entity.

(b) The term ‘‘customer experience’’ means the public’s perceptions of and overall satisfaction with interactions with an agency, product, or service.

(c) The term ‘‘customer life experience’’ means each important point in a person’s life at which that person interacts with one or more entities of Government.

Note the reference to "business" and "contractor" in paragraph (a).

Oh-oh.

 

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21 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:

To date, President Biden has issued 76 executive orders in his first year in office. I am not sure how many affect contracting.

  • Clinton issued a total of 364 while president (two terms).
  • Bush II issued 291 (two terms).
  • Obama issued 276 (two terms).
  • Trump issued 220 (one term).

The record is held by Franklin Roosevelt, with 3,728. Of course, he served three full terms and part of a fourth during a national depression and a world war.

Cumulatively, Biden's EOs come to 320 pages in Federal Register fine print.

Bidens two longest are 15 pages each:

  • E.O. 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, January 27, 2021, 86 FR 7619, 02/01/2021
  • E.O. 14028, Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity, May 17, 2021, 86 FR 26633, 05/17/2021

Biden's most recent one was E.O. 14060, Establishing the United States Council on Transnational Organized Crime, December 15, 2021, 86 FR 71793, 12/20/2021.

The most intriguing title was E.O. 14058, Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery To Rebuild Trust in Government, December 13, 2021, 86 FR 71357, 12/16/2021. Ten pages. It includes the following definitions, among others:

Note the reference to "business" and "contractor" in paragraph (a).

Oh-oh.

 

Someone should tell the Social Security Administration about that one! Their offices have been closed to “customers” since 2020 due to COVID 19 and their “customers” may well be on hold for long periods; if nobody answers within a period, varying from 20-60 minutes, the phone cuts off. 

I have spent several weeks over several months trying to assist a friend apply for Disability Retirement and to interact with a live person. He even had a professional advocacy person from a local hospital helping him. He is disabled now by COPD He was also injured on a construction site last spring, had shoulder surgery for that and has been in rehab on workman’s comp. The professional assistance provider has been sporadically successful in reaching someone but SSA often missed scheduled teleconferences. And some of the information provided was dead wrong, vastly complicating and delaying the process. 

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E.O. 14058, Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Services Delivery To Rebuild Trust in Government, 86 FR 71357, December 16, 2021, is a remarkable document, and I urge everyone to read it. It is a perfect example of what George Orwell called "political language." See Politics and the English Languagehttps://www.orwellfoundation.com/the-orwell-foundation/orwell/essays-and-other-works/politics-and-the-english-language/. That's probably why it got nary a mention that I could find in the mainstream media. They took it for what they knew it to be.

I don't want to burden this website with political commentary. I'm not a very political person. I'm a registered independent. But after reading the E.O. a couple of times I cannot resist saying that whatever its authors' real intentions, (there were undoubtedly more than one author; the thing is a classic staff production) it is a case study in political puffery. Its purpose is to document the record to show that the signer tried to do something positive while in office.

Highlights:

Section 4, Agency Actions to Improve Customer Experience, includes specific instructions for the Secretaries of State, Interior, Agriculture, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security; the Administrators of the SBA, GSA, and AID; the Commissioner of Social Security; and, other senior officials. And, good news for IT companies, it specifies several tasks that will require even more information technology than is already making everyone crazy and insecure. More IT acquisitions for contracting offices. Protest lawyers are cheering between sips of expensive wines.

Section 7, Additional Agency Actions to Improve Customer Experience, calls for agencies to "integrate activities," and apply the E.O. to their strategic and performance plans, their priority goals. their regulatory agendas and plans, their individual performance plans for senior executives, and their instructions to program offices, etc., etc.

It's all a sort of lightweight Clinton-Gore "reinventing government" thing for the 21st Century. In fact, it refers to President Clinton's E.O. 12862, Setting Customer Service Standards, 58 FR 48257, September 14, 1993. (The whole "customer" thing started during the Clinton administration.) That E.O. was a lot shorter, only two pages. Biden's is ten. I'm sure more pages make it better.

For one assessment of what "reinvention" based on unproven theories has done to government read, Sekera, Economics and the Near-Death Experience of Democratic Governance (May 2015), 

https://www.bu.edu/eci/files/2019/06/15-02SekeraEconomicsDe-Democratization.pdf

Everyone should read the E.O. and take account of it based on their own experience in or with government.

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On 12/24/2021 at 9:22 AM, Vern Edwards said:

I don't want to burden this website with political commentary. I'm not a very political person. I'm a registered independent. But after reading the E.O. a couple of times I cannot resist saying that whatever its authors' real intentions, (there were undoubtedly more than one author; the thing is a classic staff production) it is a case study in political puffery. Its purpose is to document the record to show that the signer tried to do something positive while in office.

I didn’t see anything new in this.  It’s just a rehash of items mostly initiated by Clinton.  It also states again what’s covered in the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).  There’s no reason for this to be in an E.O.  All the Administration had to do is emphasize the significance and agency compliance in the annual OMB budget call memorandum. 

While all this sounds like it’s making the government more responsive to citizens, it’s been a failure in practice.  Take agency strategic plans with performance measures for example.  Agencies prepare ambitious goals because that’s what the Administration wants.  But these plans cost money and successful implementation never happens because the country can’t afford or doesn’t want to pay the price.

Another example is including performance goals in senior agency leadership bonus plans. But leadership wants their subordinate employees to have similar objectives so their plans add them.  Everything flows done to rank and file employees which which are the people responsible for actually doing the work.  By that time they are diluted and often objectionable to employee unions, so the end result is plans don’t resemble the overall agency goals at all.  Try making individual employees that provide customer facing direct service accountable in their work!

I spent much of my final years in government dealing with these things.  Hardly any were successful.  But one bonus for me is the contracting officer on one of our contracts and I got to meet Al Gore at the White House.  We structured a contract so that or promoted one of the Administration agenda items and got recognized in a ceremony.

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