Statement of Code for America CEO Amanda Renteria on the Biden Administration’s Executive Order That Will Transform How the Federal Government Interacts With the People It Serves

President Biden today signed an executive order to make it far easier for people to interact with the federal government on a broad array of services–everything from how to navigate safety net programs, file taxes, claim retirement benefits, and renew passports.  

This work has the power to transform the fundamental relationship between government and the people it serves, making it easier, more respectful, and ultimately, we hope, more equitable. We strongly support this effort and stand ready to work with the White House to bring our vision, expertise, and experience to bear on this initiative.  

The work to redesign government services at every level has been at the core of Code for America’s mission for more than a decade. We’ve developed a vision for human-centered government that includes five fundamental principles to achieve the goal of a designing modern, efficient government that serves all people. This includes:

  • Putting people first
  • Informing with evidence
  • Improving continuously
  • Empowering for action
  • Building equitable systems

Most recently, we’ve put these principles into action as part of a landmark project developed in close collaboration with the White House and the US Department of the Treasury. Code for America developed, the first free, mobile-friendly application, which made it easier for people to sign up for the Child Tax Credit and Economic Impact Payments. In just ten weeks, we helped to distribute over $400 million to help families with basic expenses like childcare, school supplies, and groceries. 

Over the past decade, we’ve partnered with states to improve service delivery of federally funded safety net programs, including WIC and Medicaid in Louisiana, SNAP in California, and most recently, streamlined access across SNAP, TANF, and other benefits in Minnesota. During the pandemic, we helped states meet a child hunger crisis through the implementation of the emergency Pandemic-EBT program, building online applications for California and Minnesota that distributed over $619 million in food benefits and providing consultation to additional states. 

The executive order signed today clearly indicates that streamlining access and customer experience is a goal that will be supported and advanced through federal leadership and public-private partnerships, and we look forward to continuing to provide support to states across the country.  

Looking ahead, we understand that the signing of an executive order is just the beginning. Transformation doesn’t happen overnight. The hard work of this effort–as it is with every effort to provide government services–comes in reimagining service delivery and ultimately in implementation.  

If done thoughtfully, this initiative could fundamentally transform the relationship between people and their government, helping to restore faith in our institutions and deliver more equitable outcomes for millions of people in America. Let’s get to work.

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