Cutting Down Paperwork Has Already Helped Citizens
Other agencies are doing the same as they move to comply with the executive order. At the Office of Personnel Management, for example, CIO Guy Cavallo hired 18 interns “to lower my average (employee) age and inject some life. Those 18 interns have had a huge impact.”
Hysen found inspiration in an unexpected source: a scrap of paper a coworker found on the floor of a Metro train. It contained letter codes, numbers and dollar figures that matched the paperwork necessary to immigrate into the United States.
“This was a reminder that people I see every day, who might even be sitting next to me on the train, are depending on the federal government for some of the most important things they will ever do in their entire lives,” he says.
DHS is now working on ways to cut down that 190 million hours of paperwork to 170 million by the middle of 2023, he adds. Changes have already resulted in survivors of natural disasters receiving an additional $347 million in assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a division of DHS.
His department’s hiring push is “the largest customer experience hiring initiative in any federal agency,” he says.
DHS isn’t the only agency looking for fresh minds. Defense Department CIO John Sherman acknowledges the competition among the agencies for new employees. “We’re all going after the same talent, and we’re all trying to expand diversity,” he says. “This has got to be a whole-of-nation effort. We’ve got to get this right.”