Chairs Connolly, Maloney Lead Government Operations Subcommittee Democrats in Request to OMB for 21st Century IDEA Implementation Guidance

May 6, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (May 6, 2021)—Today, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, led all Democratic Members of the Subcommittee on Government Operations in sending a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young requesting immediate implementation guidance to all executive agencies to ensure compliance with the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA).


“It has been more than two years since Congress enacted the legislation.  Because the Trump Administration failed to issue statutorily required guidance to assist agency implementation of the law, federal agency implementation has been inconsistent, creating uneven access to the federal government’s essential information and services.” wrote the Members.  “The intent of the 21st Century IDEA was to accelerate digital modernization at agencies to improve how individuals access federal services, and to increase trust in government while driving down the cost of government operations.”


Since Congress passed the 21st Century IDEA in 2018, the nature of how individuals engage government has fundamentally changed—in large part because of the coronavirus pandemic.  These changes underscore an even stronger need to implement the 21st Century IDEA and allow federal agencies to deliver an excellent customer experience from anywhere, to anyone, on any device. 


The law requires agencies to upgrade their websites, intranets, and related online experiences; provide digital and mobile-responsive options to replace paper-based forms; and create plans for the expanded use of electronic signatures.  The 21st Century IDEA had several implementation deadlines—ranging from 180 days to two years from enactment—all of which have passed with limited and unequal agency compliance.


The Members called on OMB to issue implementation guidance to all executive agencies and the public in the next 45 days and include within it the following:


  • Accelerated Use of Electronic Signatures
  • Website Modernization
  • Digitizing Forms


“The requirements of this law are intended to give agencies the tools needed to deliver a world-class digital experience to the public and federal employees.  While we believe the law effectively clarifies and defines what is expected of agencies in complying with the 21st Century IDEA, guidance from OMB is needed to harmonize the various requirements of the law with other administration initiatives,” added the Members.


Click here to read the letter.



117th Congress