Remarks by OMB Director Shalanda Young at the Partnership for Public Service event “Celebrating Public Service and Rebuilding Trust in Government”
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Thank you, Max, for that kind introduction, and for your leadership.
I am one of many in the Biden Administration who appreciate what the Partnership does. Particularly when it comes to lifting up the work of our federal employees.
I can’t think of a better way to kick off Public Service Recognition Week than to be with some of our incredible federal public servants who are joining today’s panel. It’s great to be with everybody.
One of the best parts of my job as OMB director is working with our career team. In my previous role down the street, I saw the talent, the expertise, the dedication of OMB.
Now – I see it up close and personal every day.
Our team cares deeply about implementing the President’s vision, about supporting federal agencies, and about serving the American people.
And their commitment to public service is reflected throughout the Federal government.
As someone who has worked on Capitol Hill, I’m all too familiar with some of the harmful rhetoric about federal employees. For decades now, the American people have heard about so-called Washington bureaucrats going rogue.
That rhetoric is corrosive. You can understand why trust in government isn’t where it used to be. People hear it all the time.
That noise may be out of our control. But we can counter it with amazing stories of public servants getting the job done. Which is why the Sammies are so valuable. They shine a light on how the Federal government is delivering results for the American people – and that work is driven by federal employees.
At OMB, I get to work with an amazing team that is committed to serving the American public.
We’re using all the tools we have to meet the President’s committing to restoring trust in government – from making evidence-based decisions to keeping improper political interference from undermining the work, and ultimately our country.
I want to highlight two ways we’re taking on the lack of trust in government at OMB.
First – under the leadership of President Biden – we’re working to change the way the federal government provides services.
We’re doing this in part by focusing on life experiences—whether it’s an important life transition or someone is hit by an emergency. These are the moments when interactions with government have a profound impact.
More broadly – the President has directed a government-wide focus on every experience people have when receiving services.
Families should not have to navigate a tangled web of Government websites, offices, and phone numbers to access the services they depend on. Parents don’t care whether a program is ultimately run by HHS, USDA, Labor, or HUD. They just want to get the help they need for their little ones.
That’s why OMB has provided funding and talent from teams like the U.S. Digital Service to support projects focusing on better delivering services for the people that we serve.
And just earlier this month we announced that we are taking on the paperwork and the long lines and the endless documents that people face when they want to access government program services.
This is all part of President Biden’s effort to deliver better customer experiences to the American people – including communities that are often underserved. All too often the people who need help the most have the hardest time getting it – and that’s what we’re working to change.
Second – we’re investing in our federal workforce. We know that the Federal government’s single most important asset is its workforce. That’s why the very first priority in the President’s Management Agenda is to strengthen and empower the Federal workforce.
We’re working to recruit, retain, and support talent who can help us meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
That means making every Federal job a good job, where all employees have opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive throughout their careers.
We’re also building a roadmap to the future of Federal work informed by lessons from the pandemic and nationwide workforce and workplace trends.
And we are building the personnel system and support required to sustain the Federal Government as a model employer able to effectively deliver on a broad range of agency missions.
Providing services that meet people’s needs, with a focus on their experience. Strengthening the number one asset of the Federal government. These are two of the best ways we can restore trust in government.
We’ve seen what a lack of trust in government and our institutions looks like. This work is imperative. For the President. For me. And for our country. And it’s made possible because of federal employees.
While this week we’re focused on recognizing public service, it’s important we do this all year round. There are millions across the country who have chosen to serve – at the federal, state, and local level. They’re discovering new treatments, fighting back wildfires, protecting our safety, and teaching our kids. And they are not thanked enough.
So thanks to all of you who serve. Thanks to the Partnership for lifting these stories. And let’s keep up the good work.