Unpacking M-23-22 Policy Guidance: The Rise of a Digital-First Experience in Government

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released its long-awaited policy guidance titled “Delivering a Digital-First Public Experience (M-23-22).”

As required by the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (“21st Century IDEA”), the M-23-22 policy guidance provides new standards and actions for agencies to enhance and modernize how they interact with the American public through digital services and websites.

Federal Chief Information Officer Clare Martorana recently authored a blog post stating that the new policy guidance comes at a time when citizens and constituents want to interact with the government the same way they interact with any consumer digital service. 

Martorana highlighted how only 2% of government forms are digitized, while 45% of websites aren’t configured for mobile devices. In addition, 60% of websites aren’t entirely usable for citizens who need assistive technologies.

Given the gaps in experience and the opportunity to improve engagement, the M-23-22 guidance outlines how the Federal government can improve. The memo requires agency websites to adhere to mobile-first design and accessibility standards. Agencies must offer consistent visual design and branding, as well as streamlined and authoritative content written in plain language and optimized for search. Beyond new website requirements, the memo also outlines how agencies must introduce or expand upon digital forms and integrate electronic signatures into their service delivery.

Critical deadlines for meeting M-23-22 guidance

Agencies have rapidly approaching deadlines to meet critical elements of the guidance in M-23-22.  

For example, over the next 180 days—starting when the guidance was issued on September 22, 2023—agencies will be required to “address the requirements outlined in this memorandum to the fullest extent practicable when designing new or redesigning existing websites and digital services.”

Within 30 days, agencies need to identify a digital experience delivery lead responsible for communicating information to the relevant stakeholders across their agencies, provide requested information to the OMB and oversee all efforts to align with the requirements of M-23-22.

With each agency most likely at a different stage of its journey, OMB also released an analytics tool to measure digital customer experience indicators. 

How Docusign can help agencies deliver a digital-first public experience 

Since the introduction of the legislation, Docusign has supported the 21st Century IDEA and we’re excited about the renewed focus on delivering a digital-first public experience.  Now that the guidance is here, it's time for agencies to establish a game plan to achieve M-22-23 compliance. 

Wherever agencies are on their path to compliance, initial evaluation, plan development and project continuation, Docusign has identified three pathways for introducing or expanding on an integrated digital experience, building public trust and elevating agency performance.

  1. Digitize services and forms: Identify critical non-digital, paper-based or in-person services that could be modernized into online, mobile and accessible digital forms or services.
  2. Accelerate the use of electronic signatures (e-signatures): To provide convenient and effective online experiences, it’s critical to modernize the last mile of the interaction: “wet” or written signatures. This can be achieved by introducing e-signature experiences protected with strong authentication, workflows, data encryption and a comprehensive audit trail.
  3. Improve customer experience: Create a consistent, comprehensive and deliberate approach to advancing CX. This starts with redesigning your paper processes and in-person experiences with the user in mind. 

Achieving true digital modernization and complying with M-22-23 guidelines involves fundamentally changing business processes and implementing secure technologies that prioritize constituents and employees.  

Docusign is uniquely qualified to help agencies meet the 21st Century IDEA and M-22-23 guidance.

Docusign offers eSignature, the world’s #1 way to sign electronically on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time. Our FedRAMP Moderate Authorized solutions have achieved a provisional IL4 authorization to securely accelerate your agency’s agreement workflow processes.