E-Gov Satisfaction Slips In Q2

NASA wins the highest rating among government departments, according to a Foresee Results survey.
Americans’ satisfaction with e-government sites slipped slightly between the first quarter and the second quarter of 2010, although some federal portals – particularly those that provide convenient transactions for citizens – won high marks, according to a recently released survey.

A Foresee Results survey (PDF) based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) gave e-government sites an overall aggregate score of 74.7 on a 100-point scale. The score dropped nearly a half point from a score of 75.1 in the first quarter, but is still above last year’s second-quarter score of 73.6.

The survey broke down satisfaction with e-gov sites into several categories – including e-commerce/transaction sites, career recruitment/sites and news/information sites – as well as departmental portals as a whole.

Among departments, NASA was the standout, winning the highest rating for department-wide sites with a score of 83. This comes as little surprise, as NASA has been one of the agencies at the forefront of embracing the Web to better engage with the public.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) followed with a rating of 76; and the General Services Administration came in third with a rating of 75.

However, while both NASA and the GAO’s scores were higher than last year – gaining one and three points, respectively – the GSA slipped one point in its year-over-year score.

Transactional/e-commerce websites had some of the highest scores for individual sites, and among those, the Social Security Administration (SSA) stood out. The agency had all of the top four sites in this category.

A retirement calculator from the SSA received the highest score in this area, with a satisfaction rating of 89.

Other SSA sites that fared well were the SSI’s iClaim site, with a score of 88, the SSA’s Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs, with a score of 87, and the Social Security Business Services Online portal, in seventh place with a score of 85.

Overall by category, e-commerce/transaction sites had the highest rating, with a score of 82. Categorically, career/recruitment sites came in second with 77 points overall.

Sites categorically that Americans were less satisfied with were departmental sites and news and information sites, which each scored a 74. Individually, though, some e-gov sites scored quite high in these categories.

For example, three Department of Health and Human Services news/information sites scored in the mid-to-high 80s – the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive & Kidney Diseases, and the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health – with scores of 87, 86 and 85 respectively.

NASA’s score of 83 among department sites also is higher than average, as ACSI considers any score above 80 to be a remarkable one.