Satisfaction high for e-gov sites

Tuesday - 1/25/2011, 3:51pm EST

Larry Freed, CEO, Foresee Results

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Citizens' satisfaction with government took a plunge. In contrast, their satisfaction with government websites is at a near all-time high, according to a survey released Tuesday by ForeSee Results

E-government overall received a score of 75 out of a rating of 100 in the E-Government Satisfaction Index.

Out of the 111 public sector sites rated, 33 scored 80 or higher, said Larry Freed, Foresee's CEO, in an interview with the DorobekINSIDER.

Benefits-oriented sites -- such as Social Security -- generally performed better, Freed said. Some sites rivaled private sector sites, such as Google and Amazon, in their ability to meet users' needs and to exceed their expectations, he said.

"As more and more things are moved from traditional channels to the web, it obviously makes it a lot easier for citizens to interact, to be more in touch with government and do it in a quicker and more efficient way," Freed said.

While e-gov has gotten high marks from citizens, agencies will still have to adapt to rising expectations from users, such as mobile access.

Citizens' satisfaction with government sites and services correlates with their trust in government and their likelihood to participate in government, Freed said. Ultimately, satisfaction arguably leads to greater democracy, he said. The rise of government sites' ability to meet citizens' needs is part of the overall Open Government Initiative, a commitment by President Obama to create the most open and transparent administration.

"The beauty of e-government is it does provide a win-win environment," Freed said. "Not only are we able to get more information into citizens' hands quicker and easier, it's also a cost effective way for government to put out information, to complete transactions with citizens and so on. So it truly is a benefit for both sides, which is something you often don't see, where you're able to improve service and ultimately improve the cost."

RELATED LINK

American Customer Satisfaction Index - Government Results Archive