E-Government Sites Stagnant
Satisfaction with federal government Web sites rose slightly in the fourth quarter of 2006.
According to the American customer satisfaction Index or ACSI out of 87 federal Web sites measured the total increase in satisfaction was .3 percent for a score of 73.9 on ACSI’s 100-point scale.
The rate of increase has stagnated and is about the same for the fourth quarter of 2005.
After three years of continuous increases, over the past year the aggregate e-government satisfaction score has changed by just a half point.
Satisfaction is a major factor in obtaining widespread use of e-government Web sites.
“Standards, compliance and security are all good things, but a scorecard based only on these components is missing the citizens’ perception of the Web experience,” said Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee Results. “The most crucial factor in whether e-government will achieve its promise is whether citizens feel it meets their needs and expectations – if not, they’ll stick with more expensive and less convenient ways of dealing with the government.”
The public’s view of government Web sites are shaped by other sites they visit from retail sites to online banking sites.
Because of budget restrictions it can be a challenge for government Web sites to compete with the private sector when it comes to innovation or improvement.
The gap between the private sector sites and the government sites is not that large.
The category of government portals and department main sites scored 74.9, a .1% increase from last quarter, but 1% higher year over year.
This puts e-government only 1.4% behind private sector portals, which scored 76.
Other findings include 44 percent of measured sites have a higher score than the previous quarter. Search and navigation are top priorities for improvement on government sites.