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E-Government Coup

For the first time, customer satisfaction with federal agency Websites has surpassed offline government services, an American Customer Satisfaction Index report showed Thursday.

For the first time, customer satisfaction with federal agency Websites has surpassed offline government services, an American Customer Satisfaction Index report showed Thursday.

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According to the annual 100-point index — a joint effort by the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, the American Society of Quality, CFI Group, and the Treasury Department’s Federal Consulting Group — e-government reached a record-high 73.9 satisfaction rate, improving 2.5% over last year. By contrast, satisfaction with offline government services fell 1.1% to 72.1, the first drop in three years and in line with a more general decline in satisfaction with private-sector services.

But where the gap between offline public and private services has narrowed, the report said, e-government is trailing far behind the private sector online. That, said ACSI chief Claes Fornell, shows room for improvement: “They still have ground to close,” he said.

Part of that distance, Fornell added, will be made up by initiatives like the E-Government Act of 2002, which seeks to improve online federal resources.

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