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Greater Transparency in Government link to Citizen Trust

Today we released our inaugural E-Government Transparency Index. You can download the report for free on our website and read about it on NextGov.

For years we have measured satisfaction of government web sites using the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) methodolgy which has been the "Gold Standard" in the federal government since the late 1990's.

The E-Government Transparency Index was a result of a study that looked into the question, does greater transparency and openness lead to higher satisfaction and trust of the federal government. Our research clearly demonstrates that citizen perceptions of online transparency have a direct impact on their overall trust in government, liklihood to collaborate, and other attitudes and behaviors that lead to increased efficiencies and lower incremental costs in the way the government delivers information and services to the American people.

We currently measure satisfaction for over 200 federal government web sites and for this study, 14 have taken the next step to allow citizens to share their thoughts on how transparent they are. That may not seem like a high number, but this study does represent more than 30,000 citizen surveys and more departments, agencies and programs to be part of next quarter's index.

A lot of good things are coming from President Obama's January 2009 memo and the open Government Directive. Departments and agencies are sharing more and more information with all of us and that's a good start, but the next step is measurement. Agencies need to look at where they are today and compare their results with their peers. Measurement is the first step in improving something and you can't manage what you don't measure! If you don't keep score in golf, are you getting better? Well...maybe?

Check out the report; it's a good read and then point your browser to NextGov.com where GSA's Dave McClure said, "We have always assumed that greater transparency and more openness in government would link to greater satisfaction and higher trust in government. What this study does is help confirm that."

To learn more about the E-Gov Transparency Index read Larry Freed's latest entry on The Digital Citizen and join Larry and me on Thursday February 18th from 1:00-2:00 EST for a webinar on the report and to discuss next steps. Talk to you then!

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