Users less pleased with federal sites

Federal Web sites are meeting fewer of the public's needs, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index.

ForeSee Results, which is a sponsor of the index, reported that the most recent review found 35 percent of the 59 federal Web sites surveyed showed a decline in customer satisfaction, and 33 percent remained flat in the first quarter of this year compared with the fourth quarter of last year. Research by the Ann Arbor, Mich., company also revealed that 31 percent of sites increased their customer satisfaction scores.

Overall, the ACSI declined to 71.9 from 72.1 on a 100-point scale.

MedlinePlus, a site maintained by the National Library of Medicine, received the highest overall score of 87. MedlinePlus in Spanish also got a high score, 83.

The Health and Human Services Department's 4woman.gov, and the sites of the National Cancer Institute and the Mint all received scores over 80.

The survey found that search and navigation, with scores of 72 and 71 respectively, continue to give citizens trouble. On the other hand, users said agencies are doing a good job with privacy, giving it a score of 81.

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