A new survey by ForeSee, a research firm that tracks and analyzes consumer sentiment, appears to reinforce the importance of the Obama administration’s efforts to overhaul government websites to provide maximum transparency and simplicity.
As Datamation reports, the survey found an unmistakable correlation between visitors’ evaluations of a government website’s transparency with their overall satisfaction with the agency’s online presence. Those factors, in turn, informed survey respondents’ level of trust in government.
“The need for transparency in government is not a fad,” Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, wrote in the report. “As much as it is admittedly the current political flavor-of-the-month, our research indicates it shouldn’t be. Not only does transparency have a significant and quantifiable impact on making government more democratic and cost-effective, it is highly prized by citizens.”
Survey respondents who ranked a government website with a transparency score of 80 or higher on the 100-point index expressed satisfaction ratings 85 percent higher than those who gave sites transparency scores of 70 or lower.
Since taking office last January, the Obama administration has made transparency and accountability the watchwords of its open government strategy.
That initiative, codified in a presidential directive issued on the president’s first full day in office, has invited plenty of criticism from detractors who see the administration’s effort on the e-government front as more bluster than substance.
Supporters, meanwhile, point to the hundreds of new and overhauled websites the departments and agencies have set up, bringing troves of government data and information online and readily available to the public.