The General Services Administration’s main website ( has seen a dramatic 18-point improvement in citizen satisfaction since the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) began measuring federal website approval ratings in 2003.

The index, measured every quarter with the latest released on Thursday, showed that GSA scored 74 points in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 56 when ACSI began taking the temperature of customer satisfaction with federal government websites. Overall report results indicate Americans are more satisfied with services provided by the U.S. federal government than they were a year ago.

GSA has been listening to the citizens, their customers and what changes they can make.” – Larry Freed

As for GSA, the agency still has a long way to go, acknowledges Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee, the customer experience analytics firm which partners with ACSI in releasing the e-government numbers. The agency’s numbers still trail other popular sites. Two websites from the Social Security Administration are dramatically higher – SSA’s iClaim website scores 91 and its Retirement Estimator scores 90.

Nevertheless, “GSA has been listening to the citizens, their customers and what changes they can make,” Freed said.

“It’s not only good for the citizens, it’s good for government,” Freed said. “It lowers the cost of delivering services via the web.”

“When you go to the main GSA website, there’s an incredible number of things you can go to and they’ve done a pretty good job of organization,” he said.

Sarah L. Hyder, GSA’s director, enterprise web management, said the latest numbers reflect how satisfied visitors are with how well the search and navigation tools work.

“We’ve simplified the site, made it easier to find things,” Hyder said. gets 1.5 million visitors per month, traffic that doubles to 3 million a month between now and April 15, a time period where government employees are seeking information on their per diem rates for travel to complete their taxes.

GSA has been working diligently to create a better website for its customers. Among the changes that have been made recently:

  • Redesigned the look and feel of website, making it easier to read with more white space.
  • Enhanced the search feature, making it more user friendly and easier for people to find information.
  • Created a link to where people can find specific products and services on various GSA schedules.
  • Simplified the site, making it easier to find things and highlighted the most requested links on the front page.
  • Stood up a new blog feature in June 2011 highlighting news and information.
  • Enhanced staff directories to make it easier to find people by first name, last name or office.
  • Made greater use of social media.
  • Developed guidelines for various government activities that range from accessibility to noise pollution to coastal zone management.

Hyder said GSA is continually monitoring its customer satisfaction survey as well as customer comments to respond quickly to fix any problems.

GSA has a metrics expert looking at customer satisfaction constantly. It has a large number of web content managers to analyze information. Hyder said the GSA is looking to do more advance training for the web content managers so they will have a better handle on how to evaluate the information.

This year will see more improvements and features coming the public’s way, including:

  • An e-mail subscription service that will allow people to sign up for regular e-mails about subjects they are interested in.
  • Plans to expand in the next two months to other subjects on, including per diem, schedule information and small business information.
  • Launching a mobile site so GSA content is readable on a mobile device.

The following is a ranking of the top e-gov performers:



SSA SSA iClaim: 91
SSA SSA Retirement Estimator: 90
SSA Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan 88
DHS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Español: 86
GSA website: 86
DHS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Resource Center: 86
HHS MedlinePlus: 86
HHS MedlinePlus en español: 85
HHS National Women’s Health Information Center (NWHIC) main website: 84
HHS NIAMS public website: 84
HHS HHS Healthy People: 83
SSA Social Security Internet Disability Report: 83
HHS National Cancer Institute Site en Español: 83
SSA Social Security Business Services Online: 83
HHS CDC main website: 83
DOD DoD Navy: 83
HHS National Cancer Institute main website: 83
FTC FTC OnGuardOnline: 82
HHS National Library of Medicine: 82
CIA CIA recruitment website: 82
DHS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: 82
DOS Recruitment website: 81
NASA NASA main website: 81
DOJ NIJ main website: 81
HHS SAMHSA Store: 81
HHS AHRQ Effective Health Care Program: 81
DHS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: 81
DOC National Geodetic Society, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website: 81
HHS AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange: 81
DOJ FBI main website: 80
HHS National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: 80
DOD Pentagon Channel: 80
HHS National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: 80
DOD DoD Air Force: 80
DOI National Park Service main website: 80