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Consumer Satisfaction with E-Government on the Downturn

Recent statistics released by the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) show that consumer satisfaction with federal government websites and e-government in general have fallen in the first quarter of 2008 as compared with the final quarter of 2007. The score represents the third quarter of decline in consumer satisfaction in a row and is the lowest level of consumer satisfaction with e-government websites in three years.

There are a couple of possible factors in the decline. Consumers seem to be dissatisfied that government websites are not evolving into more than information dumps. Consumers want to see government websites that allow them to do business online, to take care of required paperwork, and to control their experiences of the website — which is something that many commercial websites allow, at least on a limited scale. So far, that is not happening with government websites as much as consumers expect.

Another factor: presidential candidates on the campaign trail are mentioning transparency in electronic government and improving citizens’ experience of e-government either minimally or not at all. Consumers aren’t getting the sense that e-government is a priority, or even a secondary interest, among any of the presidential candidates.

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