Electronic access to info makes gains

More federal workers say they have electronic access to the information they need to do their jobs than a year ago, according to a governmentwide employee survey released last week.

Sixty-five percent of respondents to the 2000 Governmentwide Employee Survey provided favorable responses when asked if they have electronic access to information, an increase of 6 percentage points from 1999. Sixteen percent responded unfavorably.

The increase represented the second-highest jump in favorable responses from last year. Favorable responses to whether the use of plain language is emphasized in the workplace rose 8 percentage points.

The survey, sponsored by the National Partnership for Reinventing Government and the Office of Personnel Management, was issued to 50,844 randomly selected federal employees at 49 agencies; 21,157 people responded.

Sixty-three percent of workers responded favorably to whether they're satisfied with their jobs overall, an increase of 3 percentage points.

Other gains were registered in how clearly "good performance" is defined by respondents' organizations, whether simplified travel regulations have been implemented and whether recognition and rewards are based on merit.

Agencies whose respondents gave the most favorable responses on overall job satisfaction were:

    * The Food and Drug Administration (72 percent).

    * The General Services Administration and NASA (71 percent each).

    * The Environmental Protection Agency (69 percent).

    * The Navy and the Office of Student Financial Assistance Programs (68 percent each).

Efforts to streamline the hiring process and how management deals with poor performers continued to have the least amount of favorable responses.

When compared with a 1998 survey of employees of Fortune 50 companies, government and industry employees were essentially the same on questions of overall job satisfaction (63 percent for government vs. 62 percent for industry) and receiving recognition for doing a good job (43 percent vs. 45 percent).

Government lagged by more than 10 percentage points on how good a job respondents' immediate supervisors were doing (54 percent vs. 67 percent) and the overall quality of work being done in their workgroups (72 percent vs. 83 percent).

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