Study finds lawmakers' offices come up short online

Many congressional offices are lagging behind the public's expectations for providing information services online, according to a new study.

Congressional Web sites were lackluster to begin with and have not substantially improved through the years even as voters visit more often, according to the 2007 Gold Mouse Report by the Congressional Management Foundation “Citizens are online,” the report states. “And it is up to Congress to catch up with them.”


The report gives more than four in 10 congressional Web sites a substandard or failing grade. Further, half of the agencies that earned a failing grade in 2006 received the same grade in 2007, according to the foundation, which has studied congressional Web sites since 1998.


Overall, 63 percent of members’ sites that received a “D” in 2006 received the same grade or slipped to a failing grade.

However, the foundation reported some improvement. Seventeen percent of sites earned “A” grades this year, up from 14 percent in 2006, according to the report.

The report evaluated Web sites on how well they incorporate five basic building blocks that are seen as critical for effectiveness: audience, content, usability, interactivity and innovation.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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