Tele-Depths / Surveys News 1/20/12

Survey: Satisfaction with federal services climbs, trust sags



Americans were happier with federal services in 2011 than they were a year prior, though public trust is at a new low, a survey released Thursday shows.

The federal government as a whole received a satisfaction score of 67 — out of a possible high of 100 — in 2011, up about 2 percent from the 2010 score of 65. The 2010 score was the lowest since the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) started surveying opinions on various federal agencies in 1999.

Trust in the federal government, however, dropped from a score of 41 in 2010 to 36 in 2011, the lowest since ACSI started tracking trust in 2008.

People were more trusting of individual agencies that they had direct contact with, Forrest Morgeson, ACSI’s research director, said in a commentary on the findings.

“These results are similar to the approval ratings for Congress, in the sense that while overall approval of Congress is exceedingly low, it is much higher for individual members,” Morgeson wrote. “Contrary to popular belief, it seems that the more people come into contact with and receive services from federal agencies and departments, the more they like them.”

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