According to a new survey of Congressional websites, a quarter of House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have basically useless home pages.
The Congressional Management Foundation has been monitoring Members’ online presences for years. And while many have gradually improved, the latest report hammers those who still don’t get it:
“More than one-third of congressional websites received a D or F grade,” the report cautions, delineating possible deficiencies from poor design to lack of follow through. “When a constituent tries to get information from an office online, and gets no answers, the constituent’s thoughts could range from, ‘What are they hiding?’ to ‘They don’t care about me.’ Both emotional responses contribute to cynicism about government in America and Congress’ historically low approval ratings,” the CMF chides slacker solons. The other main gripes:
• 67 percent of websites do not provide adequate guidance for reaching relevant Congressional staffers;
• 47 percent of websites gloss over how a bill becomes a law;
• 44 percent of websites ignore Member voting records; and
• 40 percent of websites skip over a lawmaker’s legislative history.
On the upside, more than 80 percent of Members make sure to plug their Facebook pages (Like us, PLEASE!).
Speaking of that, Heard on the Hill is now on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hohdc.