Your Tax Dollars At Work?

Great Web site design and function hasn't arrived for many committees in Congress, if grades issued by a National Journal panel of new media experts are correct. Those who frequent the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s site probably will agree with the three judges’ rating of that site: It finished near the bottom, in 32nd place out of 36 sites ranked.

The winner was HELP’s House counterpart, the Education and Labor Committee, which touted the victory on its homepage on Monday. Judge Mark Drapeau, co-chair of next year's Gov 2.0 Expo and adjunct professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, wrote approvingly that this site boasts "Modern layout, colors and style; RSS feeds; social media engagement; multimedia/multiplatform info; social bookmarking; staff directory; and it goes on and on. Really nice site that sets a good standard."

The top five sites in the rankings belong to House committees. The only Senate committee sites in the top 10 are Small Business and Entrepreneurship (sixth place); Energy and Natural Resources (eighth place); and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (ninth place). Finishing last was the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, but the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee would have claimed the lowest ranking, had it not launched an overhauled site last week, National Journal's article about the rankings noted.

The other two judges were Sheila Campbell, co-chair of the Federal Web Managers Council and manager of the Government Web Best Practices team at the General Services Administration, and John Wonderlich, policy director at the Sunlight Foundation.

What are the best and worst government sites you visit? And what are the best and worst safety sites you've visited in the past 30 days?

Posted by Jerry Laws on Nov 30, 2009