House Freshmen Turn Out Stellar Websites; Senate, Not So Much
When it comes to creating great websites, freshman members of the House beat out their equally green counterparts in the Senate by a long shot, according to the latest "Gold Mouse Awards" from the Congressional Management Foundation.
Sixty-one percent of new House members snagged an A or B grade in the awards, which come out every two years. Only 31 percent of new Senators' websites scored a B (none received an A), with 46 percent of them earning dubious grades of D or F.
The Foundation gave out awards to 98 personal office, committee, and leadership websites, including those of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who won awards for both their personal office and leadership websites.
In addition to a poor showing by freshman Senators, overall a "significant number of House and Senate member websites lacked basic educational and transparency features including: links to bills sponsored and cosponsored, voting records, and basic information on how a bill becomes a law," the foundation says.
Still, overall the average grade for congressional sites this year was a solid B, way up from the average F of the 111th Congress. The office websites of Ryan and Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, were named the best in their category, while Pelosi scored the top leadership website grade and the House Education and Workforce Committee was named best committee site.
The Congressional Management Foundation has been surveying congressional websites since 2001. It looks at 10 categories of criteria, including the site's usability; timeliness of content; and the amount of content and access to services.