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ACSI measures citizen satisfaction with over 100 services, programs, and websites of federal government agencies

The ACSI model links citizen satisfaction with outcomes of complaints and citizen trust in government. 


Government entities use ACSI to track user satisfaction with the quality of their services over time and compare these results to other organizations in both the private and public spheres. ACSI also provides cause-and-effect analysis to help agencies focus resources where improvements will have the most impact.

At a glance:


  • Inaugural year:


  • Updated:


  • Most recent data:


In addition to its extensive coverage of the private sector, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) benchmarks citizen satisfaction for a multitude of federal agencies and departments, as well as two high-usage services of local governments (police and solid waste management). In 1999, the federal government selected the ACSI to be a standard metric for measuring citizen satisfaction. Now, over a decade later, ACSI coverage of federal government continues to grow through CFI Group, the exclusive partner of the ACSI in the federal government. All told, the ACSI measures citizen satisfaction with over 100 services, programs, and websites of federal government agencies.

Satisfaction Benchmarks by Industry

U.S. Federal Government 2021*

Federal Government (Aggregated) 63.4

AGENCY/DEPARTMENT - Benefits Recipients Segment 2021
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Retirees 88

AGENCY/DEPARTMENT - Regulatory Segment 2021
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) E-Verify Users 88
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) SAVE Users 80
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Premium Filers 77
Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) Passport Services 76
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Individual E-Filers 71
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Small Business & Self-Employed Filers 65
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Large Business & International Filers 62
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Individual Paper Filers 60

AGENCY/DEPARTMENT - Information Providers Segment 2021  
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Publications 89
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Financial Education Exchange 84
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Observing System Data
and Information System (EOSDIS)
National Park Service, Webmonitor Information Users 81
National Weather Service (NWS) Information Users 80
Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Market News Users 77
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Participant Callers 73

AGENCY/DEPARTMENT - Users of Technology/IT Segment 2021
Veterans Affairs (VA) Employee Users of IT Services 79

AGENCY/DEPARTMENT - Call Centers Segment 2021
Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) Contact Center Users 65

*Data collection and analysis provided by CFI Group.

Citizen Satisfaction by Federal Government

The ACSI measures government agencies, companies, industries, and sectors annually, with new data replacing data from prior years. This allows government entities to track user satisfaction with the quality of their services over time and compare these results to other organizations in both the private and public spheres.

Sector: Public Administration/Government Benchmarks

Local Government: police (central city), police (suburb), solid waste management (central city), solid waste management (suburb)

2020 2021 Prior Year % Change
Public Administration/Government 63.8 62.6 -1.9%

2020 2021 Prior Year % Change
Local Government 62.7 62.0 -1.1%
Solid waste management (central city) 73 70 -4.1%
Solid waste management (suburb) 71 70 -1.4%
Police (suburb) 62 62 0.0%
Police (central city) 60 58 -3.3%

2020 2021 Prior Year % Change
Federal Government 65.1 63.4 -2.6%

For both government and private-sector measurement, the ACSI uses customer interviews as input to a multi-equation econometric model. Customers’ responses about a government agency are aggregated to produce its ACSI benchmark, thus results are specific to each individually measured organization. Because most agencies do not deal in economic transactions in a strict sense, the ACSI government model includes outcomes appropriate to the public sector in lieu of price-related measures.

ACSI Government Model

The ACSI model is a cause-and-effect model with indices for drivers of satisfaction on the left side, satisfaction (ACSI) in the center, and outcomes of satisfaction on the right side. As seen in the diagram, the ACSI government model (used for most agencies) is identical to the private-sector model with a key modification in the “outcomes” component. Specifically, the outcome of citizen trust replaces the price-related outcomes found in the private-sector model (repurchase intention and price tolerance).

Because agencies provide services with little or no direct charge to the user, perceived value is not part of the government model. The drivers of expectations and perceived quality, satisfaction, and the outcome of customer complaints appear in both the government and private-sector models.

For government organizations, indicators of satisfaction are grouped into four broad categories that are used as input to measure quality (process, information, customer service, and website).

For the outcome of citizen trust, indicators are (1) the degree to which the user/customer would recommend the agency’s services to others (recommend) and (2) the extent to which the user has confidence in relying on the agency in the future (confidence).

Connect With ACSI

Connect With ACSI

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