Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson’s website www.simpson.house.gov was named one of the best websites on Capitol Hill today and given a “112th Congress Gold Mouse Award.” The award was given by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF), a nonpartisan nonprofit working to improve communications between citizens and Congress and enhance operations in Capitol Hill offices. CMF has assessed and graded congressional websites and issued these awards since 2001. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo also received the award this year.
"Rep. Simpson is to be commended for educating citizens and achieving the highest degree of transparency and accountability in online communications," said Bradford Fitch, President and CEO of CMF.
“I’m honored to receive such a distinguished award,” said Simpson. “The internet provides a valuable tool for constituents, they can visit my website to find out what is happening in Congress, sign up for a Capitol tour or to receive my E-newsletter, and most importantly, it provides another tool to communicate effectively with Idahoans.”
CMF conducted its analysis from June to September 2011 and today released its latest report, “112th Congress Gold Mouse Report: Best Practices in Online Communications on Capitol Hill.”
Download a copy of the report here.
Of the 618 congressional websites graded, a total of 98 personal office, committee and leadership websites earned A’s, and will therefore receive a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze Mouse Award. With the assistance and guidance of faculty from the University of California-Riverside, the Ohio State University, and Northeastern University, CMF staff assessed and graded the websites and gave each a numerical score, which was translated into a grade of A through F.
The criteria for website assessments have been developed and refined by CMF over the past decade based on survey research, focus groups with constituents, and interviews with key stakeholders to congressional offices. A total of 92 criteria were used to grade personal office websites, 66 criteria for committee websites, and 53 criteria for leadership sites. Reviewers assessed 10 categories of criteria: usability of website; timeliness of content; breadth and depth of information on issues; constituent services and casework information; promoting accountability to constituents; legislative process information; district/state information; floor proceedings information; availability of diverse forms of content; and availability of diverse forms of content channels. CMF reviewers also included social media components in the criteria.