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Confidence in Federal Employees Hits New Low, GW Survey Finds

Survey is Based on Poll of 800 Registered Voters
September 24, 2013

Kurtis Hiatt
202-994-1849; [email protected]

Nicole Carlotto
202-994-6466; [email protected]

WASHINGTON—American confidence in federal civilian employees has hit a new low, shows a George Washington University nationwide poll of 800 registered voters.

Among the findings are:

• More than 33 percent of registered voters voice little or no confidence in federal workers (up sharply from about 21 percent in 2009 and 23 percent in 2011)
• 19 percent have “a lot of confidence” in federal workers
• 41 percent have “some confidence”
• 5 percent are not sure what to think about them

Researchers say recent scandals--within the National Security Agency and the IRS, for example--may be reasons for the new low in confidence.

“Most federal workers are hardworking and fair, but this year’s series of scandals and controversies seems to have damaged their reputation,” said William C. Adams, a professor of public policy and public administration in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. Dr. Adams, along with Donna Lind Infeld, also a professor of public policy and public administration, examined the data.

These results, as well as others, are published today on the website Government Executive. They are based on a nationwide telephone survey conducted Sept. 15-19 with a random sample of 800 registered voters.

Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration
The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration in GW's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) is a focal point for public affairs education, research and public service at the George Washington University. Building on a rich tradition of education for public service and on its location in the nation's capital, just a few blocks west of the White House, the school offers a superior education for students wishing to pursue public affairs-oriented academic programs.

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