The Occupational Safety and Health Administration ranked last, along with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in "customer" satisfaction among 29 key federal agencies, according to a government survey released Dec.13.
OSHA and the IRS each scored a 51 out of 100 in the ranking, nearly 19 points lower than the 68.6 overall score given to the federal agencies, according to the survey.
The survey was launched by Vice President Al Gore's task force on reinvention. "Regulatory agencies tend to end up on the other end" of the index, according to a statement released by the reinvention office.
Gore's reinvention office also noted that other inspection agencies surveyed had low scores, including the Food Safety Inspection Service and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Arthur Anderson consulting group, the University of Michigan Business School and the American Society for Quality conducted the survey. The survey uses a computer model for the ranking and has used a similar process for years to assess the quality of customer satisfaction for individual companies in the private sector.
One potential limit to the survey's value is the fact that each federal agency was allowed to select and define one set of respondents who would comprise its "customers."
OSHA deemed its customers to be health and safety hygienists and other professionals -- specifically, member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and the American Industrial Hygiene Association "who have observed an OSHA activity such as inspections, consultations, compliance assistance and speeches, in the past year."
Complete results of the ranking are available on the University of Michigan Business Schools Web Site at www.bus.umich.edu