Democratic News

Senate Energy Committee’s website has been judged one of the best on Capitol Hill. In an evaluation of all 618 Senate and House personal office, committee and leadership websites, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) awarded our website a 2007 Gold Mouse.
 
The CMF is a nonprofit, nonpartisan management consulting organization which has tracked the use the Internet by Congress since 1998.  Its objective has been to identify best practices Congressional offices can use to cope with the challenges and opportunities new technologies have brought and to help them better utilize technology to meet their needs and goals.
 
The 2007 Gold Mouse Report and Awards are part of the “Connecting to Congress” research project, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.  For this project CMF partnered with researchers from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, University of California-Riverside and Ohio State University to study how Members of Congress can use the Internet to improve communications with their constituents and to promote greater participation in the legislative process.
 
“One of the key reasons for the awards is to highlight best practices so offices can improve their sites by learning from those doing a good job,” said Beverly Bell, CMF’s executive director. “Websites like Senate Energy’s provide a template for other Congressional offices to follow.”
 
Sites were graded on how well they incorporate five basic elements which research identified as critical for effectiveness: audience, content, usability, interactivity and innovation.  CMF said the Energy Committee’s website “demonstrates how effective a committee website can be when tailored content is paired with a high-tech design.  The design of the site ensures easy access to comprehensive information for citizens, the press, congressional staff, as well as its various professional audiences.”
 
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is led by Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D) and Sen. Pete Domenici (R), both of New Mexico.
 
The full 2007 Gold Mouse Report: Lessons from the Best Web Sites on Capitol Hill can be seen at www.cmfweb.org.
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