October 24, 2011

Crapo Site Named One of the Best Websites on Capitol Hill

Earns Gold Mouse Award for Excellence

Washington, D.C.  - The official website of Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, http://crapo.senate.gov, has received a "112 th Congress Gold Mouse Award", making it one of the best websites on Capitol Hill.  The award, announced today, was given by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to improve communications between citizens and Congress and to enhance operations in Capitol Hill offices.  Crapo is one of only five Senators to receive the Gold Mouse Award this year. 

"As Idahoans are active participants in the decisions I make here in Congress, this website offers many opportunities for them to follow what goes on in Washington, plan a visit here, learn more about the issues and watch videos of Congress at work," Crapo said.  "With technology expanding every day, it is important that Members of Congress continue to improve available information on what is happening in Congress and elsewhere that can affect their lives.  It has been an important priority with my staff and me to make this website a resource for Idahoans who want to know more.  That's why you will find posted audio of iTownHall meetings and teleconferences with Idaho reporters, recent correspondence on top issues, links to legislation and other tools and resources to assist Idahoans who need help with federal agencies.  It is my hope that all Idahoans will visit the site often."

"Senator Crapo 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. "In the 21 st Century, a website is much more than a broadcasting tool for a political message - it's a virtual office and a window into our democratic institutions.  These winners of the Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze Mouse Awards understand the value of using the Internet to enlighten and serve constituents, and are examples for all congressional offices to follow."

CMF conducted its analysis from June to September 2011 and today released its latest report, "112 th Congress Gold Mouse Report: Best Practices in Online Communications on Capitol Hill."   Of the 618 congressional websites graded, a total of 98 personal office, committee and leadership websites earned A's, and therefore received a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze Mouse Award.  With the assistance and guidance of faculty from the University of California-Riverside, 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.  Download a copy of the report here.  CMF has assessed and graded congressional website and issues these awards since 2001. 

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.  Websites were graded on usability, timeliness of content, breadth and depth of information on issues, constituent services and casework information, promoting accountability to constituents, legislative process information, state and district information, floor proceedings information, availability of diverse forms of content and availability of diverse forms of content channels.  Social media components were also included in the review.  Crapo's site was used as an example of award-winning information in the "What Is Going On In Congress" section, http://crapo.senate.gov/legislative/AboutSenate.cfm.  The site has previously received Silver Mouse Awards in 2007 and 2009.