This post was written by Hatchet reporter Zunara Naeem
Americans’ trust in federal employees is the lowest it has ever been, according to a nationwide poll released by GW this week.
The poll found more than a third of the voters expressed little to no confidence in federal workers – a sharp increase from 23 percent in 2011. Tarrance Group, a Republican strategic firm and polling group, surveyed 800 randomly selected voters this month in a poll backed by the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration.
The largest slice of voters, 41 percent, said they had some confidence in federal workers, while a fifth said they had a lot of confidence in them.
The Trachtenberg School has conducted the poll annually since 2009.
William Adams and Donna Lind Infeld, professors of public policy and administration, examined the data and said in a release that National Security Agency and Internal Revenue Service scandals and controversies that have plagued federal workers this year have “damaged their reputation.”
“Workers who do their jobs effectively and equitably do not make headlines. But embarrassing, alarming and proscribed behavior does,” they wrote in an online analysis.
More than 2.7 million people work for the federal government, according to U.S. Office of Personnel Management data from last September. About 18 percent of GW’s Class of 2012 graduates went on to work in the public sector.
Adams and Infel said the declining confidence in federal employees erodes the trust necessary for citizens to follow laws.
“Essential compliance with laws and regulations is built on trust in the fair, responsible implementation of those laws and regulations,” they said in the report.
This post was updated Sept. 26 at 12:31 p.m. to reflect the following corrections:
The Hatchet incorrectly spelled the name of Donna Lind Infeld and the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. We regret these errors.