2012 best and worst places to work in the federal government

In recent years, federal workers have seen their salaries frozen and find themselves at the center of a partisan debate over the value of their work. But some agencies have managed to keep their employees happy. Here are the federal government's best and worst places to work, ranked by the Partnership for Public Service. The results are based on the annual Office of Personnel Management survey, sent this year to 2 million employees. Visit bestplacestowork.org to see how your agency stacks up. Read related article.

Best large agencies

1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
2. Intelligence Community
3. Department of State
4. Department of Commerce
5. Environmental Protection Agency

Worst large agencies

1. Department of Homeland Security
2. Department of Veterans Affairs
3. Department of Agriculture (tie)
3. Department of Labor (tie)
5. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Defense Agencies, and Department of Defense Field Activies

Best mid-size agencies

1. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
2. Government Accountability Office
3. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (tie)
3. Smithsonian Institution (tie)
5. Federal Trade Commission

Worst mid-size agencies

1. Broadcasting Board of Governors
2. National Archives and Records Administration
3. Department of Housing and Urban Development
4. Securities and Exchange Commission
5. Department of Education

Best small agencies

1. Surface Transportation Board
2. Congressional Budget Office
3. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
4. Peace Corps
5. National Endowment for the Humanities

Worst small agencies

1. Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
2. Federal Maritime Commission
3. Federal Election Commission
4. Federal Housing Finance Agency
5. Millenium Challenge Corporation

SOURCE: Partnership for Public Service. GRAPHIC: The Washington Post. Published Dec. 13, 2012.