For the first time, 30 services provided by the federal government were measured as part of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan. The data were converted into a score between 0 and 100. Here's how the index ranked specific federal services:

Agency

(Customer)

Score

Services through local and state

80

Administration for Families & Children

(Parents of Head Start students)

87

Food and Nutrition Service

(WIC program recipients)

83

Housing and Urban Development

(Community Development Block Grant recipients)

69

Earned benefits

77

Social Security Administration

(Recent retirement benefits recipients)

82

Veterans Health Administration

(Outpatients at VHA clinics)

79

Office of Personnel Management

(Federal retirees and annuitants)

75

Health Care Financing Administration

(Recent Medicare beneficiaries)

71

Veterans Benefits Administration

(Veteran compensation/benefit claimants)

61

Public information

75

Education Department

(Primary users of education publications)

80

NASA

(Educators participating in NASA Center programs)

80

General Services Administration

(Users of the Consumer Information Center)

77

Bureau of the Census

(Data distributors)

70

Environmental Protection Agency

(Reference librarians accessing EPA Web site)

69

Recreational land users

72

National Park Service

(Recreational visitors)

73

National Forest Service

(Recreational visitors)

70

Bureau of Land Management

(Recreational visitors)

64

Applicants and users

72

U.S. Mint

(Buyers of collector & commemorative coins)

86

FEMA

(Disaster assistance recipients, 1997-98)

73

Education Department

(Electronic applicants for Title IV student aid)

63

National Science Foundation

(Grant applicants, 1998)

57

Patent & Trademark Office

(Recent individual patent & trademark applicants)

57*

International travelers

68

State Department

(Recent passport applicants/renewals)

73

Immigration & Naturalization Service

(International travelers)

69

Customs Service

(International air travelers)

66

Household consumers

63

Food & Drug Administration

(Principal grocery shoppers & food preparers)

66

Food Safety & Inspection Service

(Principal grocery shoppers & food preparers)

62

Tax filers

57

Internal Revenue Service

(Electronic tax filers)

74

Internal Revenue Service

(All tax filers)

51

Regulation users

55

Federal Aviation Administration

(Commercial pilots)

58

OSHA

(Health & safety professionals)

51

*An incomplete score because of mix-up in processing data.