The administration earned 59.4 points in 2013 and 63.3 in 2010.
The partnership calculates the scores each year based on data from the federal government’s annual Federal Employee Viewpoints Survey, which measures worker satisfaction in a broad range of categories.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents last year indicated that their offices do not reward creativity and innovation, while 46 percent indicated that leaders do not encourage them to come up with new ways to do their work. At the same time, nearly 90 percent said they are constantly looking for ways to do their jobs better.
Those three survey categories account for the government’s innovation score.
Last year’s results suggest that the federal workforce is hungry for the type of innovative thinking that marked President Obama’s tech-savvy election campaigns. They also suggest that the current administration is yet to deliver on that front after six years.
Max Stier, president and chief executive of the Partnership for Public Service, said the Obama administration needs to hold its leaders accountable for the numbers. “If you don’t prioritize leadership that can sustain or grow a culture of innovation, you won’t get it,” he said.
Agencies can raise their scores by rewarding creativity, providing forums for employees to share and test new ideas, and by encouraging responsible risk-taking, according to the report.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration earned the highest marks for innovation among large agencies last year, with an index score of 76.7. The obscure Surface Transportation Board finished first among agencies of all sizes, earning 82.3 points.
The Department of Homeland Security finished last year with the lowest score among large agencies, with a score of 49.4. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board earned a slightly lower 42.7 points for the lowest score overall within the government.