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NASA tops Best Places to Work list

Overall ratings drop to lowest level since 2003
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NASA, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Surface Transportation Board topped the annual list of the federal government's best places to work released Dec. 13 by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.

NASA snagged the top spot for large federal agencies, while the FDIC and the Surface Transportation Board were named the best medium and small agencies. The rankings, produced by Deloitte along with the partnership, are based on interviews with 700,000 federal employees.

Employee satisfaction across the federal government dropped 3.2 points to 60.8 out of 100, well below the score of 70 for the private sector. It was the lowest rating since the survey launched in 2003.

The results "tell a troubling, but not surprising story," said Max Stier, president and chief executive of the nonpartisan partnership. "Our nation's public servants have sent a clear signal that all is not well. The two-year pay freeze, budget cuts and ad hoc hiring freezes are taking their toll--and this is a red flag."

The most improved agency was the Office of Management and Budget, which increased its score by 13.3 points. The Education Department's office of the chief financial officer raised its score 9.9 points, and the Transportation Department's score rose by 4.1 points. The highest overall score (85.7) was achieved by the Army Audit Agency.

Of the large agencies, employees at the Veterans Affairs Department expressed the biggest decrease in satisfaction, with a drop of 7.1 points, from 63.8 in 2011 to 56.7.

The top 10 large federal agencies are:

  1. NASA
  2. Intelligence Community
  3. State Department
  4. Commerce Department
  5. Environmental Protection Agency
  6. Social Security Administration
  7. Treasury Department
  8. Justice Department
  9. Transportation Department
  10. Department of the Navy

The top five mid-size agencies are:

  1. FDIC
  2. Government Accountability Office
  3. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (tie)
  4. Smithsonian Institution (tie)
  5. Federal Trade Commission

The top five small agencies are:

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

For more:
- download the full rankings
- check out a breakdown of the scores

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