Judiciary Assesses PACER Services (09/28/2010)
In 2009, the Judiciary initiated a year-long assessment of the electronic public access service. The study, conducted by an independent consulting firm, Pacific Consulting Group, was designed to assess PACER users' satisfaction with the service and to identify opportunities for new or expanded services.
Overall the assessment found a high level of satisfaction with PACER, with approximately 80% of users surveyed indicating they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the service. One respondent from the legal sector commented, "PACER could be improved but I do find it to be a good and reliable system as is."
In addition to assessing satisfaction with the on-line component of PACER, users were asked to rate help-desk services provided by the PACER Service Center. While satisfaction was very high, over 95% of respondents who contacted the center during the study period indicated they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" overall, the larger survey of PACER users showed that about one third of respondents were not aware that the PACER Service Center is available to provide help with PACER.
Improvements have been made in conjunction with the assessment:
- In March 2010, a new search tool, the Case Locator, was released, replacing the U.S. Party/Case Index with added search capabilities and a fresh user interface.
- Also in March 2010, the Judicial Conference of the United States adjusted the Electronic Public Access fee schedule so that users are not billed unless they accrue charges of more than $10 of PACER usage in a quarterly billing cycle, in effect quadrupling the amount of data available without charge. Previously, users were billed as soon as their accounts totaled $10 in a one-year period.
- The PACER website (pacer.gov) was redesigned in May 2010 to make information about PACER more easily accessible.
Click here for more information about the assessment, or to view a related video.