NASA, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Surface Transportation Board are among the agencies with top rankings in the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” report, according to an article from AOL Government.

The annual report by the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte, however, registered the largest decline in federal employee job satisfaction and commitment since the rankings were first published in 2003, the article says.

The government-wide satisfaction dropped 3.2 points – from 64 (of 100) in 2011 to 60.8 percent this year. And while a third of agencies and subcomponents showed gains, 66 percent saw ratings fall.

According to Max Stier, the Partnership’s president and CEO, “the two-year pay freeze, budget cuts and ad hoc hiring freezes are taking their toll – and this is a red flag.”

However, the Partnership’s vice president for policy, John Palguta, says the findings are less about whether employees are happy and more about how effective the government is and how it delivers results for Americans, the article says. Palguta notes that the more engaged employees are, the more productive they will be.

OMB was the most improved of all agencies, increasing by 13.3 points. The Department of Transportation was the most improved large agency, with a 4.1 point gain, the article says.

Federal workers have already sacrificed an estimated $103 billion over the past two years due to a two-year pay freeze, reduced and delayed pay increases for 2013 and an increase in pension contributions for new employees, the article reports.

Some larger agencies experienced sharp declines in employee satisfaction, especially the Department of Veterans Affairs (7.1 point drop).

Among large agencies, the following are the most positive work environments:

·         NASA – 72.8 points

·         Intelligence Community – 70.8

·         Department of State – 68.2

·         Department of Commerce – 67.9

·         Environmental Protection Agency – 67.6

·         Social Security Administration – 66.4

Mid-size agencies:

·         Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – 83.3 points

·         Government Accountability Office – 75.7

·         Nuclear Regulatory Commission (tie) – 75.5

·         Smithsonian Institution (tie) – 75.5

·         Federal Trade Commission – 74.3

·         National Credit Union Administration – 71.0

Small agencies:

·         Surface Transportation Board – 84.3

·         Congressional Budget Office – 84.2

·         Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service – 82.4

·         Peace Corps – 81.5

·         National Endowment for the Humanities – 80.5

·         Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board – 78.9

Agency Subcomponents:

·         Army Audit Agency (Army) – 85.7

·         John C. Stennis Space Center (NASA) – 84.2

·         Office of General Counsel (EPA) – 81.6

·         Environment and Natural Resources Division (DOJ) – 80.9

·         Patent and Trademark Office (Commerce) – 80.3

·         Civil Division (DOJ) – 79.5

For full listings, please visit the report itself online.