Federal Agencies Poor Students Of Communication

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A year ago, provisions of the Plain Writing Act of 2010, which require Federal agencies to take steps to use clearer language in paperwork and laws so that average citizens can more easily understand the information, went into effect.

The Center for Plain Language has graded 12 Federal agencies based on how well they complied with the basic requirements and for efforts of implementing policies that would better help them comply.

“Unless federal agencies are held accountable, they won’t implement the changes required by the Plain Writing Act,” Representative Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who authored the Act, said. “The mixed results of the first-ever Plain Language Report Card show that we still have a long way to go to make government forms and documents simpler and easier for taxpayers to understand. Some federal agencies have embraced the Plain Writing Act, and others haven’t. Until these grades are all A-plus, we’re going to keep holding bureaucrats’ feet to the fire.”

Here’s how the agencies scored when it came to being clear and concise in their communications:

AGENCYGRADE FOR COMPLIANCEGRADE FOR EFFORTS
TO IMPROVE
National Archives and Records AdministrationBC
U.S. Department of AgricultureAB
U.S. Department of DefenseBD
U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesCB
U.S. Department of Homeland SecurityDD
U.S. Department of JusticeCD
U.S. Department of LaborBF
U.S. Department of TransportationCF
U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsFF
U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyCF
U.S. Social Security AdministrationCC
U.S. Small Business AssociationCC

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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