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Federal Agencies Poor Students Of Communication

July 25, 2012 by  

Federal Agencies Poor Students Of Communication
PHOTOS.COM

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:

AGENCY GRADE FOR COMPLIANCE GRADE FOR EFFORTS
TO IMPROVE
National Archives and Records Administration B C
U.S. Department of Agriculture A B
U.S. Department of Defense B D
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services C B
U.S. Department of Homeland Security D D
U.S. Department of Justice C D
U.S. Department of Labor B F
U.S. Department of Transportation C F
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs F F
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency C F
U.S. Social Security Administration C C
U.S. Small Business Association C C

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THE Center for Plain Language; ITS SILLY NAME SCREAMS, “USELESS ORGANIZATION.” WHY DOES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEED IT?

    • momo

      Because Obama needs to employ people.

  • Brad

    you mean that’s why our government is so screwed up, nobody understands what the are voting on in congess. Why has it taken so long for them to let us know it was simply that they were illiterate? Hell it did not take a rocket scientist to see they are all a bunch of greedy dumb asses!

  • Brad

    I always thought they write those words in their on pupose to keep the avarage citizens dumb to their true agendas. Might not be such a bad idea, especially since most in congress do not understand the maening of these same words either.

  • Gary L

    I am certain now that his report card has been published, they will all be shamed into doing a better job of using clear language to mislead, lie, and cover up what they don’t want “we the people” to know or understand without an interpreter. They need to be taken to the woodshed to remind them of who is supposed to be in charge.

  • http://survivingurbancrisis.wordpress.com Silas Longshot

    Some of these agencies don’t want to have ‘plain’ language, because like the IRS, it’s to their advantage for citizens to NOT understand it.

    click the name

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