The Plain Writing Act was passed by the House of Representatives as part of Sunshine Week, a national initiative to encourage open government. The Plain Writing Act will require federal agencies to write public documents in plain language.
Rep. Bruce Braley, who introduced the bill, said:
“There is no reason why the federal government can’t write these forms and other public documents in a way we can all understand. Writing government documents in plain language will increase government accountability and will save Americans time and money.”
The Plain Writing Act gives agencies one year to begin to use clear, concise, well-organized writing in public documents. Agencies can meet this requirement by following the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.
Rep. Braley is also credited with getting plain language into the Health Care Reform bill. The legislation requires health plans to make certain information available in plain language, defined as “language that the intended audience, including individuals with limited English proficiency, can readily understand and use because that language is concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain language writing.”