Writing Act of 2010 (Act) requires federal agencies to write “clear
Government communication that the public can understand and use.” President Obama also emphasized the importance
of establishing “a system of transparency, public participation, and
collaboration” in his January 21, 2009 memorandum to the heads of Executive
Branch departments and agencies on Transparency
and Open Government. Additionally,
the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum to
the heads of Executive departments and agencies in April 2011 providing Final
Guidance on Implementing the Plain Writing Act of 2010.
The Department of the Treasury is committed to writing new
documents in plain language using the Federal
Plain Language Guidelines.
The senior official responsible for overseeing Treasury’s
implementation of the Plain Writing Act is Executive Secretary David Clunie. The alternartive coordinatoe responsible
for implementation of the Act is Deputy Executive Secretary David Pearl.
As part of our effort to implement the Act, we are training Treasury
employees to use plain language in any document that:
is necessary for obtaining a federal government
benefit or service or filing taxes;
provides information about a federal government
benefit or service; or
explains to the public how to comply with a
requirement that the federal government administers or addresses.
The best writing tells a reader exactly what she needs to
know without using unnecessary or ambiguous language. The federal government should write in a
style that makes information accessible to all the people it serves. Clear communication can save time and money and
enhance public response to government programs.
Treasury endeavors to write clearly to help all people understand the
work Treasury does and the services we provide.
Much of the work Treasury performs focuses on subject
matter that can involve complex, technical language. Treasury is devoted, however, to publishing documents
and other information that are written clearly without sacrificing the quality
and accuracy of the information we are conveying. To meet this goal, we compiled our Plain Writing
Act Implementation Plan . Visitors to
this website can track our progress in our 2014 Compliance Report, which
marks the significant progress we have made relative to our 2013 Compliance
Report. We intend to continue to build on the
progress we have made in the past year by continuing to devise creative ways to
implement the principles of the Act into Treasury’s writing.
We want your feedback
While our plain writing effort is well underway, we are
always looking to improve. We need your
help not only to comply with the Act, but improve the efficiency of our
interactions with the public. As we
continue to implement our plan, please feel free to submit comments to PlainWriting@treasury.gov and let
us know what we’re doing well, and most importantly, what we could be doing
Institutes of Health
Plain Writing Course
Writing at IRS