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Open

Plain Writing

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 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 on Transparency and Open Government.

The United States Department of the Treasury is committed to writing new documents in plain language by October 2011, using the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.

We have assigned staff to oversee our plain writing efforts. Our senior official for plain writing is Executive Secretary David Clunie and an additional contact is Deputy Executive Secretary Alexis Prieur.

We’re training our employees and have strengthened our oversight process. We must use plain writing in any document that:

  • is necessary for obtaining any federal government benefit or service or filing taxes;
  • provides information about any federal government benefit or service; or
  • explains to the public how to comply with a requirement that the federal government administers or enforces.

A Plain Writing Act Compliance Report is forthcoming.

Let us know if you have trouble understanding our documents or the pages on our website by emailing plainwriting@treasury.gov with a link to the document or page.


Additional Resources

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Plain Writing

Last Updated: 11/20/2013 5:11 PM