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Plain Writing

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Act) requires federal agencies to write “clear Government communication that the public can understand and use.”  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 Ryan Brady.  The alternate coordinator responsible for implementation of the Act is Deputy Executive Secretary Kate Tyrrell. 

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 he or 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.  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 better.



Additional Resources

Center for Plain Language

Plain Language.gov

OPM Plain Writing

National Institutes of Health

FAA Plain Writing Course

Usability.gov

Plain Writing at IRS



Last Updated: 8/17/2018 11:14 AM