Plain Writing Act of 2010: Agency Requirements
The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires the federal government [executive branch] to write all new publications, forms, and publicly distributed documents in a “clear, concise, well-organized” manner.
You must write new (or substantially revised) documents that the public uses to apply for benefits, file taxes, access government information and services and explain how to comply with a federal requirement in plain language.
Documents include but aren’t limited to:
- Public websites
- Information that’s accessed by the public through the Web, including new media
- Letters and correspondence to the public
- Forms and applications for services or information
- Hard-copy and electronic information intended for the public
- New and substantially revised regulations must be written in plain language according to Executive Orders 12866 and 12988.
- OMB Memorandum on Testing and Simplifying Federal Forms (PDF, 94 KB, 2 pages, August 2012)
- OMB Final Guidance on Implementing the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (PDF, 269 KB, 6 pages, April 2011)
- OMB Preliminary Guidance for the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (PDF, 62 KB, 3 pages, November 2010)
- Plain Writing Act of 2010 (PDF, 153 KB, 3 pages, January 2010)
- Center for Plain Language
- Agency Senior Writing Contacts and Web pages
- DHS Plain Language FAQs (PDF, 3.22 MB, 19 pages, June 2010)
- FAA Writing Standards (PDF, 485 KB, 10 pages, March 2003)
- Government examples
Review the Writing for the Web/Plain Language page.