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H.R. 946 (111th): Plain Writing Act of 2010

Signed into law on October 13, 2010 by President Obama, the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (H.R. 946; Pub.L. 111–274) is a United States federal law that requires that federal executive agencies:

  • Use plain writing in every covered document that the agency issues or substantially revises
  • Train employees in "plain writing"
  • Establish a process for overseeing the agency's compliance with this Act
  • Create and maintain a plain writing section on the agency's website to inform the public of agency compliance with the requirements of this Act
  • Provide a mechanism for the agency to receive and respond to public input on agency implementation and agency reports required under this Act, and be accessible from its homepage
  • Designate one or more agency points-of-contact to receive and respond to public input on the implementation of this Act

This summary is from Wikipedia.

Last updated Oct 11, 2018. Source: Wikipedia

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


10/13/2010--Public Law. Plain Writing Act of 2010 - Requires the head of each executive agency to: (1) designate one or more senior officials within the agency to oversee the agency's implementation of this Act; (2) communicate this Act's requirements to the agency's employees; (3) train agency employees in "plain writing" (defined as writing that is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended audience); (4) establish a process for overseeing the agency's ongoing compliance with this Act's requirements; (5) create and maintain a plain writing section of the agency's website that shall inform the public of agency compliance with the requirements of this Act, provide a mechanism for the agency to receive and respond to public input on agency implementation and agency reports required under this Act, and be accessible from its homepage; and (6) designate one or more agency points-of-contact to receive and respond to public input on the implementation of this Act.

Requires each agency, by one year after enactment, to use plain writing in every covered document of the agency that the agency issues or substantially revises. Defines "covered document" to: (1) mean any document that is necessary for obtaining any federal benefit or service or filing taxes, that provides information about any federal benefit or service, or that explains to the public how to comply with a requirement the federal government administers or enforces; (2) include (whether in paper or electronic form) a letter, publication, form, notice, or instruction; and (3) exclude a regulation.

Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by six months after enactment, to develop and issue guidance on implementing the requirements of this Act. Authorizes the Director to designate a lead agency and to use interagency working groups to assist in developing and issuing the guidance. Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) an interim guidance; (2) initial and annual compliance reports; and (3) judicial review and enforceability.

Requires the budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, to be determined by reference to the latest statement titled "Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation" for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.