The Plain Language Act directed each agency to use plain writing in every document that it issued or revised.
Some agencies — like the Internal Revenue Service, Health and Human Services, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — have made inroads in clearer writing. And generally there has been a trend toward fewer convoluted, passive sentences, Cheek said.
In these pressing budget times, plain language can help with agencies’ bottom lines.
“It’s an ongoing battle to get people to understand that when you write clearly, not only is it better customer service, you’re going to have better results for the agency, you’re going to have fewer people calling you, you’re going have fewer errors, you’re going to have better compliance,” Cheek said.