Plain Writing Act of 2010

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On June 1, 1998, President Bill Clinton issued a Memorandum on Plain Language in Government Writing. (PDF) The rationale for this memorandum was to "make the Government more responsive, accessible, and understandable in its communications with the public" and its goal is to save the Government and the private sector "time, effort and money." Accompanying guidance[1] was issued at the time the memorandum entered the record.

Plain Writing Act of 2010
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn act to enhance citizen access to Government information and services by establishing that Government documents issued to the public must be written clearly, and for other purposes.
Enacted bythe 111th United States Congress
EffectiveOctober 13, 2010
Public law111-274
Statutes at Large124 Stat. 2861
U.S.C. sections amended5 USC 301 note
Legislative history

Signed into law on October 13, 2010, by President Obama, the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (H.R. 946; Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 111–274 (text) (PDF)) 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[2]
  • 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



The amount of expenses reimbursed to a claimant under this subpart shall be reduced by any amount that the claimant receives from a collateral source. In cases in which a claimant receives reimbursement under this subpart for expenses that also will or may be reimbursed from another source, the claimant shall subrogate the United States to the claim for payment from the collateral source up to the amount for which the claimant was reimbursed under this subpart.


If you get a payment from a collateral source, we will reduce our payment by the amount you get. If you get payments from us and from a collateral source for the same expenses, you must pay us back the amount we paid you.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Guidelines for President Clinton's memo".
  2. ^ Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 111–274 (text) (PDF)§4(b)
  3. ^ "New law bans use of confusing words and sentences in government documents" (blog). The Hot Word. May 27, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2011.

External links[edit]