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Memo Orders Agencies to Simplify Language, Strip Jargon from Forms

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President Barack Obama is indirectly ordering agencies to cut jargon and generally make contracts and business agreements more comprehensible, according to the Washington Business Journal.

The Jill R. Aitoro article says a memo was sent from the office of Cass Sunstein, former administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, on August 9 which contains requirements that will reinforce the provisions of the 2010 Plain Writing Act.

That legislation was enacted to promote the use of simple language and “strip out needless jargon” used on agency forms, documents, and communications.

This recent memo specifically concentrates on the simplifying of forms as opposed to documents and communications.

It directs agencies to conduct advanced information collection testing using federal forms to guarantee that they meet issued standards, are straightforward and free of jargon.

The memo also encourages agencies to acquire the best available information on potential impediments to the public and small businesses and specify ways that will increase comprehension.

According to the article, testing will start before information collection and the public comment period.

1 Comment

  1. This will help — some. The real key is whether OMB will require the agencies to publicly release their testing methods and results. Only then will the agencies improve the quality of their analysis. lb

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