WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and James Lankford’s (R-OK) bipartisan Clear and Concise Content Act has advanced in the Senate. The bill ensures that guidance, instructions, and other public information published by the federal government is written in plain language. The bill was advanced by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where Peters serves as Chair, and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
“This bipartisan bill will ensure that guidance and information written by the federal government is easy to understand,” said Senator Peters.
“Stop the ‘government speak.’ Federal agencies don’t need to use jargon, countless legal citations, and confusing references to laws so only ‘insiders’ can understand. If a regulation affects Americans, then Americans should be able to read and understand it,” said Senator Lankford.
The Clear and Concise Content Act updates the Plain Writing Act of 2010 to expand the types of information agencies must publish publicly in plain writing. The bill creates a broad definition of “covered content” to ensure nearly all information, guidance, instructions, and other public materialsare drafted in plain writing. The bill requires new data reporting requirements to ensure information published by federal agencies improves taxpayers’ experience when they are interacting with the government. The bill also requires that all new and existing agency websites meet the new requirements within one year. Finally, the legislation makes clear that Congress and the Office of Management and Budget will increase public accountability to ensure agencies create documents, forms, webpages, and other materials that are plainly written.