Report Card Grades Government Agencies' Writing

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2013 report card results from the Center for Plain LanguageIf you're like many Americans, you struggle with reading IRS documents and scratch your head when looking for information on the Department of Labor's webpage.

Well, there happens to be a law that requires federal agencies to use language that's simple to read. It's called the Plain Writing Act, and it went into effect in 2011.

For the second year, the Center for Plain Language is grading how well 20 federal agencies communicated with the public and complied with the act.

The Social Security Administration is at the head of the class with two A's. The Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are at the bottom with F's and D's.

Congressman Bruce Braley of Iowa, who authored the Plain Writing Act, joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss the results.


  • Bruce Braley, U.S. Representative for Iowa's 1st Congressional District and author of the Plain Writing Act.

This segment aired on November 19, 2013.


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