United States expands its plain language law
Twelve years after legislating the use of plain language, the US Senate has passed the Clear and Concise Content Act of 2022. Gary Peters, chair of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, says, ‘This bill does exactly what its name implies – it makes government communications easier to understand.’
In an exciting win for plain language, the act expands the Plain Writing Act of 2010 to cover nearly all public-facing material from government agencies. This includes any document that:
- is needed to get federal benefits or services
- is needed to file taxes
- tells people about federal benefits or services
- explains how to comply with federal government requirements.
This came mere weeks after New Zealand passed its Plain Language Act that aims to have ‘language that everyone and anyone can understand’.
We expect more countries will follow suit this year as the International Plain Language Federation develops an ISO standard.