Number: 111- 55
Date: September 30, 2010

House and Senate Pass H.R. 946, the
“Plain Writing Act of 2010”


On September 29, 2010, the House passed H.R. 946, the “Plain Writing Act of 2010” by voice vote.  On September 27, 2010, the Senate passed the same bill by unanimous consent.  The legislation now awaits the President’s signature to become law.
H.R. 946 contains the following provisions of interest to SSA:

  • Would require that all agency documents-- letters, publications, forms, notices and instructions whether paper or electronic --use plain writing within one year after enactment 1 .
  • Would require the agency to communicate and train employees in plain writing.
  • Would require the agency to create and maintain a plain writing section on the agency’s website to: (1) inform the public of agency compliance with the Act; and (2) receive and respond to public input on implementation and reports required under the Act.
  • Would require that the agency designate one or more points of contact to receive and respond to public input on agency implementation of the Act and the required reports.
  • Would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by six months after enactment, to develop and issue guidance on implementing the plain writing requirements. Would authorize the Director of OMB to designate a lead agency and use interagency working groups to assist in developing and issuing such guidance.


1 Regulations would be excepted from the plain writing requirement.