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Plain Writing Act

Annual Report

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (PDF) requires federal agencies to write "clear Government communication that the public can understand and use." President Obama also emphasized the importance of establishing "a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration" in his January 21, 2009, Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.

The Department of Justice is committed to writing new documents in plain language by October 2011, using the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.
We need your help to comply with this Act! Let us know if you have trouble understanding our documents or the pages on our website:

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael H. Allen, Justice Management Division, will oversee our plain language efforts.

We must use plain language in any document that:

  • is necessary for obtaining any federal government benefit or service or filing taxes;
  • provides information about any federal government benefit or service; or
  • explains to the public how to comply with a requirement that the federal government administers or enforces.

Have you found a document that is hard to understand? Please send the title of the page and the exact URL to


Annual Report

Plain Writing Act of 2010 Implementation Compliance Report, April 13, 2012 (PDF)


Updated: April 2012
For government-wide FOIA information including how to make a FOIA request to other federal agencies, please visit FOIA.GOV.
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