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Obama signs bill to improve government communication


President Barack Obama has signed into law the Plain Writing Act, which requires the federal government to write public documents more clearly.

The bill is sponsored by Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio), leaders of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management. Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) authored the bill in the House of Representatives.

“This new law will make the federal government more efficient,” Akaka said. “Agencies will be required to issue documents which are clear, well organized, and understandable. Federal employees will spend less time answering customer service questions, and American citizens will be better able to hold the government accountable.”

“It is vital that government forms and documents are easy for the American public to use and understand, and I am pleased that President Obama signed this bill into law,” Voinovich said. “Anyone who has done their own taxes understands how badly plain writing is needed. Americans spend 7.6 billion hours a year grappling with incomprehensible tax forms and instructions. In fact, 82 percent of Americans get so confused they pay for help filing their taxes – stripping dollars from much-needed tax refunds. We work for the American people, and our constituents should be able to understand in clear language exactly what public documents ask of them.”

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