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Achieving Excellence in Plain Language

By: Dr. Kim O’Connor, Executive Secretary

At the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), we constantly strive to communicate with the American public as transparently as possible. In fact, we share this goal with the whole Federal Government. Since the passage of the Plain Writing Act of 2010, we’ve made great strides to ensure we present information in a clear and reliable manner.

On Nov. 17, 2015, Representative Dave Loebsack and the Center for Plain Language released the 2015 Plain Language Report Card. For the second year in a row, DHS was recognized for its outstanding efforts implementing the use of plain language Department-wide.  This year, DHS was awarded an “A+” in compliance and an “A” in writing and information design. 

This report card acknowledges efforts at every level of the department to produce easily understandable content.  As Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said, “Clarity, transparency, and the Department’s responsiveness to the American public are amongst our highest priorities.”

Many DHS employees have had the opportunity to receive training on the plain language standards. The feedback I’ve received is that the training is both engaging and highly valuable.  I appreciate the efforts taking place across DHS to further institutionalize the use of plain language and ensure we continue to communicate with the American people as effectively as possible.

Last Updated: 09/21/2018
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