Text: H.R.946 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 111-274 (10/13/2010)

 
[111th Congress Public Law 274]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



[[Page 124 STAT. 2861]]

Public Law 111-274
111th Congress

                                 An Act


 
  To enhance citizen access to Government information and services by 
  establishing that Government documents issued to the public must be 
written clearly, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 13, 2010 -  [H.R. 
                                 946]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Plain Writing 
Act of 2010.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 5 USC 301 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Plain Writing Act of 2010''.
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 5 USC 301 note.>> PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to improve the effectiveness and 
accountability of Federal agencies to the public by promoting clear 
Government communication that the public can understand and use.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Agency.--The term ``agency'' means an Executive agency, 
        as defined under section 105 of title 5, United States Code.
            (2) Covered document.--The term ``covered document''--
                    (A) means any document that--
                          (i) is necessary for obtaining any Federal 
                      Government benefit or service or filing taxes;
                          (ii) provides information about any Federal 
                      Government benefit or service; or
                          (iii) explains to the public how to comply 
                      with a requirement the Federal Government 
                      administers or enforces;
                    (B) includes (whether in paper or electronic form) a 
                letter, publication, form, notice, or instruction; and
                    (C) does not include a regulation.
            (3) Plain writing.--The term ``plain writing'' means writing 
        that is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best 
        practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended 
        audience.
SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 5 USC 301 note.>> RESPONSIBILITIES OF FEDERAL 
                    AGENCIES.

    (a) Preparation for Implementation of Plain Writing Requirements.--
            (1) In general.-- <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Not later than 9 
        months after the date of enactment of this Act, the head of each 
        agency shall--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Designation.>> designate 1 or more 
                senior officials within the agency to oversee the agency 
                implementation of this Act;

[[Page 124 STAT. 2862]]

                    (B) communicate the requirements of this Act to the 
                employees of the agency;
                    (C) train employees of the agency in plain writing;
                    (D) establish a process for overseeing the ongoing 
                compliance of the agency with the requirements of this 
                Act;
                    (E) <<NOTE: Web site.>> create and maintain a plain 
                writing section of the agency's website as required 
                under paragraph (2) that is accessible from the homepage 
                of the agency's website; and
                    (F) <<NOTE: Designation.>> designate 1 or more 
                agency points-of-contact to receive and respond to 
                public input on--
                          (i) agency implementation of this Act; and
                          (ii) the agency reports required under section 
                      5.
            (2) Website.--The plain writing section described under 
        paragraph (1)(E) shall--
                    (A) inform the public of agency compliance with the 
                requirements of this Act; and
                    (B) <<NOTE: Public comment.>> provide a mechanism 
                for the agency to receive and respond to public input 
                on--
                          (i) agency implementation of this Act; and
                          (ii) the agency reports required under section 
                      5.

    (b) Requirement to Use Plain Writing in New Documents.-- 
<<NOTE: Effective date.>> Beginning not later than 1 year after the date 
of enactment of this Act, each agency shall use plain writing in every 
covered document of the agency that the agency issues or substantially 
revises.

    (c) Guidance.--
            (1) In general.-- <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Not later than 6 
        months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of 
        the Office of Management and Budget shall develop and issue 
        guidance on implementing the requirements of this section. The 
        Director may designate a lead agency, and may use interagency 
        working groups to assist in developing and issuing the guidance.
            (2) Interim guidance.--Before the issuance of guidance under 
        paragraph (1), agencies may follow the guidance of--
                    (A) the writing guidelines developed by the Plain 
                Language Action and Information Network; or
                    (B) guidance provided by the head of the agency that 
                is consistent with the guidelines referred to in 
                subparagraph (A).
SEC. 5. <<NOTE: Publication. Web posting. 5 USC 301 
                    note.>> REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

    (a) Initial Report.--Not later than 9 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the head of each agency shall publish on the 
plain writing section of the agency's website a report that describes 
the agency plan for compliance with the requirements of this Act.
    (b) Annual Compliance Report.--Not later than 18 months after the 
date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the head of each 
agency shall publish on the plain writing section of the agency's 
website a report on agency compliance with the requirements of this Act.
SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 5 USC 301 note.>> JUDICIAL REVIEW AND 
                    ENFORCEABILITY.

    (a) Judicial Review.--There shall be no judicial review of 
compliance or noncompliance with any provision of this Act.

[[Page 124 STAT. 2863]]

    (b) Enforceability.--No provision of this Act shall be construed to 
create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by 
any administrative or judicial action.
SEC. 7. <<NOTE: 5 USC 301 note.>> BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF PAYGO 
                    LEGISLATION FOR THIS ACT.

     The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying 
with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by 
reference to the latest statement titled ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO 
Legislation'' for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional 
Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such 
statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.

    Approved October 13, 2010.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 946:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 111-432 (Comm. on Oversight and Government Reform).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 156 (2010):
            Mar. 17, considered and passed House.
            Sept. 27, considered and passed Senate, amended.
            Sept. 29, House concurred in Senate amendments.

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