Uncle Sam Still Can’t Write Very Well, Study Shows

July 19, 2012

Uncle Sam's writing is still a work in progress, according to a nonprofit watchdog group that advocates for a jargon-free government.

The Center for Plain Language on Thursday issued report cards for the first time grading several agencies' efforts to comply with a 2010 law to make government documents, reports and forms easier to read and understand. The 12 departments and agencies included in the analysis received two grades, one for compliance with the law's specific requirements and another that evaluated their efforts in areas such as training and measuring results.

So far, the Agriculture Department is leading the pack in clear and concise communication, earning an A from the center for compliance with the law and a B for meeting more subjective criteria. The Defense and Labor departments, as well as the National Archives and Records Administration, each earned a B for fulfilling basic requirements, but did not fare as well in the other category, earning a D, an F, and a C, respectively. 

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