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Plain writing compliance report, April 13, 2017

Plain language officials

  • Greg Scott, Assistant Staff Director, Information Division, Office of Communications, is the Federal Election Commission’s Senior Official Responsible for Plain Writing.
  • The FEC’s Plain Language Coordinators are Amy Kort, Performance Manager, Office of the Deputy Staff Director for Management and Administration, and Robert Kahn, Attorney, Administrative Law Team, Office of General Counsel.

Communications in plain language

The FEC has a long-standing commitment to using plain language in its publications and other documents. Specific examples include:

Informing and educating agency staff

  • We have posted information on the agency’s intranet site that describes requirements of the Plain Writing Act of 2010, including a PowerPoint presentation and links to additional resources. This information reaches all FEC employees.
  • We have encouraged agency staff to take our on-line training course that reviews plain language principles and provides specific examples of plain writing. Many staff members who routinely communicate with the public have completed the course.

Ongoing compliance

  • Performance Manager Amy Kort and Attorney Robert Kahn are the agency’s primary contacts for compliance issues. Mr. Kahn focuses on documents produced by the Office of General Counsel, while Ms. Kort is responsible for all other covered publications and documents.
  • Ms. Kort and Mr. Kahn not only monitor our use of plain language, they also document and respond to public feedback through our plainlanguage@fec.gov e-mail account. They keep detailed records of this activity to help measure our success and for use in our annual Plain Writing Act compliance reports. During the past year, we have not received any comments or questions about our Plain Language program.

Plain language web page

Evaluating customer satisfaction

Over the years, we have periodically asked our customers to evaluate our services, including the clarity of our publications. While responses to these mail-in surveys have generally been favorable, we continue to seek public input to improve not only our use of plain language, but all of our public services. We continue to expand and improve our evaluation process by using e-mail, the web and other technologies. Robust interaction between the agency and the public is essential to the success of our plain language program.

During the past year, we have received consistently favorable feedback regarding our outreach materials, including materials distributed at agency conferences and on our website and YouTube page.