Click here to skip navigation
An official website of the United States Government.
Skip Navigation

In This Section

    Open Government Blog

    Posted 4:57 PM by

    You Have Questions…We Have Answers

    We have created a searchable Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) site designed to make finding and sharing information more efficient for our employees, external stakeholders and you, the general public.

    The searchable FAQs are available at and contain information across all program areas. You can search for information using common language (e.g., What is Open Government?) or browse by topic (e.g., Senior Executive Service). Answers to your questions are displayed immediately and a list of the Top10 Questions is also available for review. Many questions can be answered right away with FAQs. Why wait in line on the phone? Go online today. Ready, set, search!!!

    Posted 10:50 AM by

    On October 13, 2010, President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act into law. This Act requires all Federal agencies to write most documents in plain language and requires all new covered documents to be written in plain language beginning October 13th.

    As you know, plain language is communicating with your audience so they understand what you're saying the first time they read or hear it. It's worth remembering that language that is "plain" to one set of readers may not be plain to others. So keeping in mind who your audience is will help immeasurably.

    Written material is in plain language if your audience can easily:

    • Find what they need;
    • Understand what they find; and
    • Use what they find to meet their needs.

    What kind of documents should be written in plain language? Any document that (1) is necessary for obtaining any Federal Government benefit or service or filing taxes, (2) provides information about any Federal Government benefit or service, or (3) explains to the public how to comply with a requirement the Federal Government administers or enforces. This includes (whether in paper or electronic form) a letter, publication, form, notice, or instruction and does not include regulations.

    Want to learn more? Online plain language training is available from the National Institutes of Health at You don’t have to login, just click Browse to get started.

    If you have any questions, please visit our Plain Language site or feel free to leave us a comment here.


    Learn More

    If you would like to learn more about the OpenOPM initiative, visit

    Control Panel

    Unexpected Error

    There was an unexpected error when performing your action.

    Your error has been logged and the appropriate people notified. You may close this message and try your command again, perhaps after refreshing the page. If you continue to experience issues, please notify the site administrator.