Center for Plain Language publishes 2020 federal government plain language report card

The Center for Plain Language published its 2020 federal website plain language report card.

“This year we evaluated 20 Executive Branch agencies, including all 15 cabinet-level departments,” says the Center for Plain Language. “Agencies earned grades between A and F for both organizational compliance, covering the staffing, training, and annual reporting required by law, and writing, focusing on how easy it is to find, understand, and use information the public needs. For this year’s writing grade, we looked at two online pages from each agency.”

Key findings:

  • Most agencies are missing the mark when communicating about the pandemic.
  • Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) kept their Coronavirus pages focused on the public.
  • Only three agencies earned A-level grades for writing.
  • Half of agencies are doing an excellent job following the law’s basic requirements, but a third are failing.

Download the report (PDF)

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at


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