Jul 26, 2012

I Haven't Noticed Social Security Changing Its Notices To Make Them Easier To Understand -- Have You?

     From the Baltimore Sun:
Advocates for plain language have issued their first report card on how clearly federal agencies communicate with taxpayers and others — and the Social Security Administration has drawn a pair of C's.
That put the Woodlawn-based administration in the middle of the dozen agencies assessed by the Center for Plain Language. The Washington-based organization promotes clear, easy-to-understand communication in government, business, nonprofits and academia.
On the first anniversary of the Plain Writing Act, the center graded each agency this month on how well it has met the requirements of the law and how well it has followed the "spirit" of the legislation. The Social Security Administration earned C's in each category. ...
A spokesman for the Social Security Administration said the agency strongly encourages plain writing, "because it is important that our millions of public communications are clear and concise."
"Even prior to the Plain Writing Act, we began a massive overhaul of our online services, our notices, and even our internal instructions to adhere to the principles of plain language," spokesman Mark Hinkle said. "We know that we can do more to improve our communications."
But Hinkle also defended the agency, saying the report card focused more on the process of conforming to the law than the agency's actual communications.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I sincerely applaud the attempt at plain writing, however, I think SSA (at least in our area) has a tremendous amount of room for improvement! I wonder how much could be saved by just NOT sending out the countless meanlingless notices that are automatically generated when a claimant is awarded both Titles II and XVI after having waited for years....