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U.S. Department of the Interior - Open Government Initiative
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Plain Writing Act Implementation Plan




  1. Designate one or more Senior Officials responsible for implementing the Act.
    We have notified the Office of Management and Budget that the Department's senior official is the Associate Deputy Secretary.
  2. Create a plain writing section of the agency website.
    The Department's plain writing web page is located at: http://www.doi.gov/open/Plain-Writing.cfm.
  3. Communicate the Act's requirements to agency employees and train employees in plain writing.
    1. Memo to heads of bureaus and offices.
      On June 28, 2011, the Associate Deputy Secretary sent a memorandum to the heads of all bureaus and offices informing them of the requirements of the Act and the Department's implementation plan.
    2. Training for regulatory contacts and information collection clearance officers.
      We will provide classroom training in August 2011 for bureau regulatory contacts and information collection clearance officers.
    3. Department-wide online training available through DOI learn.
      The Department's training office (called DOI University or DOIU) will provide access to plain writing training videos made at the Social Security Administration.There are 18-minute and 35-minute versions. We will review these videos to determine their suitability, and, after approval, DOIU will make them available to all employees via the Department-wide computerized learning portal, called DOI Learn.
    4. Quarterly plain language courses.
      DOIU will offer quarterly plain language courses using experienced contract trainers.These trainers will customize their offerings to meet our needs and to follow the requirements of the Act.DOIU will offer at least one course quarterly, or four per year.
    5. Other training available through www.plainlanguage.gov.
      The Plain Language Action and Information Network, an interagency work group, provides free plain writing training taught by Federal employees when trainers are available.We have instructed bureaus to use this resource if they need additional classroom training.
  4. Establish a process for overseeing compliance with the Act's requirements.
    1. Publish a Federal Register notice soliciting comments on existing documents.
      We will publish this notice in the Federal Register in the near future.
    2. Review new documents.
      The Department's oversight process has three parts:
      • The Office of Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs will review Federal Register documents before they are published.
      • The Office of Policy Analysis will monitor information collections requiring approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.
      • Bureaus and offices will monitor their own documents of all other types, with spot checks by the Office of Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs when resources permit.

        Because of the large volume, complexity, and variety of documents covered by the Act, approving each document in the Department is impossible.For this reason, the Department's implementation plan relies upon bureaus to self-certify most documents.The Office of Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs and the Office of Policy Analysis will review selected documents for compliance with the Act.
    3. Review documents submitted by the public through the web page.
      We will consider recommendations received through the Federal Register notice and through comments received from the web page. This will help us to identify as priorities for revision those documents that are most important to our constituents.