The Auditor General’s office spends $40,000 a year on a consultant to provide advice, answer plain language writing questions, and give feedback to senior managers on their writing. The office also has an internal peer group to support plain language writing.
There is no policy or official statement that says the office will use plain language. The plain language focus has become part of everything that the office does. At the early stages employees think of how their writing will be included in the annual report. The Auditor General’s office is also finding that their plain language work helps to improve the way other departments communicate with taxpayers.
The government of Canada is a liberal democracy. It has an obligation to inform Canadians on a wide-range of issues, programs and services.
A Plain Language Section in Communications Policy
The policy states: “To ensure clarity and consistency of information, plain language and proper grammar must be used in all communication with the public.” The plain language provision applies to communications within and outside of government. It does not apply to Crown corporations.
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