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Quality and Productivity Commission


Plain Language Initiative

The County’s Quality and Productivity Commission launched a “Plain Language Initiative” campaign to promote the use of Plain Language. Plain Language is communication your audience can understand the first time they read or hear it. The purpose is to improve customer service and reduce costs.

Written material is in plain language if your audience can:

    Find what they need;

    Understand what they find; and

    Use what they find to meet their needs.

  International Plain Language Day

The Quality and Productivity Commission embraces “Plain Language” in all aspects of government. Six years ago, the Commission launched a countywide initiative to promote the use of clear communication to the public. Using plain language principles saves time, money and allows the public easy access to quality services.


The shift to plain language required a new way of thinking and communicating. Through the use of surveys, training, software, websites, articles and posters, the Commission has succeeded in initiating change in the embedded County culture. The Commission has been recognized for its efforts with a 2010 CSAC Challenge Award.

  2010 CSAC Challenge Award

The California State Association of Counties honored the Commission with the “2010 Challenge Award” for the Plain Language Initiative.


CSAC “Simply Speaking” Executive Summary


Plain Writing Act Guidelines

The Commission’s “Plain Language Initiative,” under the leadership of Commissioner Jaclyn Tilley Hill, has long supported the recently passed Plain Writing Act. Guidelines for complying with the Act can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2011/m11-15.pdf


Informational Links:


Ten Things You Need to Know About Plain Language


Plain Language Posters


Basics of Plain Language Booklet


Plain Language Tip Sheet


Plain Language Training Handbook


The Write Stuff for Quality


Plain Language Power Point Presentations


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