Committee suggests simplifying jargon-filled Savannah River Site documents

Politicians might not always speak in plain language, but the federal government is supposed to, according to a committee that wants Savannah River Site to do a better job.


There’s even a law that requires public documents be simple enough for the masses, wrote members of the SRS Citizens Advisory Board, in a request to Energy Department site manager David Moody.

Citing the Plain Writing Act of 2010, the board said many of the site’s complex and acronym-studded public documents fall short of the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.

Those guidelines require that agencies prepare documents so that “users can find what they need, understand what they find; and use what they find to meet their needs.”

The advisory board also suggested that SRS take steps to improve its online presence by updating its Web sites.

“While the Citizens Advisory Board recognizes that it takes time for initiatives to be implemented, DOE’s websites do not have adequate search features, documents are not readable and many documents are not posted online,” the board said.

Moody, in a response to the group, pledged to share the recommendations with headquarters and work to improve the site’s ability to simplify its interaction with the public.

“The Department appreciates and agrees with the CAB’s position that releasable information should be written in a reader-friendly, understandable language and also be made readily available to the public in a timely manner,” he said.

Web site improvements were to be under way this month, he added.