Plain Language in Regulatory Drafting

Recommendation 2017-3 – Plain Language in Regulatory Drafting identifies tools and techniques agencies have used successfully to write regulatory documents (including rulemaking preambles and guidance documents) using plain language, proposes best practices for agencies in structuring their internal drafting processes, and suggests ways agencies can best use trainings and other informational resources.

Citation: Admin. Conf. of the U.S., Recommendation 2017-3, Plain Language in Regulatory Drafting82 Fed. Reg. 61728 (Dec. 29, 2017).


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Final Recommendation

  • Recommendation number: 2017-3
  • Adopted on: December 14, 2017
  • Committees: Regulation

For decades, agencies have worked to make regulatory requirements more comprehensible to regulatory stakeholders and the public at large, including by using “plain language” or “plain writing.”[1] Clearly drafting and explaining regulations facilitates the core administrative law goals of public participation, efficient compliance, judicial review, and the protection of rights. Numerous statutory and executive requirements direct...