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Clear Language and Cost Savings


The Alberta government now has clear evidence that plain language forms save money. At Alberta Agriculture, "with 1,034,530 forms processed a year, and savings in staff time of at least 10 minutes per form ... the annual saving to the government is an astounding $3,472,014."

"Alberta Agriculture saves money with plain language," Christine Mowat, Clarity, 1997

Royal Insurance of Canada had a 38% increase in sales when plain language was used in homeowners’ insurance policies (from $59 million to $79 million).

Rapport: News about Plain Language, #19, 1996

In Australia, by rewriting one legal document, the Victoria Government saved the equivalent of $400,000 a year in staff salaries.

Writing in Plain English, R.D. Eagleson, Australian Government Publishing Service, 1990

The Motorola Corporate Finance Department has substantially improved its operation after a quality movement. They now close their books in 4 days, down from 12 in 1987. Changes such as clearer directions on forms have helped streamline the process – and save $20,000,000 a year.

"Motorola and NEC Going for Glory," L. Therrien, Business Week, 1991

The Ontario Records Council estimates the government has about 83,000 forms. They cost $29 million to print and $2 billion to process. Processing costs are high because 80% of public forms are filled out incorrectly. It costs 10 times more to process forms completed with errors.

Ontario Government Forms Management Survey Report, Ontario Records Council, Forms Forum, 1993

Since the British Government began its review of forms in 1982, it has scrapped 27,000 forms, redesigned 41,000 forms, and saved over $28,000,000.

Writing in Plain English, R.D. Eagleson, Australian Government Publishing Service, 1990

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