On 13 November Henk Sigmond, director of the Regional Tax Group (RBG) signed the national Clear Now Deal. As a signatory, the RBG indicates that it is committed to clear language and will continue its efforts in this regard.
Director Henk Sigmond: ‘We think it’s important that our customers understand our letters. We rewrote our letters years ago in a customer-focused way. Now we are taking it a step further with the implementation of Clear Now. This ensures that more people know what is expected of them, and also that more people know what their rights are.’
What is the Clear Now Deal?
The government wants authorities to write clear and understandable texts. The purpose is that more people can participate and know what is expected of them. As a government organisation, you can sign the Clear Now Deal. This shows your commitment to ensuring clarity in contracts as an organisation. This certifies that you are a government organisation that communicates in clear and understandable language.
How do you communicate clearly and directly?
A number of rules have been established for this purpose. The main rules are:
- Write from the reader’s point of view
- Say right away what your decision is
- Write in specific terms
- Use easy words and short sentences
- Use images to explain things clearly
What does the RBG do?
- We started rewriting difficult language in our letters.
- The website has already been largely rewritten.
- We have trained language coaches. They help employees write letters and emails that are instantly clear to people.
- We purchased a tool that helps employees write clear texts.
- Later this year, all writing staff will receive language training.
- We are exploring how best to have our letters tested by others.
The RBG is also looking at other options
The RBG does not just address the content of letters and emails. Sometimes a letter is not the best way to communicate. We then look at other options, such as a phone call or a home visit