THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 24, 1998
Contact: (202) 456-7035
VICE PRESIDENT GORE PRESENTS
Announces First Full Session of the Plain Language Action Network
THIRD PLAIN LANGUAGE AWARD
Washington, DC - Vice President Gore presented two General Service
Administration (GSA) employees the third Plain Language Award today for
their rewrite of a GSA travel rule.
Jim Harte and Umeki Thorne, both program analysts at GSA, clarified
and streamlined a 194-word rule on government-sponsored travel down to 45
"Their work makes the rules easier to understand - and to follow,"
Vice President Gore said. "This is about making our government work better
for our dedicated employees and for our customers - the America people."
Today's "No Gobbledygook Award" builds on President Clinton's June
1st Executive Memorandum that directed all executive departments and
agencies to make government documents clearer and more straightforward, with
a goal of having all existing letters and notices into plain language by
The Vice President also announced that the Plain Language Action
Network (PLAN) will hold its first full session today. PLAN, comprised of
representatives from every cabinet department and dozens of federal
agencies, is dedicated to monitoring government compliance to President
Clinton's memorandum on Plain Language.
"I ask all of the members of PLAN, as you go into your meeting, to
commit yourselves to the principles of plain language," Vice President Gore
said. "Plain speaking helps create understanding, and understanding helps
create trust. And trust - especially trust in our government's ability to
understand and be understood by our citizens - is essential if we are to
move forward as a government and a people."
With regard to today's announcement, the attached page illustrates
the regulation both before and after it was re-written.
GSA FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATION
Section 301-2.5(b) Indirect-route or interrupted travel.
When a person for his/her own convenience travels by an indirect route or
interrupts travel by a direct route, the extra expenses shall be borne by
him/her. Reimbursement for expenses shall be based only on such charges as
would have been incurred by a usually traveled route. An employee may not
use contract airline/rail passenger service provided under contract with the
General Services Administration (see part 301-15, subpart B, or this
chapter) for that portion of travel by an indirect route which is for
personal convenience. Additionally, an employee may not use a U.S.
Government Transportation Request (GTR) (see section 301-10.2 of this
chapter) or a contractor-issued charge card (see part 301-15, subpart C, of
this chapter) for procurement of commercial carrier transportation services
for that portion of travel by an indirect route which is for personal
convenience. An employee may, however, use contract airline/rail passenger
service, as well as a GTR or contractor-issued charge card, for portions of
travel that are authorized to be performed at Government expense. (See
section 301-11.5(a) of this chapter regarding reimbursement claims for
travel that involves an indirect route.)
Section 301.10.8 What is my liability if, for personal convenience, I
travel or use an indirect route?
If you travel on government business by anything other than the most direct,
least cost route available, you must pay for the added costs so the
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