Friday, June 12, 2009

Plain English is not understood in the IoM

The blurb being issued by the IoM's Depositors' Compensation Scheme is a classic example of gobbledegook in communicating to depositors the mechanisms of claiming compensation.

The 'Plain English Campaign' website here   has been active since 1979 helping government & local authority agencies to get rid of gobbledegook in their official statements & leaflets. The IoM government needs urgently to look at the excellent courses offered to train agency staff how to communicate in language that is simple to understand.

In response to a depositor's concern about the security of an on-line claim, the IoM DCS Agency wrote::

"With regard to the security aspect I would make the following comments. We assessed two key risks - the access risk (ie at the database level) and the transmission risk. The basic infrastructure of the database contains levels of control at the access point (ie login/password credentials) and data level security (based on credential and roles). The transmission risk was more problematical in that with a start date of 27 May, but against a backdrop of great pressure to act (the bank having been closed since 8 October 2008) the decision had to be made whether to secure the transport layer for sessions with the consequential impact on the development time.

The conclusion reached was that the risk of exposing the data traffic itself was slight in that several separate data sets would need to be captured to obtain meaningful information. Thereafter, compensation payments themselves will be dependent upon a number of other checks both data validation and physical checks, before payments are released to a location known to be that of the claimant/depositor.

I am not entirely sure if this answers your point, but I would be happy to consider any points you might wish to make.

Mike Fayle
Scheme Agent"

The 'Plain English Campaign' have asked for examples of government agency gobbledegook. I will be sending Mr. Fayle's letter to the Campaign as an entry for the Campaign's Golden Bull Award for the worst gobbledegook 2009.

1 comment:

  1. Funnily enough, in trying to read some of the stuff on the website today, I suddenly got overcome with the tediousness of trying to understand precisely what they were saying. Thus, I posted a comment to that website and also to the old website about the lack of PLAIN ENGLISH. I've had eight months of trying to understand what is being said and I am very fed up with it. Thank you for agreeing!