25 September 2023

Manual update to be reviewed in style

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The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has revealed plans to update the Australian Government Style Manual and has invited contributions from its users.

The manual is the Australian Public Service’s authoritative source of guidance for writing and editing, and DTA says its aim with the seventh edition was to make all Government communication simple, clear and easy to read.

DTA said work on the revised manual had begun with the signing of a contract for scoping work with content partner, Ethos CRS, for the first-ever digital Style Manual, to be produced in 2020.

It said that the last edition, published in 2002 was by now “dog-eared, annotated and bookmarked with sticky notes”.

“With the move to digital Government services, we also know it’s now outdated in many ways”, DTA said.

“An updated Style Manual has been anticipated for many years.

“Ethos brings significant experience in Government communications and training…it has partnered with subject experts in editing and language including the Australian National University, the Australian National Dictionary Centre and the Oxford University Press.”

DTA said the updated Style Manual would reflect contemporary Government usage. It would also have much-needed new sections on content design and digital media.

“We have been working on the Style Manual since 2017, doing user research and building prototypes,” the Agency said.

“As the authoritative source of rules and guidance for Government style, the seventh edition will also lead to significant cost savings.”

Readers with comments to offer or a will to take part in user research can contact DTA at this email address: [email protected].

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