Use of comprehensible language in administrative forms

Responsible organisation
Senate Department for the Interior, Digitalization and Sport
Involved organisations
Technologiestiftung Berlin/CityLAB Berlin
2022 – end of 2023
A person with a list in their hand who is looking at the list.

The accessibility of administrative forms is to be implemented consistently, particularly with regard to comprehensible language – this approach is being tested in a pilot project to form the basis for possible scaling. It is a challenging task to re-word complicated legal and technical texts – something that can be off-putting for many users – but there is a risk of resorting to overly simplistic language that is often perceived as unappreciative.

On a model basis, forms at a Citizens’ Office are checked together with citizens for their comprehensibility with regard to language and accessibility, ideas for their improvement are developed, and existing forms are revised based on the findings. Further steps: scaling of outcomes for additional forms and the creation of foreign language forms – in addition to German, at least English is to be offered. An initial approach was previously tested at the Digitalwerkstatt Verwaltung (“Digital Administration Workshop”).

In this way, draft and prototypes can be used to determine Berlin’s scope for freedom in view of the specifications deriving from the approach of the system Föderales Informationsmanagement (Federal Information Management – FIM) system. The FIM seeks to base the descriptions on the standardizations provided by law. Work stages required under the law cannot be resolved by designing the form differently: a change in the law is needed.


  • Organisation Senate Department for the Interior, Digitalization and Sport
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