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An act to authorize the establishment of a system governing the creation and operation of
advisory committees in the executive branch of the Federal Government and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
Congress assembled, That:
Section 2. Findings and Purposes
(a) The Congress finds that there are numerous committees, boards, commissions,
councils, and similar groups which have been established to advise officers and agencies in the
executive branch of the Federal Government and that they are frequently a useful and beneficial
means of furnishing expert advice, ideas, and diverse opinions to the Federal Government.
(b) The Congress finds and declares that --
(1) the need for many existing advisory committees has not been adequately
(2) new advisory committees should be established only when they are determined to
be essential and their number should be kept to the minimum necessary;
(3) advisory committees should be terminated when they are no longer carrying out
the purposes for which they were established;
(4) standards and uniform procedures should govern the establishment, operation,
administration, and duration of advisory committees;
(5) the Congress and the public should be kept informed with respect to the number,
purpose, membership, activities, and cost of advisory committees; and
(6) the function of advisory committees should be advisory only, and that all matters
under their consideration should be determined, in accordance with law, by the official,
agency, or officer involved.
Section 3. Definitions
For the purpose of this Act --
(1) The term "Administrator" means the Administrator of the General Services
(2) The term "advisory committee" means any committee, board, commission,
council, conference, panel, task force, or other similar group, or any subcommittee or
other sub-group thereof (hereafter in this paragraph referred to as "committee"), which is
(A) established by statute or organization plan, or
(B) established or utilized by the President; or
(C) established or utilized by one or more agencies;
in the interest of obtaining advise and recommendations for the President or one or more
agencies or offices of the Federal Government, except that such term excludes
(i) any committee that is composed wholly of full-time, or permanent
part-time, officers or employees of the Federal Government, and
(ii) any committee that is created by the National Academy of Sciences
of the National Academy of Public Administration.
Section 4. Applicability
(a) The provisions of this Act or of any rule, order, or regulation promulgated under the
Act shall apply to each advisory committee except to the extent that any Act of Congress
establishing any such advisory committee specifically provides otherwise.
(b) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to apply to any advisory committee established
or utilized by --
(1) the Central Intelligence Agency; or
(2) the Federal Reserve System.
(c) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to apply to any local civic group whose primary
function is that of rendering a public service with respect to a Federal program, or any State of
local committee, council, board, commission, or similar group established to advise or make
recommendations to State of local officials or agencies.
Section 5. Responsibilities of Congressional Committees
(a) In the exercise of its legislative review functions, each standing committee of the
Senate and the House of Representatives, shall make a continuing review of the activities of
each advisory committee under its jurisdiction to determine whether such advisory committee
should be abolished or merged with any other advisory committee, whether the responsibilities of
each advisory committee should be revised, and whether such advisory committee performs a
necessary function not already being performed. Each such standing committee shall take
appropriate action to obtain the enactment of legislation necessary to carry out the purpose of
(b) In considering legislation establishing, or authorizing the establishment of any
advisory committee, each standing committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives,
shall determine, and report such determination to the Senate or to the House of Representatives,
as the case may be, whether the functions of the proposed advisory committee are being or
could be performed by one or more agencies or by an advisory committee already in existence,
or by enlarging the mandate of an existing advisory committee. Any such legislation shall --
(1) contain a clearly defined purpose for the advisory committee;
(2) require the membership of the advisory committee to be fairly balanced in terms
of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed by the advisory
(3) contain appropriate provisions to assure that the advice and recommendations of
the advisory committee will not be inappropriately influenced by the appointing authority
or by any special interest, but will instead be the result of the advisory committee's
(4) contain provisions dealing with authorization of appropriations, the date for
submission of reports (if any), the duration of the advisory committee, and the
publication of reports and other materials, to the extent that the standing committee
determines the provisions of section 10 of this Act to be inadequate; and
(5) contain provisions which will assure that the advisory committee will have
adequate staff (either supplied by an agency or employed by it), will be provided
adequate quarters, and will have funds available to meet its other necessary expenses.
(c) To the extent they are applicable, the guidelines set out in subsection (b) of this
section shall be followed by the President, agency heads, or other Federal officials in creating an
Section 6. Responsibilities of the President
(a) The President may delegate responsibility for evaluating and taking action, where
appropriate, with respect to all public recommendations made to him by Presidential advisory
(b) Within one year after a Presidential advisory committee has submitted a public report
to the President, the President or his delegate shall make a report to the Congress stating either
his proposals for action or his reasons for inaction, with respect to the recommendations
contained in the public report.
(c) The President shall, not later than December 31 of each year, make an annual report
to the Congress on the activities, status, and changes in the composition of advisory committees
in existence during the proceeding fiscal year. The report shall contain the name of every
advisory committee, the date of and the authority for its creation, its termination date or the date
it is to make a report, its functions, a reference to the reports it has submitted, a statement of
whether it is an ad hoc or continuing body, the dates of its meetings, the names and occupations
of its current members, and the total estimated annual cost to the United States to fund, service,
supply, and maintain such committee. Such report shall include a list of those advisory
committees abolished by the President, and in the case of advisory committees established by
statute, a list of those advisory committees which the President recommends be abolished
together with his reasons therefor. The President shall exclude from this report any information
which, in his judgment, should be withheld for reasons of national security, and he shall include
in such report a statement that such information is excluded.
Section 7. Responsibilities of the Administrator of General Services, Committee Management
Secretariat, establishment; review; recommendations to the President and
Congress; agency cooperation; performance guidelines; uniform pay guidelines;
travel expenses; expense recommendations
(a) The Administrator shall establish and maintain within the General Services
Administration a Committee Management Secretariat, which shall be responsible for all matters
relating to advisory committees.
(b) The Administrator shall, immediately after October 6, 1972, institute a
comprehensive review of the activities and responsibilities of each advisory committee to
(1) whether such committee is carrying out its purpose;
(2) whether, consistent with the provisions of applicable statutes, the responsibilities
assigned to it should be revised;
(3) whether it should be merged with other advisory committees; or
(4) whether it should be abolished.
The Administrator may from time to time request such information as he deems necessary to
carry out his functions under this subsection. Upon the completion of the Administrator's review
he shall make recommendations to the President and to either the agency head or the Congress
with respect to actions he believes should be taken. Thereafter, the Administrator shall carry out
a similar review annually. Agency heads shall cooperate with the Administrator in making the
reviews required by this subsection.
(c) The Administrator shall prescribe administrative guidelines and management controls
applicable to advisory committees, and, to the maximum extent feasible, provide advice,
assistance, and guidance to advisory committees to improve their performance. In carrying out
his functions under this subsection, the Administrator shall consider the recommendations of
each agency head with respect to means of improving the performance of advisory committees
whose duties are related to such agency.
(d)(1) The Administrator, after study and consultation with the Director of the Office of
Personnel Management, shall establish guidelines with respect to uniform fair rates of pay for
comparable services by members, staffs, and consultants for advisory committees in a manner
which gives appropriate recognition to the responsibilities and qualifications required and other
relevant factors. Such regulations shall provide that --
(A) no member of an advisory committee or of the staff of any advisory
committee shall receive compensation at a rate in excess of the rate specified for
GS-18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of Title 5, United States Code;
(B) such members, while engaged in the performance of their duties away from
their homes or regular places of business, may be allowed travel expenses, including
per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of Title 5, United
States Code, for persons employed intermittently in the Government service; and
(C) such members --
(i) who are blind or deaf or who otherwise qualify as handicapped
individuals (within the meaning of section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
(29 U.S.C. §794), and
(ii) who do not otherwise qualify under section 3102 of Title 5, United
States Code, by reason of being an employee of an agency (within the meaning
of section 3102(a)(1) of such Title 5), may be provided services pursuant to
section 3102 of such Title 5 while in performance of their advisory committee
(2) Nothing in this subsection shall prevent --
(A) an individual who (without regard to his service with an advisory committee)
is a full-time employee of the United States, or
(B) an individual who immediately before his service with an advisory committee
was such an employee, from receiving compensation at the rate at which he
otherwise would be compensated (or was compensated) as a full-time employee of
the United States.
(e) The Administrator shall include in budget recommendations a summary of the
amounts he deems necessary for the expenses of advisory committees, including the expenses
for publication of reports where appropriate.
Section 8. Responsibilities of Agency Heads; Advisory Committee Management Officer;
(a) Each agency head shall establish uniform guidelines and management controls for
advisory committees established by that agency, which shall be consistent with directives of the
Administrator under section 7 and section 10. Each agency shall maintain systematic
information on the nature, functions, and operations of each advisory committee within its
(b) The head of each agency which has an advisory committee shall designate an
Advisory Committee Management Officer who shall --
(1) exercise control and supervision over the establishment, procedure, and
accomplishments of advisory committees established by the agency;
(2) assemble and maintain the reports, records, and other papers of any such
committee during its existence; and
(3) carry out, on behalf of that agency, the provisions of section 552 of Title 5, United
States Code, with respect to such reports, records, and other papers.
Section 9. Establishment and purpose of advisory committee; publication in Federal
Register; charter; filing, contents, copy
(a) No advisory committee shall be established unless such establishment is --
(1) specifically authorized by statute or by the President; or
(2) determined as a matter of formal record, by the head of the agency involved after
consultation with the Administrator, with timely notice published in the Federal Register,
to be in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed on that
agency by law.
(b) Unless otherwise specifically provided by statute or Presidential directive, advisory
committees shall be utilized solely for advisory functions. Determinations of action to be taken
and policy to be expressed with respect to matters upon which an advisory committee reports or
makes recommendations shall be made solely by the President or an officer of the Federal
(c) No advisory committee shall meet or take any action until an advisory committee
charter has been filed with (1) the Administrator, in the case of Presidential advisory committees,
or (2) with the head of the agency to whom any advisory committee reports and with the standing
committee of the Senate and of the House of Representatives having legislative jurisdiction of
such agency. Such charter shall contain the following information:
(A) the committee's official designation;
(B) the committee's objectives and the scope of its activity;
(C) the period of time necessary for the committee to carry out its purpose;
(D) the agency or official to whom the committee reports;
(E) the agency responsible for providing the necessary support for the
(F) a description of the duties for which the committee is responsible, and, if
such duties are not solely advisory, a specification of the authority for such function;
(G) the estimated annual operating costs in dollars and man-years for such
(H) the estimated number and frequency of committee meetings;
(I) the committee's termination date, if less than two years from the date of the
committee's establishment; and
(J) the date the charter is filed.
A copy of any such charter shall also be furnished to the Library of Congress.
Section 10. Advisory committee procedures; meetings; notice, publication in Federal
Register; regulations; minutes; certification; annual report; Federal officer or
(a)(1) Each advisory committee meeting shall be open to the public.
(2) Except when the President determines otherwise for reasons of national security,
timely notice of each such meeting shall be published in the Federal Register, and the
Administrator shall prescribe regulations to provide for other types of public notice to
insure that all interested persons are notified of such meeting prior thereto.
(3) Interested persons shall be permitted to attend, appear before, or file statements
with any advisory committee, subject to such reasonable rules or regulations as the
Administrator may prescribe.
(b) Subject to section 552 of Title 5, United States Code, the records, reports, transcripts,
minutes, appendixes, working papers, drafts, studies, agenda, or other documents which were
made available to or prepared for or by each advisory committee shall be available for public
inspection and copying at a single location in the offices of the advisory committee or the agency
to which the advisory committee reports until the advisory committee ceases to exist.
(c) Detailed minutes of each meeting of each advisory committee shall be kept and shall
contain a record of the persons present, a complete and accurate description of matters
discussed and conclusions reached, and copies of all reports received, issued, or approved by
the advisory committee. The accuracy of all minutes shall be certified to by the chairman of the
(d) Subsections (a)(1) and (a)(3) of this section shall not apply to any portion of an
advisory committee meeting where the President, or the head of the agency to which the
advisory committee reports, determines that such portion of such meeting may be closed to the
public in accordance with subsection (c) of section 552b of Title 5, United States Code. Any
such determination shall be in writing and shall contain the reasons for such determination. If
such a determination is made, the advisory committee shall issue a report at least annually
setting forth a summary of its activities and such related matters as would be informative to the
public consistent with the policy of section 552(b) of Title 5, United States Code.
(e) There shall be designated an officer or employee of the Federal Government to chair
or attend each meeting of each advisory committee. The officer or employee so designated is
authorized, whenever he determines it to be in the public interest, to adjourn any such meeting.
No advisory committee shall conduct any meeting in the absence of that officer or employee.
(f) Advisory committees shall not hold any meetings except at the call of, or with the
advance approval of, a designated officer or employee of the Federal Government, and in the
case of advisory committees (other than Presidential advisory committees), with an agenda
approved by such officer or employee.
Section 11. Availability of transcripts; "agency proceeding"
(a) Except where prohibited by contractual agreements entered into prior to the effective
date of this Act, agencies and advisory committees shall make available to any person, at actual
cost of duplication, copies of transcripts of agency proceedings or advisory committee meetings.
(b) As used in this section "agency proceeding" means any proceeding as defined in
section 551(12) of Title 5, United States Code.
Section 12. Fiscal and administrative provisions; record-keeping; audit;
agency support services
(a) Each agency shall keep records as will fully disclose the disposition of any funds
which may be at the disposal of its advisory committees and the nature and extent of their
activities. The General Services Administration, or such other agency as the President may
designate, shall maintain financial records with respect to Presidential advisory committees. The
Comptroller General of the United States, or any of his authorized representatives, shall have
access, for the purpose of audit and examination, to any such records.
(b) Each agency shall be responsible for providing support services for each advisory
committee established or reporting to it unless the establishing authority provides otherwise.
Where any such advisory committee reports to more than one agency, only one agency shall be
responsible for support services at any one time. In the case of Presidential advisory
committees, such services may be provided by the General Services Administration.
Section 13. Responsibilities of Library of Congress; reports and background papers;
Subject to section 552 of Title 5, United States Code, the Administrator shall provide for
the filing with the Library of Congress of at least eight copies of each report made by every
advisory committee and, where appropriate, background papers prepared by consultants. The
Librarian of Congress shall establish a depository for such reports and papers where they shall
be available to public inspection and use.
Section 14. Termination of advisory committees; renewal; continuation
(a)(1) Each advisory committee which is in existence on the effective date of this Act
shall terminate not later than the expiration of the two-year period following such effective date
(A) in the case of an advisory committee established by the President or an
officer of the Federal Government, such advisory committee is renewed by the
President or that officer by appropriate action prior to the expiration of such two-year
(B) in the case of an advisory committee established by an Act of Congress, its
duration is otherwise provided for by law.
(2) Each advisory committee established after such effective date shall terminate not
later than the expiration of the two-year period beginning on the date of its establishment
(A) in the case of an advisory committee established by the President or an
officer of the Federal Government such advisory committee is renewed by the
President or such officer by appropriate action prior to the end of such period; or
(B) in the case of an advisory committee established by an Act of Congress, its
duration is otherwise provided for by law.
(b)(1) Upon the renewal of any advisory committee, such advisory committee shall file a
charter in accordance with section 9(c).
(2) Any advisory committee established by an Act of Congress shall file a charter in
accordance with such section upon the expiration of each successive two-year period
following the date of enactment of the Act establishing such advisory committee.
(3) No advisory committee required under this subsection to file a charter shall take
any action (other than preparation and filing of such charter) prior to the date on which
such charter is filed.
(c) Any advisory committee which is renewed by the President or any officer of the
Federal Government may be continued only for successive two-year periods by appropriate
action taken by the President or such officer prior to the date on which such advisory committee
would otherwise terminate.
Section 15. Requirements Relating to the National Academy of Sciences and the
National Academy of Public Administration
(a) An agency may not use any advice or recommendations provided by the National
Academy of Sciences or National Academy of Public Administration that was developed by use
of a committee created by that academy under an agreement with the agency, unless --
(1) the committee was not subject to any actual management or control by an agency
or an officer of the Federal Government;
(2) in the case of a committee created after the date of the enactment of the Federal
Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 1997, the membership of the committee was
appointed in accordance with the requirements described in subsection (b)(1); and
(3) in developing the advice or recommendation, the academy complied with --
(A) subsection (b)(2) through (6), in the case of any advice or recommendation
provided by the National Academy of Sciences, or
(B) subsection (b)(2) and (5), in the case of any advice or recommendation
provided by the National Academy of Public Administration.
(b) The requirements referred to in subsection (a) are as follows:
(1) The Academy shall determine and provide public notice of the names and brief
biographies of individuals that the Academy appoints or intends to appoint to serve on
the committee. The Academy shall determine and provide a reasonable opportunity for
the public to comment on such appointments before they are made or, if the Academy
determines such prior comment is not practicable, in the period immediately following
the appointments. The Academy shall make its best efforts to ensure that
(A) no individual appointed to serve on the committee has a conflict of interest
that is relevant to the functions to be performed, unless such conflict is promptly and
publicly disclosed and the Academy determines that the conflict is unavoidable,
(B) the committee membership is fairly balanced as determined by the Academy
to be appropriate for the functions to be performed, and
(C) the final report of the Academy will be the result of the Academy's
independent judgment. The Academy shall require that individuals that the Academy
appoints or intends to appoint to serve on the committee inform the Academy of the
individual's conflicts of interest that are relevant to the functions to be performed.
(2) The Academy shall determine and provide public notice of committee meetings
that will be open to the public.
(3) The Academy shall ensure that meetings of the committee to gather data from
individuals who are not officials, agents, or employees of the Academy are open to the
public, unless the Academy determines that a meeting would disclose matters described
in section 552(b) of Title 5, United States Code. The Academy shall make available to
the public, at reasonable charge if appropriate, written materials presented to the
committee by individuals who are not officials, agents, or employees of the Academy,
unless the Academy determines that making material available would disclose matters
described in that section.
(4) The Academy shall make available to the public as soon as practicable, at
reasonable charge if appropriate, a brief summary of any committee meeting that is not
a data gathering meeting, unless the Academy determines that the summary would
disclose matters described in section 552(b) of Title 5, United States Code. The
summary shall identify the committee members present, the topics discussed, materials
made available to the committee, and such other matters that the Academy determines
should be included.
(5) The Academy shall make available to the public its final report, at reasonable
charge if appropriate, unless the Academy determines that the report would disclose
matters described in section 552(b) of Title 5, United States Code. If the Academy
determines that the report would disclose matters described in that section, the Academy
shall make public an abbreviated version of the report that does not disclose those
(6) After publication of the final report, the Academy shall make publicly available the
names of the principal reviewers who reviewed the report in draft form and who are not
officials, agents, or employees of the Academy.
(c) The Administrator of General Services may issue regulations implementing this
(d)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), this section and the amendments made by
this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(2) Subsection (a) and the amendments made by subsection (a) shall be effective as
of October 6, 1972, except that they shall not apply with respect to or otherwise affect
any particular advice or recommendations that are subject to any judicial action filed
before the date of the enactment of this Act.
Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of General
Services shall submit a report to the Congress on the implementation of and compliance with the
amendments made by this Act.
Section 16. Effective Date
Except as provided in section 7(b), this Act shall become effective upon the expiration of ninety days following the date of enactment.