Advisory Commitees

Federal Advisory Committee Act

In 1972, Congress formally instituted federal use of advisory committees with the enactment of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Public Law 92-463, 5 U.S.C., App).  The establishment and purpose of an advisory committee is to ensure that expert advice and recommendations, ideas, and diverse opinions are rendered to the executive branch of the Federal Government.

Through the enactment of FACA, Congress formally recognized the merits of seeking the advice and assistance of our nation’s citizens.  Advisory committees are to:

  • Provide advice that is relevant, objective, and open to the public;
  • Act promptly to complete their goals; and
  • Comply with reasonable costs controls and recordkeeping requirements.

Advisory committees may be established in one of three ways: 

  1. By law—statutory;
  2. By executive order of the President; and
  3. By agency authority.

The Act not only formalized a process for establishing, operating, overseeing, and terminating advisory committees, but also created the Committee Management Secretariat (CMS), an organization who provides Advice and Guidance on establishing and managing federal advisory committees; provides formal classroom Training that is given by subject matter experts working in the FACA community; conducts formal Consultations with agencies to ensure that Committees comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, conducts the Annual Comprehensive Review of advisory committees required by FACA; and interprets FACA and other Federal open meeting laws.  In early 2010, the Secretariat created a new website (www.gsa.gov/eFACA) which increases public access to information on advisory committee costs, meetings, membership, contact information, and links to websites of many of the individual federal advisory committees.  Today, the CMS is located within the General Services Agency (GSA) in Washington, D.C.

Features

2001 FACA Final Rule

General services adminstration, federal advisory committee management final rule.


Statutes, Regulations, and Policies

Laws, regulations, and other documents that govern Federal Advisory Committees.

Spotlights

FACA vs. Collaboration

The problems with FACA is it lacks remedies for FACA violations. Therefore, there are laws that prevents violating FACA.

Federal Advisory Committees

The Forest Service maintains the largest number of Federal advisory committees in USDA.


Key Contacts

The Forest Service FACA Office is dedicated to providing the best technical and administrative federal advisory support possible to the Forest Service. 

Contact Information:

USDA – Forest Service
Office of Regulatory and Management Services
Federal Advisory Committee Office
201 14th Street, SW
Washington, DC  20250

George Vargas, Assistant Director (FFI)
(202) 205-0444, gvargas@fs.fed.us

Helen Abraham, FACA Program Manager (FFI)
(202) 401-4469, habraham@fs.fed.us

Kerri P. Mills, FACA Program Specialist (FFI)
(202) 205-9967, kpmills@fs.fed.us