41 CFR § 102-3.30 - What policies govern the use of advisory committees?

§ 102-3.30 What policies govern the use of advisory committees?

The policies to be followed by Federal departments and agencies in establishing and operating advisory committees consistent with the Act are as follows:

(a) Determination of need in the public interest. A discretionary advisory committee may be established only when it is essential to the conduct of agency business and when the information to be obtained is not already available through another advisory committee or source within the Federal Government. Reasons for deciding that an advisory committee is needed may include whether:

(1) Advisory committee deliberations will result in the creation or elimination of (or change in) regulations, policies, or guidelines affecting agency business;

(2) The advisory committee will make recommendations resulting in significant improvements in service or reductions in cost; or

(3) The advisory committee's recommendations will provide an important additional perspective or viewpoint affecting agency operations.

(b) Termination. An advisory committee must be terminated when:

(1) The stated objectives of the committee have been accomplished;

(2) The subject matter or work of the committee has become obsolete by the passing of time or the assumption of the committee's functions by another entity;

(3) The agency determines that the cost of operation is excessive in relation to the benefits accruing to the Federal Government;

(4) In the case of a discretionary advisory committee, upon the expiration of a period not to exceed two years, unless renewed;

(5) In the case of a non-discretionary advisory committee required by Presidential directive, upon the expiration of a period not to exceed two years, unless renewed by authority of the President; or

(6) In the case of a non-discretionary advisory committee required by statute, upon the expiration of the time explicitly specified in the statute, or implied by operation of the statute.

(c) Balanced membership. An advisory committee must be fairly balanced in its membership in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed.

(d) Open meetings. Advisory committee meetings must be open to the public except where a closed or partially-closed meeting has been determined proper and consistent with the exemption(s) of the Government in the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. 552b(c), as the basis for closure.

(e) Advisory functions only. The function of advisory committees is advisory only, unless specifically provided by statute or Presidential directive.

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