There is established a Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee (in this section referred to as the “Committee”).
(2)Functions.—The Committee shall advise the Secretary on matters relating to—
medical certification determinations for issuance of licences, certificates of registry, and merchant mariners’ documents;
medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of operators of commercial vessels;
(1)In general.—The Committee shall consist of 14 members, none of whom is a Federal employee, and shall include—
ten who are health-care professionals with particular expertise, knowledge, or experience regarding the medical examinations of merchant mariners or occupational medicine; and
(2)Status of members.—
Members of the Committee shall not be considered Federal employees or otherwise in the service or the employment of the Federal Government, except that members shall be considered special Government employees, as defined in section 202(a) of title 18, United States Code, and shall be subject to any administrative standards of conduct applicable to the employees of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating.
(c) Appointments; Terms; Vacancies.—
Each member shall be appointed for a term of five years, except that, of the members first appointed, three members shall be appointed for a term of two years.
(d)Chairman and Vice Chairman.—
The Secretary shall designate one member of the Committee as the Chairman and one member as the Vice Chairman. The Vice Chairman shall act as Chairman in the absence or incapacity of, or in the event of a vacancy in the office of, the Chairman.
Members of the Committee shall serve without compensation, except that, while engaged in the performance of duties away from their homes or regular places of business of the member, the member of the Committee may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5.
The Secretary shall furnish to the Committee the personnel and services as are considered necessary for the conduct of its business.