The Secretary shall establish an advisory council for the program for the purpose of advising, assisting, consulting with, and making recommendations to, the Secretary and Director concerning matters related to the activities, policies and operations of the program. The advisory council shall consist of ex officio members and not more than nine members appointed by the Secretary.
Members of the advisory council shall serve without compensation, if not otherwise officers or employees of the United States, except that they shall, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the advisory council, be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under sections 5701 through 5707 of title 5.
The term of office of a member appointed under subsection (c) is four years, except that any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which the predecessor of such member was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term.
The Secretary shall make appointments to the advisory council so as to ensure that the terms of the members appointed under subsection (c) do not all expire in the same year. A member may serve after the expiration of the member’s term until a successor takes office.
A member who is appointed for a term of four years may not be reappointed to the advisory council before two years after the date of expiration of such term of office.
If a vacancy occurs in the advisory council among the members appointed under subsection (c), the Secretary shall make an appointment to fill such vacancy within 90 days after the date such vacancy occurs.
The Secretary shall select as the chair of the advisory council one of the members appointed under subsection (c). The term of office of the chair shall be two years.
The Director shall make available to the advisory council such staff, information, and other assistance as it may require to carry out its functions.
The Director shall provide such orientation and training for new members of the advisory council as may be appropriate for their effective participation in the functions of the advisory council.
The advisory council may prepare such reports as the advisory council determines to be appropriate.