APPENDIX E
FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEES: BACKGROUND AND CURRENT ISSUES

Deborah D. Stine1

INTRODUCTION

Good government calls on scientists and engineers to provide objective advice in a nonpartisan fashion. In 2004, according to the General Services Administration (GSA) Committee Management Secretariat (CMS), there are 967 federal advisory committees. Almost half of them have a major scientific or technical component as measured by their charter or the number of scientists, engineers, and health professionals who are members (see Figure E-1).

Federal advisory committees come into existence for many reasons (such as congressional, presidential, or agency decision), are at many levels of government (such as low and high levels within an agency and presidential), have a wide variety of missions (such as reviewing research proposals, guiding the direction of the federal science and technology [S&T] enterprise, and using S&T advice to inform policy decisions), have members of varied assignment (such as consultant, representative, or special government employee), and have varied duration (months, years, or decades). Members may be appointed by the President; by the secretary, administrator, or director of a federal agency; or by other senior executive staff.

1  

Quantitative analysis conducted by Yvette Seger. The General Services Administration, the Office of Government Ethics, and the Government Accountability Office were consulted on this paper to ensure its factual accuracy.



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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments APPENDIX E FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEES: BACKGROUND AND CURRENT ISSUES Deborah D. Stine1 INTRODUCTION Good government calls on scientists and engineers to provide objective advice in a nonpartisan fashion. In 2004, according to the General Services Administration (GSA) Committee Management Secretariat (CMS), there are 967 federal advisory committees. Almost half of them have a major scientific or technical component as measured by their charter or the number of scientists, engineers, and health professionals who are members (see Figure E-1). Federal advisory committees come into existence for many reasons (such as congressional, presidential, or agency decision), are at many levels of government (such as low and high levels within an agency and presidential), have a wide variety of missions (such as reviewing research proposals, guiding the direction of the federal science and technology [S&T] enterprise, and using S&T advice to inform policy decisions), have members of varied assignment (such as consultant, representative, or special government employee), and have varied duration (months, years, or decades). Members may be appointed by the President; by the secretary, administrator, or director of a federal agency; or by other senior executive staff. 1   Quantitative analysis conducted by Yvette Seger. The General Services Administration, the Office of Government Ethics, and the Government Accountability Office were consulted on this paper to ensure its factual accuracy.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments FIGURE E-1 Analysis of FY 2004 committees governed by Federal Advisory Committee Act, by percentage of S&T membership. NOTE: Figures E-1 to E-3 were developed from original data obtained through the General Services Administration-sponsored Web site www.fido.gov (Federal Interagency Databases Online), which provides full public access to data pertaining to committees governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act as reported by each agency. In Figure, E-1, membership of all 967 committees governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that were in existence during FY 2004 was analyzed to determine the percentage of S&T membership, defined as persons holding an advanced degree in a scientific, engineering, or health-related field (PhD, MD, DVM, PE, and so on) or having an occupation or affiliation that was indicative of S&T-related expertise. Note that the deadline for agencies to submit FY 2004 data for inclusion in this database is December 17, 2004. However, the statistics and textual information used for our analyses were from July 12 to August 2, 2004. Committees for which no membership data were reported during the time of analysis are included in the “No Data” category. This paper will describe the background of S&T federal advisory committees in more depth and describe some of the policy issues regarding them. The background information is based on agency Web sites and training documents. The discussion of policy issues is based on conversations with agency officials who manage the advisory committee process and on the responses to the committee’s call for comments.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments PURPOSE The S&T federal advisory committees are varied in purpose and characteristics. Table 1 (see page 41 of this report) illustrates the different types of S&T federal advisory committees. The table also provides information on the origin of the committees—they may originate with the President, an agency secretary or administrator, Congress, or an agency executive. Committees are considered “statutory” when Congress indicates to an agency they should create an advisory committee; these are called “non-discretionary advisory committees.” Committees can also be “authorized by law.” In this situation, Congress indicates to the agency that it must obtain advice, but do not specify how that advice may be obtained. One of these mechanisms may include an advisory committee—designated as “discretionary advisory committees” under FACA.2 Note that the GSA has its own definitions for characterizing the purpose of committees. Agencies use GSA definitions when providing information to GSA’s database. In Figure E-2, those characterizations are matched against S&T committee membership. Note that there is not always a match—although a committee may have indicated that it is a nonscientific advisory committee, the S&T membership might be more than 25 percent. Issues Committee membership and the nature of the appointment process may vary with the type of committee and its purpose. Some believe that the principles that should govern the appointment process for a presidentially appointed committee whose purpose is science for policy, whose members includes both policy and S&T experts, and whose goal is to recommend policy to the 2   See http://www.gsa.gov/gsa/cm_attachments/GSA_DOCUMENT/FACAFinalRule_R2E-cNZ_0Z5RDZ-i34K-pR.pdf for more information.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments FIGURE E-2. Comparative analysis of S&T representation on committee governed by Federal Advisory Committee Act, by GSA categorization. See note to Figure E-1 for additional information. President should be different from those for an agency-appointed committee whose primary responsibility is to evaluate research proposals or provide program direction for a federal science or technology program and whose members are all S&T experts. Others believe that regardless of how a committee is established or what its purpose is, there should be consistent criteria for determining which scientists and engineers to appoint to it. For example, some have questioned the appropriateness of asking a scientist, engineer, or health professional about political affiliation, voting record, policy perspective on an issue, or campaign contributions and using the resulting information to determine membership on a federal advisory committee; others believe that it is appropriate

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments to do so and that the information may be collected for legitimate purposes (for example, to ensure that a committee is nonpartisan). The Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that a number of provisions in federal personnel law prohibit agencies from discriminating against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of political affiliation. GAO noted that whether these provisions apply to a particular advisory committee candidate depends on the candidate’s federal employment status (or what it would be if selected). In addition, regardless of a person’s employment status, there are a number of statutory provisions that specifically prohibit the consideration of political affiliation when selecting members for certain designated federal advisory committees. For example, GAO noted that political affiliation may not be considered when appointing people to an advisory committee established under the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Section 217a-1).3 MANAGEMENT The CMS was created in GSA in 1972 in accordance with FACA. The purpose of FACA is to ensure that advisory committees, task forces, boards, and commissions that are formed by Congress and the President are both objective and accessible to the public. The purpose of the CMS is to monitor and report on executive branch compliance with FACA. From 1972 to 1976, the CMS was managed by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). There was some concern, however, about having the management of advisory committees, which were to be independent, so close to the White House. As a result, in 1977, President Carter issued Executive Order 12024, which delegated all the responsibilities of the Presi- 3   GAO, Legal Principles Applicable to Selection of Federal Advisory Committee Members, B-303767, Oct. 18, 2004 (available at http://www.gao.gov/decisions/other/303767.htm).

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments dent for administering FACA, including reporting annually on the activities of all federal advisory committees, to the administrator of GSA. Besides providing annual reports on federal advisory committees, the CMS operates voluntary training in the nuances of FACA for all federal staff members. Federal-agency staff may consult with the CMS before forming an advisory committee. The CMS is also available for legal consultation. A committee management officer (CMO) is assigned at the White House office or federal-agency level. The role of a CMO is to oversee the administration and management of federal advisory committees for the White House or a federal agency. A CMO may also be part of the White House liaison office of a federal agency. The role of CMOs varies from agency to agency, but part of their purview may be to conduct preliminary screening for the secretary of a department or an agency administrator according to that political official’s goals. The goals and related screening may include, for example, increasing the number of women or members of underrepresented groups on a committee. In addition, the CMO may request criminal-background checks on potential committee members and respond or be prepared to respond to members of Congress who nominate constituents for a federal advisory committee. In addition, each committee has a designated federal officer (DFO), who manages its operations. The names of CMOs and DFOs for all federal advisory committees are provided on the GSA CMS Web site. Issues Informal discussions regarding the GSA CMS have indicated that GSA has done a good job over the years of providing information and guidance on federal advisory committees. Although some question its placement in GSA, the high quality and experience of the CMS staff and the inability to identify a better location

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments in the federal government have led the CMS to remain at GSA for many years. There is a concern, however, about the status of the staff level of committee-management duties in agencies. Conversations with the CMS indicate that, although federal-agency staff who managed the committee administrative processes for an agency (the CMOs) used to be at the highest levels (Senior Executive Service or GS-15), that is not now the case, and the position is not given the prominence or support it once had. In addition, CMOs in some agencies are political appointees rather than holders of Civil Service positions. ORIGIN Federal advisory committees are established in one of four ways: By presidential executive order. By congressional mandate. By agency memorandum. By authorization by law. Figure E-3 provides data on the origin of S&T committees in 2004. At the time of President Clinton’s Executive Order 12838 in 1993, each agency reduced the number of its federal advisory committees by one-third. After that, an agency, according to this executive order, could not establish new federal advisory committees unless the committee is required by statute or the agency head (a) finds that compelling considerations necessitate creation of such a committee, and (b) receives the approval of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Such approval shall be granted only sparingly and only if compelled by considerations of national security, health or safety, or similar national interests….

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments   FIGURE E-3 Establishment authority of committees governed by Federal Advisory Committee Act with over 50 percent S&T membership. NOTE: These data do not include committees for which GSA CMS data was not reported. See Figure E-1 note for additional information.   FACA requires that a charter be prepared and filed with the appropriate Senate and House committees and the Library of Congress before an advisory committee can meet. According to GSA, the charter includes The committee’s official designation. The committee’s objectives and scope of activity. The period necessary to complete the committee’s purpose. The agency to which or official to whom the committee reports. The agency responsible for supporting the committee. The committee’s duties. The committee’s annual operating costs. The number and frequency of committee meetings.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments The committee’s termination date. The date on which the charter is filed. Charters may also help to define the structure and function of the committee (particularly if the legislation defining the committee is vague or nonexistent), describe the roles and responsibilities of members and staff, and define a quorum for meetings. Issues One concern expressed is that insufficient information is provided about the membership and balance of a committee at the time of its origin. For example, at the time a committee is established, a decision could be made as to whether its members are to be special government employees, representatives, or consultants (described later in this appendix). More-specific information could also be provided on, for example, the type of S&T expertise desired. Some believe that stating this information before committee formation would help to reduce concerns about politicization of the committee’s membership. A concern about advisory committees established by congressional mandate is that only in rare cases do they have a sunset law—something that requires re-establishment of the committee for it to continue in existence (in contrast with nonstatutory committees, which within 2 years of their charter must terminate or be renewed). Many agencies have inactive committees on their books that have no membership or activity. Not only must an agency report annually on the activities of such committees, but the committees affect the number of new committees that an agency may establish, because there is a limit on the total number of federal advisory committees that each agency may have. That is of concern if a new issue arises about which a federal advisory committee is needed to provide advice to its agency—although waivers of the limit may be requested through GSA and later OMB.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments Dropping inactive committees requires additional congressional action—a task that agencies have found challenging because it rarely was given high priority. In 1998, the General Accounting Office (GAO) surveyed 19 agencies and found that 6 of them had a total of 26 advisory committees that they believed should be terminated. Agencies indicated that they should be given the authority to terminate mandated committees or to seek a sunset or automatic-termination requirement.4 FORMATION Each federal agency has its own procedure for establishing a committee. In some cases, there is an office whose primary responsibility is the management of federal advisory committees. Once agency leadership determine that a committee should be formed, a notice must appear in the Federal Register. A federal advisory committee may form standing and ad hoc subcommittees if the committee charter permits it. The subcommittee is a mechanism to supplement the expertise of the parent committee on an ad hoc basis without invoking the OMB-determined advisory committee limit of the agency in question. An ad hoc subcommittee reports to its parent committee, not to the agency itself. FACA requires that committee members be fairly balanced in points of view represented and functions to be performed. According to the survey data from the 1998 GAO report noted earlier, 4.8 percent of respondents generally or strongly believed that committee membership was not fairly balanced with respect to points of view represented, and 6.1 percent generally or strongly believed that the committees did not include representative cross sections of those directly interested in and affected by the issues 4   General Accounting Office. July 1998. Federal Advisory Committee Act: Views of Committee Members and Agencies on Federal Advisory Committee Issues. GAO/ GGD-98-147. p. 12-13.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments discussed by the committees. With respect to committee-member independence of agency staff, the survey indicated that 6.2 percent of respondents believed that agency officials provided somewhat more or much more input than committee members in formulating committee advice and recommendations, 7.7 percent believed that agency officials asked committees to give advice or make recommendations on the basis of inadequate data or analysis, and 4.2 percent believed that agency officials asked committees to give advice or make recommendations contrary to the consensus of the committees. Beyond the FACA requirements, there may be additional agency selection criteria for committee membership. They vary and may or may not be stated in agency policies. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that the basic criteria for membership on an NIH committee are excellence in biomedical and behavioral research and, for public members, a demonstrated, active interest in the mission of the committee. Member of its peer-review committees are to be selected on the basis of their competence as independent investigators in a scientific or clinical discipline or research specialty as shown by their education, publications, activities, achievements, and honors. NIH also indicates that service on its advisory committees demands mature judgment, balanced perspective, objectivity, and the ability to work effectively in a group. Membership on national advisory councils includes experts (two-thirds of the membership)—in science, law, economics, health policy, and public policy—and the public (one-third of the membership), including patients, relatives of patients, and advocates who represent the concerns of the committee. Members are selected for their competence, interest, and knowledge of the mission of the specific institute, center, or office of the director.5 5   NIH Committee Management Handbook, provided by NIH to the National Academies.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board provides a unique, detailed 10-page brochure6 that describes its process for forming committees. Selection criteria include Expertise, knowledge, and experience (primary factors). Availability and willingness to serve. Scientific credibility and impartiality. Skills in working on committee and advisory panels. The following data on mechanisms of public access to committee information are from the GSA CMS performance data for FY 2003: • Contact designated federal officer 70.3% • Agency Web site 59.9% • Committee Web site 25.3% • GSA FACA Web site 43.5% • Publications 27.9% • Other 13.8% Issues In its 2004 report7 on the mechanisms used to determine the independence and balance of federal advisory committees, GAO came to the conclusion that additional guidance should be provided to the agencies to ensure that their federal advisory committees are independent and balanced. It identified a number of promising practices that could help to ensure independence and balance. These included the following Obtaining nominations from the public to help agencies to identify qualified candidates and alleviate any perception that they 6   http://www.epa.gov/sab/pdf/ec02010.pdf. 7   General Accounting Office. April 2004. Federal Advisory Committees: Additional Guidance Could Help Agencies Better Ensure Independence and Balance. GAO-04-328.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments are choosing from a narrow pool of candidates that may not provide the appropriate expertise and points of view. Using clearly defined processes to screen for conflicts of interest and points of view, such as the process used by the National Academies and EPA to collect information on organizational affiliations (including outside positions and consulting activities), financial interests (including sources of income and assets, liabilities, and research or project support), government service, and public statements and positions (including compensated expert testimony). Prescreening prospective members with a structured interview that asks questions that assess interest, availability, expertise, and potential financial conflicts of interest and bias. Promoting greater transparency by making public the information in a committee’s charter, meetings, or work products through GSA, agency, or committee Web sites. This includes information on the committee-formation process, the nature of appointment of its members (see next section), and whether the committee arrives at decisions by voting or consensus. Note that access to specific committee information is somewhat limited across the board according to the GSA performance database. Only 25 percent of committees had Web sites, and only 60 percent of agencies had Web sites where committee information was posted. The database contains nothing about the nature of that information or its timeliness. We are aware of only one federal agency (the EPA Science Advisory Board) that provides information on its Web site about the method and selection criteria of its advisory committees and Federal Register notices requesting nominations for a particular committee and then describing how a particular committee was formed. It also posts biographic and some general financial information (such as sources of research support) on committee membership before a committee’s initial meeting and timely announcements of a

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments committee’s meeting agenda and followup with minutes of the committee meetings’ open sessions shortly after the meetings occur (although the latter is required by FACA, timeliness is not enforced). Some believe that all federal advisory committees should use such procedural mechanisms. DESIGNATION OF MEMBERSHIP Federal advisory committee members may be appointed in four categories: Regular government employee (RGE) Special government employee (SGE) Representative Consultant Consultants are included in the list because they may perform functions that, at least to the outside observer, are like those of a committee member. Depending on the mission and charge of an advisory committee, it can include members of any combination of membership types. These categories are not official designations, but have been developed by GSA staff for practical use in their identification of the roles members play on committees. The conflict of interest rules for each of these appointment mechanisms differ. The rules that apply to each committee member category are provided in a 1982 Office of Government Ethics Memorandum 82 x 22.8 This memorandum discusses the applicability of the conflict-of-interest statues to persons not regularly employed in the federal government who accept appointments as members of an advisory committee, board, commission, or similar activity established in a department or agency of the executive branch. Committee members may also fall under federal personnel rules and procedures (either for the federal government as a whole 8   http://www.usoge.gov/pages/advisory_opinions/advop_files/1982/82x22.pdf

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments or for the specific agency) regarding conflict of interest if they are RGEs, SGEs, or consultants. RGEs are regularly appointed federal employees, including political appointees. RGEs are subject to ethics rules and conflict-of-interest (COI) limitations. Advisory committees that consist solely of RGEs are NOT subject to FACA; however, if a committee of RGEs contains one SGE or Representative, then that committee IS subject to FACA. SGEs are temporary or intermittent federal employees. They are chosen to serve because of their expertise or knowledge. Depending on how a specific agency handles its personnel functions, an SGE may receive a formal appointment (as in EPA) or simply use an appointment letter without going through the formal personnel appointment process (as in GSA). SGEs are subject to many of the same rules as RGEs, including ethics rules and COI limitations, but there are some differences inasmuch as SGEs do not serve as federal employees every day. If formally appointed, an SGE is appointed under a different federal law from an RGE. Representatives serve on advisory committees as spokes-persons for groups, organizations, or other entities. In some cases, that includes the ability to bind a group to a course of action because they are representing that group. Representatives are not subject to ethics or COI rules. If committee-enabling legislation or a committee charter indicates that the committee will have someone representing a particular group (for example, “the committee will have persons representing the states, tribes, and local governments” or “representing toxicological sciences”), it does not necessarily follow that such members will be representatives. Representatives usually represent trade groups or specific industries. Representatives are chosen not necessarily because of expertise but rather because of their affiliation. Sometimes, the term stakeholder is used to define a representative. Some agencies use contract consultants on expert panels, such as panels that normally conduct peer reviews (for example, for

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments NIH). Unless the federal government controls and manages the panels (sets agenda, selects membership, funds operation directly, and so on), they are not usually subject to FACA. Other agencies use the term consultant in a variety of ways. At EPA, there are two types of SGEs: members (appointed by the EPA administrator) and consultants (appointed by a senior EPA official). Both have formal personnel appointments—consultants for 1-year terms and members usually for 2-year terms. Although advisory committees made up of both members and consultants often operate in a collegial, consensus-building manner, members vote, but consultants do not. At other agencies, committees may be made up entirely of consultants (for example, NIH special-emphasis panels, which meet only once) or made up primarily of SGEs and consultants (for example, Food and Drug Administration advisory panels, whose consultants may come to one or two meetings over several years). One other difference between SGEs and representatives is the degree to which a substitute can be used. An SGE is appointed because of his or her personal expertise or knowledge, so an absent SGE member cannot send a replacement if he or she will miss a meeting. A representative, in contrast, is representing some outside group, is generally not serving because of his or her own specific expertise, and therefore can send (or have the represented organization send) a substitute. Issues The classification issue was a primary concern of the recent GAO report9 on federal advisory committees. It found that three agencies—the US Department of Agriculture, the Department of 9   General Accounting Office. April 2004. Federal Advisory Committees: Additional Guidance Could Help Agencies Better Ensure Independence and Balance. GAO-04-328.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments Energy, and the Department of the Interior—appointed essentially all their committee members as representatives even when the members were to provide their best judgment as opposed to providing a stakeholder perspective. That raises questions regarding both independence and balance for those agencies’ committees in that information on their potential financial COI is not collected and their point of view is not assumed to ensure that perspectives on the committee are balanced. There are also concerns that the current classification scheme is insufficient for federal-agency needs. Agencies often need long-standing scientific and technical evaluation and advice on their programs and activities and need review of research proposals. People, primarily from the science and engineering community, are willing to serve on such committees to provide guidance but balk when faced with the extensive forms required if they are SGEs. Because their service is for a long period, however, they cannot be brought on as consultants unless they are classified as SGEs. Some believe that another classification category is necessary for committee members who provide long-term guidance on the direction of a research program or review of research proposals in the short or long term. Such a category—if it entailed following agency-specific COI regulations rather than those of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE)—would be useful for agencies and would encourage scientists, engineers, and health professionals of the highest caliber to serve on committees. In many cases, the SGE forms are not sufficiently nuanced to identify potential COI concerns, so an agency specific form would have to be developed to respond to them. IMPACT Each year, the GSA CMS provides performance information on federal advisory committees, including data on their impact.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments The data below are from the FY 2003 performance-measure reports of the 975 committees in place that year:10 • Most significant program outcomes:     ♦ Improvements in health and safety 31.5%   ♦ Trust in government 41.2%   ♦ Major policy changes 27.6%   ♦ Advances in scientific research 37.5%   ♦ Effective grant-making 21.3%   ♦ Improved service delivery 30.3%   ♦ Increased customer satisfaction 31.1%   ♦ Implementation of laws or regulatory requirements 36.3%   ♦ Other 14.1% • Other agency actions:     ♦ Reorganized priorities 37.3%   ♦ Reallocated resources 30.4%   ♦ Issued new regulations 13.9%   ♦ Proposed legislation 6.5%   ♦ Approved grants or other payments 19.4%   ♦ Other 26.1% • Number of recommendations: 174,428 • Proportion of recommendations fully implemented: 43% • Proportion of recommendations partly implemented: 2% • Agency feedback on degree of implementation of recommendations:     ♦ Yes 69.8%     ♦ No 15.9%     ♦ Not applicable 14.3%   The “most significant program outcomes” portion of the analysis, of course, reflects the nature of the committees examined. 10   One committee in 2003 did not report its information.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments Issues In responding to the present committee’s call for comments, most respondents indicated that federal advisory committee members would like to have a better understanding of the impact of their committee work. That was confirmed by GSA’s Advisory Committee Engagement Survey, conducted by Gallup, which surveyed a pool of committee members. The lowest-scoring items on that survey—in terms of committee-member perception of the committee’s management—related to feedback and communication. (For example, a low score on the first item below implies that committee members received insufficient feedback from the agencies on whose committees they served.) Those items include the following:11 Our committee receives sufficient feedback from the agency on our recommendations and other contributions. Our committee’s recommendations or other contributions are used effectively. Thanks to our committee, the agency is more effective. Our committee’s recommendations or other contributions have a positive impact on the public and/or external stake-holders. Our committee’s work helps to build trust in government. Those results are contrary to those based on agency reporting, which indicates that almost 70 percent of agencies provided committees with feedback regarding actions taken to implement recommendations or advice. The next step in the Gallup process is to conduct a best-practices study by using the committees that were in the top 10 11   GSA Advisory Committee Engagement Survey, Overall Results, presented at Interagency Group meeting on September 23, 2004.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments percent in committee-member perception, according to survey results, as a resource to identify best practices. CONCLUSION The flowchart on the following page summarizes suggestions, organized by the points where the current process can be influenced, that could be made to enhance the federal advisory committee process as implemented by federal agencies. The suggestions have been gathered from responses to the present committee’s call for comments and from meetings with GSA, OGE, GAO, and various federal-agency staff. They represent just some of the ideas of those in the S&T community and elsewhere for improving the effectiveness of the federal advisory committee process.

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Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments Suggestions for Change and Points of Influence on Federal Advisory Committee Process as Implemented by Federal Agencies

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