Congress, the president, and the executive agencies can establish advisory committees.3 FACA clearly requires that a committee established by Congress be “fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed by the advisory committee”4 (emphasis added) and that there be some assurance “that the advice and recommendations of the advisory committee will not be inappropriately influenced by the appointing authority or by any special interest, but will instead be the result of the advisory committee’s independent judgment.”5 The act specifies that those guidelines apply to executive branch advisory committees “to the extent they are applicable” but fails to define what that extent is.6 Nevertheless, GSA regulations make it clear that agencies will comply with the congressional advisory committee requirements.7 This paper will address issues that apply to executive branch advisory committee appointments by the agencies involved with science and technology issues. Specifically, it will focus on the role of professional credentials and political-party affiliation in the recruitment of committee members and the balance of the committee as a whole.

FACA does not define what constitutes a “fairly balanced” committee. Later legislation creating particular advisory committees has required that members be “composed of experts selected by the National Academy of Sciences, qualified in the subject matter referred to the committee and of adequately diversified professional background”,8 that members selected be “distinguished” experts9nominated by professional societies,10or that the committee mem-


See e.g., 5 U.S.C. Appendix §§ 5(b), 5(c).


5 U.S.C. Appendix §§ 5(b)(2).


5 U.S.C. Appendix §§ 5(b)(3).


5 U.S.C. Appendix §§ 5(c).


41 C.F.R. § 102-3.60(b)(3).


21 U.S.C. § 379e(a)(5)(D).


22 U.S.C. § 4356(a)(3)(A).


22 U.S.C. § 4356(a)(3)(B).

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