The Federal Advisory Committee Act
53 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2010
Date Written: Spring 1974
The Federal Advisory Committee Act, enacted on October 6, 1972 is a congressional attempt to institute administrative controls and to open to public scrutiny the operations of nongovernmental groups that supply advice to the government. Because many such groups have an interest in any action that the government may institute, the danger of abuse is apparent. Moreover, advisory groups are often used to divert attention from sensitive issues, or even to delay a decision on an issue where there are strongly different views. And, all too often, the advisory committee system provides a medium for bestowing political favors, such as appointment to a prestigious commission. This legislation seeks to correct such abuses by requiring balanced membership, mandating that the use of an advisory committee be justified, and opening advisory committee operations to public scrutiny. The statute also seeks to curb unnecessary expenditures on such committees through administrative controls and to terminate committees that are no longer fulfilling a useful function. This Article analyzes the problems that the statute was designed to remedy and proposes a construction to fulfill these purposes.
Keywords: Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, Congressional, Advisory Committees, Presidential, Management, Creation, Responsibilities, Termination, Renewal, Operations, Files, Procedures, Nondisclosure, Public Notice, Transcripts, Minutes
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation