Better Evaluations Needed to Weed Out Useless Federal Advisory Committees

GGD-76-104: Published: Apr 7, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 7, 1977.

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Legislation to control the growing number of advisory committees, 1267 as of December 31, 1975, assigned oversight responsibilities to Congress, the President, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB is required to make an annual comprehensive review of each committee to determine whether it has carried out its purpose, needs revised responsibilities, or should be merged or abolished.

The OMB and agencies have had a difficult time identifying useless committees because they have not developed objective criteria. Because of lack of leadership by OMB, the agencies have developed their own approaches. Uncertainties existed within agencies about the status of subgroups and ad hoc groups, cost analyses, reporting procedures, and committee missions.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: OMB should: (l) develop uniform guidelines on sub-groups and ad hoc groups; (2) require that agency committee charters state purposes clearly and include a timespan; (3) issue guidelines for consistent cost estimates; and (4) develop a standard definition of "report"and provide for followup.

    Agency Affected:

 

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