Selected Aspects of the Federal Advisory Committee Act

GGD-85-1: Published: Mar 20, 1985. Publicly Released: Mar 20, 1985.

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GAO reviewed the administration and implementation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and responded to additional questions that arose from the initial review which included: (1) the General Services Administration's (GSA) guidance and management of federal agencies' compliance with FACA; (2) response to agency advisory committee recommendations; (3) the policies on compensation of advisory committee members; (4) conflict-of-interest controls; and (5) coverage of the subcommittees.

GAO found that: (1) GSA has chosen more reasonable priorities and has progressively improved its overall level of performance so that it could effectively manage the advisory committee system; (2) the executive branch has urged agency heads to ensure that all of the advisory committees are effectively managed and that improvements are made in evaluating recommendations; (3) compensation for committee members should be left to agency discretion following GSA regulation revisions; (4) two of the agencies reviewed for conflict of interest had sufficient guidelines in place, but other agencies needed improvement to meet FACA guidelines; and (5) FACA covers only those subcommittees or subgroups that provide advice and recommendations directly to a federal official and, since most do not, Congress may want to amend FACA to clarify that all subcommittees are subject to the act.

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