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About FACA Under Fire

A recent GAO report told Congress that "Federal advisory committees have been called the ‘fifth arm of government' because of the significant role they play in advising federal agencies, the Congress, and the President on important national issues."1

This website is intended to be a forum for protecting the Federal Advisory Committee Act and FACA committees. This site is necessary given recent attacks on the FACA committee process. These attacks come from all sides. They are not limited to a single interest group, and they are not limited to the private sector. They threaten to cripple one of the most innovative and efficient tools for informed government regulation and decision-making.

FACA allows federal government agencies to establish committees of individuals with particular areas of expertise that the agencies need to carry out their duties. The FACA committee process allows agencies access to expertise on specific issues that the agency lacks given resource limitations and the multiplicity of complex issues that the agency must address.

Each FACA committee is constituted in accordance with a charter that specifies the issues to be addressed by the committee and the work products expected of the committee. A FACA committee is supposed to be representative of the spectrum of informed, expert views in an area.

When we discover efforts to circumvent, impede, distort or otherwise harm the FACA committee process, we will disclose those efforts on this website. Full disclosure and public discussion should help preserve FACA..

We will also provide news of significant FACA developments and links to other FACA-related websites. We welcome comment on the site and on its postings.

1Federal Advisory Committees: Additional Guidance Could Help Agencies Better Ensure Independence and Balance, GAO-04-328 (April 2004)

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