FACA Essentials at EPA
for Federal Advisory Committee Members
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What is FACA and to whom does it apply?
Congress passed the Federal Advisory
Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2, in
1972, to create an orderly procedure by which
Federal agencies may seek collective advice
from federal advisory committees. FACA
establishes procedures for the management
of federal advisory committees, ensures
transparency of advisory committee decision-
making, and ensures balanced representation
on advisory committees. When a Federal agency
establishes a group (or manages and controls a
group established by a non-federal entity) to
obtain collective advice, the agency may be re-
quired to comply with FACA if the group has
one or more members who are not Federal gov-
ernment employees.
FACA ensures that committees convened to
give group advice are accountable to the public
by maximizing public access to advisory
committee deliberations and minimizing the
influence of special interests through balanced
committee membership. In addition, the Act
seeks to reduce wasteful expenditures and
improve the overall administration of advisory
Today, an average of 1,062 advisory commit-
tees with more than 76,816 members advise
the President and the Executive Branch agencies
on a variety of issues. Advisory committees
are established by one of four authorities -
Presidential authority, statutory requirement,
statutory authority, and Federal Agency
Federal advisory committees are an important
tool within EPA for building consensus and
providing input and recommendations from
EPA's diverse customers, partners, and
stakeholders. EPA manages approximately 22
committees, and 14 subcommittees, which play
a strategic role in the Agency to carry out its
mission to protect human health and the envi-
In 2018, the Agency held 47 committee
meetings. These meetings included
approximately 735 scientists, public health
officials, industry representatives, academics,
citizens, Tribal groups, and stakeholders.
What are your responsibilities as a new
federal advisory committee member?
The primary responsibilities of federal
advisory committee members are to:
	Attend and participate in committee
	Study any review material in advance of
the meetings.
	Be willing to engage in an exchange of
views and perspectives and search for
consensus solutions, where appropriate.
	Represent your constituent group if you are
appointed as a representative member, or
provide your best independent judgment if
appointed as a special government employee.
	Comply with the applicable ethics in
government laws if appointed as a special
government employee.
	Cooperate with your committee's Designated
Federal Officer.
	Serve on the committee for your appointed
term, or if you find you cannot serve, resign
from the committee.
	Refrain from any language or activities that
would compromise the civility of the

 Maintain an environment that promotes
the participation of individuals regardless
of race, color, national origin, age, sex,
religion, disability, sexual orientation,
genetic information, prior EEO activity,
status as a parent or marital status.
What are the main requirements for
committee operations under FACA?
Each committee must have a Designated
Federal Officer (DFO) or Federal employee
to attend each meeting. Meetings may not be
conducted in the absence of that officer or
employee. 5 U.S.C. App.2  10(e).
Committee meetings must be announced in
advance and open to the public, unless
designated as closed for national security, or
other appropriate reasons. The public shall be
provided an opportunity to voice comments to
the committee. 5 U.S.C. App.2  10(aV
All committee documents provided to or
prepared by the committee, including reports,
transcripts, drafts, minutes, working papers,
and agenda must be made available for public
inspection and copying, unless they can be
withheld under the Freedom of Information
Act. 5 U.S.C. App.2 S 10(b).
The committees must be "fairly balanced" in
the points of view represented for the
functions to be performed. 5 U.S.C. App.2  5
(b2) & 5(c).
How does FACA impact collaborative pro-
cesses at EPA?
EPA has been a leader among Federal
agencies and departments in using
collaborative approaches to environmental
problem-solving. Collaborative processes can
take many forms and can be either formal or
In general, FACA applies to collaborative
efforts when all of the following criteria are
1) EPA establishes (organizes or forms)
or utilizes (exerts "actual management
or control" of) a group;
2)	The group includes one or more individuals
who are not government employees;
3)	The product of the collaboration is
group advice for EPA, another federal
agency, or the President.
What are the types of members appointed
to federal advisory committees?
Your functions as a committee member may
differ depending on the type of membership
under which you were invited.
Representative members are selected to
represent the point of view of a group.
Representative Members may represent groups
or organizations, such as industry, labor,
consumers, or any other recognizable group of
persons having an interest in matters before the
Special Government Employee (SGE)
members are appointed to provide the Agency
with their own best independent judgment
based on their individual expertise. As an
SGE member, you are speaking for yourself as
an expert in your field.
Regular Government Employee (RGE)
members are individuals employed by the
Federal Government 5 U.S.C. 2105.
Where can you find further information
on FACA?
Federal Advisory Committee Act
Information on EPA's Federal Advisory
Federal Advisory Committee Management
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,
Washington D.C. 20460
FACA Essentials Fact Sheet created by FACMD, May 1,2019