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Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1997


One Hundred Fifth Congress of the United States of America


At the First Session, begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the seventh day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven


An Act to amend the Federal Advisory Committee Act to clarify public disclosure requirements that are applicable to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Public Administration.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


Section 1. Short Title.


This Act may be cited as the "Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 1997".


Sec. 2. Amendments to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.


(a) Exclusions from Definition.--Section 3(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended in the matter following subparagraph (C), by striking "such term excludes" and all that follows through the period and inserting the following:


"such term excludes (i) any committee that is composed wholly of full-time, or permanent part-time, officers or employees of the Federal Government, and (ii) any committee that is created by the National Academy of Sciences or the National Academy of Public Administration.".


(b) Requirements Relating to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Public Administration.--Such Act is further amended by redesignating section 15 as section 16 and inserting after section 14 the following new section:


Requirements Relating to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Public Administration


Sec. 15. (a) In general.--An agency may not use any advice or recommendation provided by the National Academy of Sciences or National Academy of Public Administration that was developed by use of a committee created by that academy under an agreement with an agency, unless--


(1) the committee was not subject to any actual management or control by an agency or an officer of the Federal Government;


(2) in the case of a committee created after the date of the enactment of the Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 1997, the membership of the committee was appointed in accordance with the requirements described in subsection (b)(1); and


(3) in developing the advice or recommendation, the academy complied with--


(A) subsection (b)(2) through (6), in the case of any advice or recommendation provided by the National Academy of Sciences; or


(B) subsection (b)(2) and (5), in the case of any advice or recommendation provided by the National Academy of Public Administration.


(b) Requirements.--The requirements referred to in subsection (a) are as follows:


(1) The Academy shall determine and provide public notice of the names and brief biographies of individuals that the Academy appoints or intends to appoint to serve on the committee. The Academy shall determine and provide a reasonable opportunity for the public to comment on such appointments before they are made or, if the Academy determines such prior comment is not practicable, in the period immediately following the appointments. The Academy shall make its best efforts to ensure that (A) no individual appointed to serve on the committee has a conflict of interest that is relevant to the functions to be performed, unless such conflict is promptly and publicly disclosed and the Academy determines that the conflict is unavoidable, (B) the committee membership is fairly balanced as determined by the Academy to be appropriate for the functions to be performed, and (C) the final report of the Academy will be the result of the Academy's independent judgment. The Academy shall require that individuals that the Academy appoints or intends to appoint to serve on the committee inform the Academy of the individual's conflicts of interest that are relevant to the functions to be performed.


(2) The Academy shall determine and provide public notice of committee meetings that will be open to the public.


(3) The Academy shall ensure that meetings of the committee to gather data from individuals who are not officials, agents, or employees of the Academy are open to the public, unless the Academy determines that a meeting would disclose matters described in section 552(b) of title 5, United States Code. The Academy shall make available to the public, at reasonable charge if appropriate, written materials presented to the committee by individuals who are not officials, agents, or employees of the Academy, unless the Academy determines that making material available would disclose matters described in that section.


(4) The Academy shall make available to the public as soon as practicable, at reasonable charge if appropriate, a brief summary of any committee meeting that is not a data gathering meeting, unless the Academy determines that the summary would disclose matters described in section 552(b) of title 5, United States Code. The summary shall identify the committee members present, the topics discussed, materials made available to the committee, and such other matters that the Academy determines should be included.


(5) The Academy shall make available to the public its final report, at reasonable charge if appropriate, unless the Academy determines that the report would disclose matters described in section 552(b) of title 5, United States Code. If the Academy determines that the report would disclose matters described in that section, the Academy shall make public an abbreviated version of the report that does not disclose those matters.


(6) After publication of the final report, the Academy shall make publicly available the names of the principal reviewers who reviewed the report in draft form and who are not officials, agents, or employees of the Academy.


(c) Regulations.--The Administrator of General Services may issue regulations implementing this section.".


(c) Effective Date and Application.--


(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), this section and the amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.


(2) Retroactive Effect.--Subsection (a) and the amendments made by subsection (a) shall be effective as of October 6, 1972, except that they shall not apply with respect to or otherwise affect any particular advice or recommendations that are subject to any judicial action filed before the date of the enactment of this Act.


Sec. 3. Report.


Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of General Services shall submit a report to the Congress on the implementation of and compliance with the amendments made by this Act.


(signed) Constance A. Morella
Speaker of the House of Representatives pro tempore.


(signed) Strom Thurmond
President of the Senate pro tempore.


Approved December 17, 1997
(signed) William J. Clinton