Sharing FACA Best Practices at HHS
On Tuesday, February 28, 2012, Administrative Conference Chairman Paul R. Verkuil and Attorney Advisor Reeve T. Bull offered a presentation to the Public Health Division Training Committee of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at its Rockville, Maryland office. Public Health Division attorneys from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Branch (Atlanta, Georgia) and the National Institutes of Health Branch (Bethesda, Maryland) participated in the event by videoconference, as did attorneys from OGC’s Food and Drug Division (Silver Spring, Maryland) and OGC Regional Offices in Chicago, Kansas City, and Seattle. Other HHS attorneys participated via telephone. The Conference wishes to thank Public Health Division Associate General Counsel David Benor and Deputy Associate General Counsel David Naimon, who hosted the meeting, and Attorney Stephanie Russell Granlund, who invited Chairman Verkuil and Mr. Bull to speak and arranged the event.
At the meeting, Chairman Verkuil and Mr. Bull gave an overview of the structure of the Administrative Conference and described some of its recent work. In particular, they focused on the Conference’s work on the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). They described the research that Mr. Bull conducted in preparing a research report on FACA and gave an overview of Administrative Conference Recommendation 2011-7, which offers various proposals for clarifying the scope of FACA, alleviating the procedural burden it imposes, and disseminating best practices designed to promote transparency in the work of advisory committees.
HHS hosts more advisory committees than any other federal agency, and the presentation served both to describe the Conference’s work and to open a dialogue between HHS and the Conference concerning the reforms and best practices proposed in Recommendation 2011-7. The Conference looks forward to continuing to work with HHS in implementing this important recommendation.
In the next few months, we will be implementing a web forum that will allow agencies and interested members of the public to discuss their thoughts relating to Recommendation 2011-7 and reforms and best practices concerning FACA generally. This forum will be coming soon at the FACA project webpage.