Federal Advisory Committees

There are approximately 60 Federal advisory committees in the Department of Commerce that are established and operated in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

Role of Federal Advisory Committees

Federal advisory committees:

  • Provide expertise and advice on a broad range of issues affecting federal policies and programs.
  • Give the public an opportunity to participate actively in the federal government’s decision-making process.

Advisory committees may be established:

  • By law or by Executive Order of the President (Non-discretionary Committees), or
  • By agency authority (Discretionary Committees).

Most advisory committee meetings are open to the public. Interested member of the public may attend, appear before the committee, and file statements with the committee.

Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)

FACA governs the creation and operation of Federal advisory committees. The General Services Administration/Committee Management Secretariat (GSA/CMS) is responsible for monitoring advisory committee activities government-wide. GSA maintains a FACA database on the internet with advisory committee information. It is searchable and available to inform the public, the media, and others of important developments resulting from advisory committee activities. Members of each of the various committees are listed with information such as term of service and corporate affiliation. Facts sheets, reports, expenses, charter, and other information are included in the database.


Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

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Page last updated: January 15, 2014