Federal agencies must evaluate the need for the outside advisory committees that they have created but that are not required by law and eliminate at least a third, under a new executive order.
It instructs agencies to target those whose objectives have been accomplished; have become obsolete; whose primary duties have been assumed by another entity; and those whose costs are excessive in comparison to their benefits to the government. The evaluation is due to OMB by August 1 and the targeted committees are to be abolished by September 30.
Agencies with fewer than three such committees are exempt, as are merit review panels or advisory committees “whose primary purpose is to provide scientific expertise to support agencies making decisions related to the safety or efficacy of products to be marketed to American consumers.”
Agencies may count committees terminated since January 2017 toward the reduction goal and may request waivers from the requirement from OMB, which will grant them only if “necessary for the delivery of essential services, for effective program delivery, or because it is otherwise warranted by the public interest.”
The order also sets limits on creating new advisory committees not required by law, with authority for OMB to grant waivers.