OMB has issued guidance on carrying out a recent executive order aimed at reducing the number of outside committees advising agencies.
The memo called for a one-third reduction by September 30 of “eligible” committees, which OMB Memo M-19-21 defines as those established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and those authorized but not required by statute. Agencies are to send OMB a list of their committees by August 1 and may count toward the reduction goal any such committees abolished since the start of the Trump administration.
The memo says that agencies are “strongly encouraged to terminate all eligible committees that the agency identifies as unnecessary or otherwise meriting termination” because the stated objectives of the committee have been accomplished; the subject matter or work of the committee has become obsolete; the primary functions have been assumed by another entity; or the agency determines that the cost of operation is excessive in relation to the benefits.
Any waiver requests should be sent to OMB “as soon as practicable” and provide a justification. OMB said it will grant them if it “concludes that it is necessary for the delivery of .essential services, for effective program delivery, or because it is otherwise warranted by the public interest.”