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Chairwoman Maloney’s Opening Statement on Federal Advisory Committee Transparency Act at Full Committee Business Meeting

Washington, D.C. (May 13, 2021)—Below is Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney’s opening statement about the Federal Advisory Committee Transparency Act, as prepared for delivery, for today’s hybrid business meeting.

 

Opening Statement

Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney

Committee on Oversight and Reform

Full Committee Business Meeting – H.R. 1930, Federal Advisory Committee Transparency Act

May 13, 2021

 

I introduced the Federal Advisory Committee Transparency Act with Ranking Member Comer during Sunshine Week in March. 

I appreciate the Ranking Member’s leadership on this bill which would improve the transparency and accountability of federal advisory committees.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act, was enacted with the goal of ensuring that committees that provide advice to federal agencies and the President operate with transparency.

This bill would close loopholes that agencies use to avoid complying with the law.

For example, agencies often avoid the requirements of FACA by conducting advisory committee business through subcommittees. 

This bill makes it clear that FACA applies to subcommittees as well as parent committees. 

The bill also clarifies that a committee set up by a contractor is subject to FACA if it is formed under direction by the President or an agency.

Just last year, the Government Accountability Office issued a report that identified weaknesses in agency implementation of FACA including that FACA does not require agencies or committees to post documents online.

Under the Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments, agencies would be required to disclose how advisory members are chosen and whether they have financial conflicts of interest.

They would also be required to disclose if they are appointed to provide their own expertise and who they work for if they are representing a specific interest.

This bill has passed the House several times without opposition, including last Congress. 

There is a bipartisan companion, sponsored by Senators Rob Portman and Maggie Hassan, and I am optimistic that with bipartisan support in the House and the Senate, the bill will become law.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill. 

 

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