House Republican wants cuts to advisory committees

Rep. Jason Chaffetz plans to introduce legislation to reduce number of federal advisory committees

As House leaders seek to reduce federal spending throughout government, one congressman is targeting federal advisory committees.

“More than 1,000 committees spending more than $400 million. 74,000+ appointees. Time to cut!” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) tweeted Jan. 20.

Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, plans to offer a bill to cut the number of advisory committees.

“I am all over this with legislation on the way to solve this problem,” he also tweeted.

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Agency officials have convened open committees of experts under the Federal Advisory Committee Act since 1972. In fiscal 2010, the government had roughly 1,050 committees, according to a FACA Performance Measures Totals Report.

The report also noted that the committees offered agencies more than 1.71 million recommendations last year, of which only 8 percent were fully implemented and 4 percent partially implemented.

In addition to those committees and the Federal Register, federal officials are looking at an Internet-based approach to crowdsourcing. ExpertNet is a concept introduced last December to complement the two ways the government already contacts the public. ExpertNet opens up a wiki on which agencies can post questions and get feedback from experts and professionals.

“Our goal is to implement a new system for citizen participation as quickly and cost-effectively as possible,” according to a Dec. 29 post by Obama administration officials on the White House blog.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.


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