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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Reader comments

Wed, Jan 26, 2011 Angeliki Kalimeris Rhode Island

I am a member of TAP. An advisory panel to the IRS. I believe the work we do is significant and substantial. Eliminating this panel would be detrimental to the taxpayer public. I would be happy to speak about TAP and the work we do. Thank you Angeliki Kalimeris

Mon, Jan 24, 2011

How do you reconcile "crowd sourcing" with the common sense requirements of FACA for balanced panels? Does doing away with FACA committees just institutionalize the isolation of Federal administrators and appointees from open forums where the public can see the advice being given? Does the elimination of FACA committees result in more "back room" deal making and advice giving? Be careful what you ask for . . . you justmight get more secret government and cronyism. But maybe that's just what this guy wants for the next Republican Administration.

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