THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
As provided by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended (Public Law 92-463; 5 U.S.C., App. 2, 6(c)), I hereby submit the Twenty-seventh Annual Report on Federal Advisory Committees, covering fiscal year 1998.
In keeping with my commitment to create a more responsive government, the executive branch continues to implement my policy of maintaining the number of advisory committees within the ceiling of 534 required by Executive Order 12838 of February 10, 1993. Accordingly, the number of discretionary advisory committees (established under general congressional authorizations) was again held to substantially below that number. During fiscal year 1998, 460 discretionary committees advised executive branch officials. The number of discretionary committees supported represents a 43 percent reduction in the 801 in existence at the beginning of my Administration.
Through the planning process required by Executive Order 12838, the total number of advisory committees specifically mandated by statute also continues to decline. The 388 such groups supported at the end of fiscal year 1998 represents a modest decrease from the 391 in existence at the end of fiscal year 1997. However, compared to the 439 advisory committees mandated by statute at the beginning of my Administration, the net total for fiscal year 1998 reflects nearly a 12 percent decrease since 1993.
The executive branch has worked jointly with the Congress to establish a partnership whereby all advisory committees that are required by statute are regularly reviewed through the legislative reauthorization process and that any such new committees proposed through legislation are closely linked to compelling national interests. Furthermore, my Administration will continue to direct the estimated costs to fund required statutory groups in fiscal year 1999, or $45.8 million, toward supporting initiatives that reflect the highest priority public involvement efforts.
Combined savings achieved through actions taken during fiscal year 1998 to eliminate all advisory committees that are no longer needed, or that have completed their missions, totaled $7.6 million. This reflects the termination of 47 committees, originally established under both congressional authorities or implemented by executive agency decisions. Agencies will continue to review and eliminate advisory committees that are obsolete, duplicative, or of a lesser priority than those that would serve a well-defined national interest. New committees will be established only when they are essential to the conduct of necessary business, are clearly in the public's best interests, and when they serve to enhance Federal decisionmaking through an open and collaborative process with the American people.
I urge the Congress to work closely with the General Services Administration and each department and agency to examine additional opportunities for strengthening the contributions made by Federal advisory committees.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE, March 9, 2000.
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