National Archives and Records Administration
Freedom of Information Act Advisory Committee Charter
1. Committee’s Official Designation:The name of this advisory committee shall be the Freedom of Information Act Advisory Committee (Committee).
2. Authority: The Committee is established in accordance with the second United States Open Government National Action Plan released on December 5, 2013, and the directive in the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552(h)(1)(C), that the Office of Government Information Services within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) “recommend policy changes … to improve” the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) administration. This Committee is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.
3. Objectives and Scope of Activities: The Committee advises on improvements to the administration of FOIA. The objective of the Committee is to study the current FOIA landscape across the Executive Branch and to make recommendations to the Archivist of the United States.
4. Description of Duties: The Committee fosters dialogue between the Federal Government and the requester community, solicits public comments, and develops recommendations for improving FOIA administration and proactive disclosures. The Committee will be advisory only.
5. Official(s) to whom the Committee Reports: The committee shall report to the Archivist of the United States.
6. Support: NARA’s Office of Government Information Services will provide funding and administrative support for the Committee to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations.
7. Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years: The annual operating cost for the Committee is estimated to be $90,000 and one full staff year. There will be no compensation for members of the Committee. Travel and/or per diem costs will not be provided by NARA.
8. Designated Federal Officer (DFO): The DFO is a full-time salaried employee of NARA and will perform the duties set forth in § 102-3.120 of the FACA Final Rule. The Archivist of the United States shall designate a DFO who shall manage the Committee and provide such clerical, administrative, and logistical support as necessary for the Committee to effectively conduct its business.
9. Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings: In consultation with the Archivist of the United States, the DFO shall hold meetings up to four times per year and may call additional meetings as may be necessary.
10. Duration: The need for this Committee is continuing.
11. Termination: The Charter shall be eligible for renewal every two years.
12. Membership and Designation: The Committee will consist of no more than 20 individuals. Government members of the Committee should include, at a minimum, three FOIA professionals from Cabinet-level Departments; three FOIA professionals from non-Cabinet agencies; the Director of the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy, or his/her designee; and the Director of the Office of Government Information Services, or his/her designee, who will chair the committee. Non-governmental members of the advisory committee will include, at a minimum, two individuals representing the interests of non-governmental organizations that advocate on FOIA matters; one individual representing the interests of FOIA requesters who qualify for the “all other” FOIA requester fee category; one individual representing the interests of requesters who qualify for the “news media” FOIA requester fee category; one individual representing the interests of requesters who qualify for the “commercial” FOIA requester fee category; one individual representing the interests of historians and history-related organizations; and one individual representing the interests of academia. The Committee will be composed of Representative members and Regular Government Employees.
The Archivist of the United States shall appoint a Chairperson. If necessary, a Vice Chairperson may be designated annually by members of the Committee, in consultation with the Archivist of the United States. The Chairperson is the presiding officer of the Committee who guides its efforts to the effective completion of its assigned tasks. The Chairperson shall provide leadership and adhere to the Charter and such other rules of order and operating procedures as the Committee may adopt, maintain order, and conduct each meeting in accordance with FACA and the prescribed rules and procedures. The Chairperson is responsible for certifying the accuracy of Committee meeting minutes. The Vice Chairperson shall assume and perform the duties of the Chairperson in the event the Chairperson is absent or unavailable. 13. Subcommittees: NARA may create subcommittees as necessary to support the committee’s work. The subcommittees report to the Committee. The subcommittee Chairperson shall be a Committee member.
14. Recordkeeping: The records of the committee and any subcommittee(s) shall be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 6.2, item 10 and any approved agency records disposition schedule. These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552.