The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2 governs the operations of the Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in a Digital Age (hereinafter “Diversity Committee” or “Committee”).
The guiding principles under FACA are:
The FACA requires that timely notice (generally 15 calendar days notice) of each Committee meeting be published in the Federal Register and that other forms of notice be used to inform interested persons of the time, place and agenda of the meeting. Committee meeting notices will appear in the Federal Register, Federal Communications Commission releases, Internet postings and other media. Meetings may include teleconferences, video conferencing and Internet communications.
The FACA requires the Committee to permit interested persons to attend its meetings, to appear before the Committee and submit written statements with the Committee, subject to reasonable regulations. Written statements may be submitted to the Committee's Designated Federal Officer (DFO), Barbara Kreisman, Room 7C-753, Federal Communications Commission, 445 Twelfth Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554. She also can be contacted by email at DiversityFAC@fcc.gov.
Under certain limited circumstances (i.e., where information to be discussed involves trade secrets, classified government materials, or national security matters related to foreign policy), the meetings or portions of the meetings may be closed with approval of the agency head and after prior notice in the Federal Register. The Committee cannot simply announce spontaneously at a meeting that parts of the meeting will be closed or that it will adjourn to another room to discuss a matter.
Under FACA, the Commission is required to keep detailed minutes including a record of the persons present at the Committee meetings and documents received, issued or approved by the Committee. These documents and all other Committee minutes, transcripts, reports, studies, etc., must be available for public inspection and copying. Publicly available documents will be made available for copying and inspection at the FCC’s Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street, SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. Information about the Committee, including certain publicly available documents (e.g., public notices, agendas, transcripts, written public comments) may also be posted on the Committee’s website.
To facilitate the work of the Committee, some business may be conducted by informal working groups that will make suggestions to the full Committee as appropriate.
Informal working groups can:
Informal working groups cannot:
Meetings conducted by informal working groups are not subject to public participation and public notice requirements of the FACA so long as the above requirements are met.
Questions about FACA should be directed to the DFO, Barbara Kreisman, at the telephone numbers and email addresses listed above.