U.S. Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250
SUBJECT:Interagency, Departmental, Agency and Liaison Membership Committees
August 24, 1984
OPI:Grain Storage, Handling, and Processing Safety Program
This regulation provides procedures for the establishment, operation and duration of all committees, except advisory committees, under the jurisdiction of the Department. It also covers Department liaison members on other committees.
It will be the policy of the Department to maintain control over the establishment and use of all committees. The number of such committees will be held at the absolute minimum required for effective program operation and compliance with various provisions of law.
As used herein, terms are defined as follows:
a Agency committee. Any committee composed exclusively of members from a single agency of the Department.
b Committee. Any committee, subcommittee, board, commission or body other than an advisory committee as defined in section 3 of this regulation.
c Departmental committee. Any committee composed exclusively of representatives of two or more agencies of the Department.
d Interagency committee. Any committee made up wholly of full-time Federal officers or employees of more than one department or agency.
e Liaison membership. Departmental representation by the Secretary or his/her designated representative on committees, councils, boards and similar bodies established by law, Executive Order or by Presidential direction and not sponsored by the Department. Such membership may relate to international, Government or nongovernment activities, but excludes association with professional, fraternal, civil or similar types of nongovernment groups.
4 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT
a The Assistant Secretary for Administration is the Committee Management Officer of the Department who is responsible for:
(1) Exercising control and supervision over the establishment, procedures and accomplishments of all committees under the jurisdiction of the Department.
(2) Assigning responsibility for the assembling and maintenance of the reports, records and other papers of committees during their existence.
b The Office of Personnel provides staff assistance for the Committee Management Officer by:
(1) Maintaining systematic information on the nature, functions and operations of each Department committee.
(2) Providing advice and guidance on the establishment, utilization, management and reporting of all types of committees throughout the Department.
5 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE AGENCIES
The head of each agency engaged in committee activity will be responsible for providing an orderly procedure for:
a Establishing or terminating committees and providing guidelines for the selection of members.
b Adhering to law and regulations governing the use of committees.
c Designating for each committee a central location for the assembling and maintenance of the reports, records and other papers of the committees. d Periodic review of committee activities.
e Maintenance of an adequate committee control system, including maintaining records of:
(1) All interagency committees which the agency has established or chairs.
(2) All Departmental committees which the agency has established or chairs.
(3) All agency committees.
(4) All liaison memberships held by officials or employees of an agency as designees of the Secretary for committees not established or sponsored by the Department.
6 ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEES
a Committees may be established which have public members but do not perform an advisory function (e.g., Honor Awards Committee). Agencies desiring to establish such a committee will consult with the Committee Management Officer and prepare a Secretary's Memorandum. Members are required to receive clearance (section 9 of this regulation). No charter is required.
b Interagency committees. Interagency committees will be established only after exchange of letters between the participating departments and/or agencies. A Secretary's Memorandum will be prepared to formalize or publicize committee activities of major importance. No charter is required.
c Departmental committees. Other Departmental committees may be authorized by the sponsoring agency in accordance with agency regulations.
d Agency committees. Agency regulations will provide for the establishment, conduct and termination of agency committees.
7 COMMITTEE CONTROL SYSTEM
Each agency head will designate an official to be responsible for the maintenance of central control records of all Departmental, agency and interagency committees which the agency sponsors or provides support services for, including liaison memberships. Such records will be kept current at all times and will include:
a Minutes of committee proceedings.
b Copies of press releases and committee reports.
c Any other working papers properly a part of committee or subcommittee records. Agencies will be prepared to furnish information on these committees upon request. Each agency sponsoring a committee will provide the support services for that committee.
8 LIAISON MEMBERSHIP POLICY AND PROCEDURE
a The Secretary may, at his/her discretion, designate a representative and alternate representative to bodies on which the Department maintains liaison membership. Only such authorized representatives or alternates as the Secretary designates may attend meetings of such bodies for the Department. The delegation of authority to represent the Department provided to the Secretary's representative and alternate may not be redelegated.
b When it is impossible for either the representative or alternate to attend the regular meetings of these bodies, the Office of the Secretary should be notified in sufficient time to make necessary arrangements.
c When the Secretary's representative and alternate on a Government-wide council, commission or similar body are officials of the Office of the Secretary, the representative and the alternate will notify the Committee Management Officer of their designation. The Office of Personnel will provide the Committee Management Officer with all necessary staff assistance.
d When the Secretary's representative and alternate are agency officials, the representative's agency will carry out the following procedure:
(1) Prepare a letter for the Secretary's signature informing the chairperson, executive director or similar appropriate official of the body in question of the designation of the Department's representative and alternate.
(2) Route the materials to the Office of Personnel for appropriate review and clearance.
(3) Maintain a current listing of all such liaison memberships held by agency officials. If an agency official can no longer maintain such a liaison membership, immediately inform the Office of Personnel so that action to appoint. a new representative may be taken.
9 CLEARANCE OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS
a Policy. A background clearance is required for all proposed committee members to be appointed by the Secretary except those who are Federal employees.
(1) The agency will submit for each prospective appointee a biographical sheet showing, at a minimum, the person's name, social security number, residence address, place of birth, date of birth, employer and occupation and/or title. Clearance procedures will not be instituted if biographical data is insufficient to permit a complete background review.
(2) Four copies of the above information will be sent to the Office of the Secretary.