Federal Advisory Committees

FACA and Consensus Building

Those working to collaborate and build consensus on policy development and solutions and with federal agencies and other governmental programs at the state, local and tribal levels and with stakeholders from the civic and business sectors, have found the FACA, as currently set forth, to be an inhibitor of open collaboration.


This has led to contorted collaboration practices where the convener must inform those participating that they can offer their individual opinions but not work together to inform each other of different perspectives, sort through the issues and agree on advisory consensus recommendations.


An example where this proved to be a major roadblock to progress was in the Everglades restoration conflicts in the early 1990's. Lawyers advising the Department of Interior suggested the FACA prevented a Federal Task Force from meeting jointly with a Governor's Commission made up of a range of stakeholders and federal, state, local and tribal interests. In response to this, Congress passed the 1996 Water Resources Development Act and addressed this by two new provisions:


1. They recreated the Task Force as one with federal, state, local and tribal representatives;

2. They provided Everglades restoration consensus building efforts supported by the Task Force with a FACA




13 votes
Idea No. 362