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GSA Provides Easier Public Access to Federal Advisory Committee Information

New website to make FACA database information easier to find, understand, and use

GSA # 10788

April 14, 2011
Sara Merriam, 202-525-8165
sara.merriam@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON – Supporting President Barack Obama’s directive for an open and transparent government, the U.S. General Services Administration today announced that it has launched a new website, www.gsa.gov/efaca, making 10 years of federal advisory committee information easily accessible to the public.

Federal advisory committees are committees, boards, commissions, or similar groups established by statute, the president, or agency officials to formulate advice or recommendations on issues or policies within the scope of an agency’s responsibilities. 

Kathleen Turco, Associate Administrator of GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy stated, "The eFACA website makes information from the Federal Advisory Committee Act database easier to find, understand, and use. It’s vitally important that the public have visibility into the work that shapes programs and policies of the federal government.”

Using pull down menus and the responses to a number of preset queries, the public will now be able to view information on advisory committee costs, meetings, membership, contact information, and links to the websites of many of the individual federal advisory committees.

GSA’s latest addition to public access of federal advisory committee data supports efforts to move FACA management and implementation to newer technologies. Electronic FACA, or eFACA, is the broader name given to GSA efforts to inform and offer best practice guidance on how agencies can use social media and enhanced electronic meeting technology to reduce costs of advisory committee meetings and increase public access.

As part of its statutory authority under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, GSA reviews information on federal advisory committees from executive branch departments and agencies. 

In addition to the information provided on the new website, GSA provides data on executive branch federal advisory committees through:

  • The Shared Management System or FACA Database – The public can view the full GSA data set of advisory committee information from 1995 to the present on www.gsa.gov/facadatabase.  GSA is currently working to expand the availability of data on federal advisory committees for years prior to 1995, and plans to post that information to the Shared Management System as it becomes available. 
  • Data.gov – In efforts to expand public access to data on federal advisory committees, GSA made 12 years of data sets available on www.data.gov (1997 through 2008). Earlier data will be added as made available, as will newer data from fiscal year 2009 and FY 2010. 
  • Library of Congress – The Library of Congress and GSA have collaborated since 2008 to make tens of thousands of historic advisory committee documents available online. This has resulted in the materials uploaded to a Library of Congress website and linked to GSA’s current online and public-facing Shared Management System. 
  • Individual Executive Departments and Agencies – Agencies provide data on their federal advisory committee management and operation through their own federal advisory committee websites. GSA’s new website, www.gsa.gov/efaca, provides links to many of these sites.

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