The federal government uses more than 1,000 advisory committees of scientists, experts and others to advise agencies on a range of topics, including regulatory matters.
The Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA) governs such topics as membership and transparency for the committees, but Supreme Court decision in recent years together with a push from industry and its allies in the Bush Administration slanted the composition of the committees increasingly toward corporate interests, while at the same time serving to obscure the links between committee members and regulated corporations.
Testimony. In April 2008, CPR Member Scholar Sidney Shapiro testified on the subject before the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He cited the need for increased transparency and better methods of screening potential members for conflicts of interest.
A CPR Perspective. Read The Federal Advisory Committee Act: Closing the Door on Public Accountability, by a CPR Perspective by Sidney Shapiro.