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Since the earliest days of the Republic, when President Washington sought advice during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, advisory committees have played an important role in shaping public policies and programs. Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) supports over 50 advisory committees with more than 1,200 members that provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Defense and other senior DoD leaders on such issues as academic accreditation at DoD’s professional military institutions, Reserve Force management, military healthcare, weapons of mass destruction, and other major Defense-related programs.

Within the Department of Defense, the Secretary of Defense has directed the Director for Administration and Management (DA&M) to oversee the management of all DoD’s advisory committees, and to ensure compliance with all Federal governance requirements. With the exception of approving the appointment or inviting individuals to serve on advisory committees or subcommittees, the DA&M exercises all the Secretary’s statutory and regulatory authorities and responsibilities outlined in the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 and title 41, Code of Federal Regulations, section 102-3.5 through 102-3.185. On a day-to-day basis, DoD’s Advisory Committee Management Officer (ACMO), under the authority, direction and control of the DA&M, provides policy oversight and program management.

The governing principles of the program and advisory committee meetings are:

  • All advisory committees and sponsoring agencies must comply with the provisions of FACA and the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976.
  • Unless the sponsoring agency according to the Sunshine Act determines otherwise, all advisory committee meetings, to include electronic meetings, are open to the public.
  • All advisory committee meetings must be announced in advance to the public, and the notice must appear in the Federal Register for 15-calendar days prior to the meeting.
  • The public has the right to write committee members at any time or in response to an announced meeting agenda.
  • Meetings and meeting facilities must comply with the American Disabilities Act of 1990, and must be sufficient to accommodate advisory committee members and staff, agency personnel and reasonable number of interested members of the public.
  • The official records of an advisory committee must be maintained for the life of the advisory committee, be extemporaneously available to the public at a central location, and not subject to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of 1966 unless the sponsoring agency previously determines the record is subject to one of the FOIA exemption categories.

For more information on DoD’s Advisory Committee Management Program contact:

  • Mr. James D. Freeman II
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • 1950 Defense Pentagon
  • Washington, D.C. 20301-1950
  • Phone: 703-692-5952
  • Email:

Additional information on FACA:

FACA Statutory and Regulatory Authorities

FACA Related Links