House Passes Bill To Open Up Federal Advisory Committees

July 3, 2008

The House passed a bill June 24, 2008, with amendments to strengthen the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which was intended to ensure that meetings and records of federally established advisory committees are open to the public and news media.

The bill, HR 5687, was passed by voice vote under suspension of the rules, a procedure reserved for noncontroversial measures.

The bill requires agencies to set new procedures to ensure advisory committee members do not have conflicts of interest. It also requires disclosure of communications between advisory committees established by the White House and private lobby groups.