Federal Advisory Committee Act
The Federal Advisory Committee Act, or FACA, governs any committee formed to advise the federal government. The Health and Medicine Division is exempt from FACA except for Section 15 of that law. Applied under this section, this law governs the interactions between sponsors and the National Academies, and especially describes the public release of information concerning the study activities and results. The law is not applied when there is no advice given to the government, such as workshop summaries or roundtable discussions.
In accordance with federal law and with few exceptions, information-gathering meetings of HMD committees are open to the public, and any written materials provided to the committee by individuals who are not officials, agents, or employees of the National Academies are maintained in a public access file that is available for examination.
HMD committees deliberate in meetings closed to the public in order to develop draft findings and recommendations free from outside influences. The public is provided with brief summaries of these meetings that include the list of committee members present. All analyses and drafts of the report remain confidential.