Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report on Federal Advisory Committees

May 23, 1985

To the Congress of the United States:

As provided by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, I am pleased to transmit the Thirteenth Annual Report on Federal Advisory Committees.

Federal advisory committees have been referred to variously as the fourth arm of government or as a public-private partnership. Known by many names and descriptions, these committees play an important role in determining public policy and contribute to our Nation's security, economic vitality, scientific achievements, and quality of life.

In fiscal year 1984, over 25,000 private citizens representing nearly every occupation and geographical area exemplified our great American tradition of civic service by participating as members of Federal advisory committees. These individuals devoted countless thousands of hours of talent and expertise to developing and offering recommendations affecting almost every Federal program.

Because most advisory committees have low operating costs and the great majority of committee members serve on a noncompensated basis, the Federal government receives tremendous benefit for a modest investment. However, committee productivity is not uniform as some committees have outlived their usefulness while others receive insufficient support and attention from their sponsoring agencies. In the interest of good management I have directed all executive departments and agencies to undertake a thorough review of their committees to eliminate those that are unnecessary and to strengthen management and oversight of those that remain. A task force of senior agency personnel from several agencies chaired by the General Services Administration has been commissioned to carry out this initiative during fiscal year 1985.

We shall work in cooperation with the Congress to assure the American people that advisory committee expenditures are a wise investment and that committee service is a noble and worthy endeavor.

Ronald Reagan
The White House,
May 23, 1985.

Note: The 131-page report was entitled ``Federal Advisory Committees: Thirteenth Annual Report of the President -- Fiscal Year 1984.''