Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee
Section I: Purpose
The purpose of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC) is to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) via the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) on issues related to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). These include factors affecting access and care for persons with CFS; the science and definition of CFS; and broader public health, clinical, research and educational issues related to CFS.
Section II: Authority
CFSAC is authorized under 42 U.S.C. 217a, Section 222 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. The Committee is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.
Section III: Membership Selection and Appointment
The Committee shall consist of 11 members, including the Committee Chair, appointed by the Secretary or the Secretary’s designee. Of the 11 members, seven shall be biomedical research scientists with demonstrated expertise in biomedical research applicable to CFS; four shall be individuals with expertise in health care delivery, private health care services or insurers, or voluntary organizations concerned with the problems of individuals with CFS. All members of this Committee are classified as special Government employees (SGEs).
In addition, the Committee shall include seven non-voting ex officio members: a representative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Other U.S. Government employees may be invited to participate as non-voting ex officio members, as the Secretary, or designee, deems necessary to effectively carry out the Committee’s function. Ex-officio members attend all CFSAC meetings and report on agency activities related to CFS, return to their agency after each meeting to report on recommendations made by the Committee, participate on subcommittee conference calls and in the formal review process for new Committee members.
Committee members shall be appointed to serve overlapping terms of up to four years. The Committee is chartered for two years and terms of more than two years are contingent upon the renewal of the Committee’s charter by appropriate action prior to its expiration. A member may serve up to 180 days after the expiration of the member’s term if a successor has not taken office.
If a vacancy occurs among the appointed members, the Secretary (or designee) shall make an appointment to fill the vacancy within 90 days from the date the vacancy occurs. Any individual who is appointed to fill a vacancy for the unexpired term of a member shall be appointed only for the remainder of that term.
As necessary, the Committee may establish standing and ad hoc subcommittees composed of members of the parent committee, assemble ad hoc working groups, convene conferences and workshops, and seek advice from non-member special consultants, with the approval of the Secretary (or designee). A quorum for each subcommittee or working group shall be three members. The HHS Committee Management Officer shall be notified upon establishment of each standing subcommittee and shall be provided with information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings.
The advice of a subcommittee shall be reported to the full committee. The full committee shall review reports and any recommendations made by the subcommittees. Findings will be discussed at a public meeting of the full committee, at which time the full committee will determine appropriate action.
Section IV: Meeting Procedures
Meetings of the full committee shall be held not more than two times a year and will be called by the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) in consultation with the Committee Chair, according to the following considerations:
The DFO shall approve the agenda for all meetings. Items for the agenda may be suggested by the standing subcommittees and submitted to the DFO and/or the Committee Chair by the chairperson of each standing subcommittee. Items also may be suggested by non-members, including members of the public. The DFO will distribute the agenda to the members prior to each meeting and if available, publish an outline of the agenda prior to the meeting date.
B. Minutes and Records:
The DFO will prepare minutes of each meeting and distribute copies to each Committee member. Minutes of open meetings will be available to the public, upon request. Minutes of closed meetings also will be available to the public upon request, subject to withholding of matters about which public disclosure would be harmful to the interests of the Government, industry, or others, and which are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The minutes will include a record of the persons present (names of CFSAC members, staff and members of the public from whom written or public presentations were made), a complete and accurate description of the matters discussed and conclusions reached and copies of all reports received, issued or approved by the Committee. All documents, reports, or other materials prepared by, or for, CFSAC constitute official government records and will be maintained according to FACA policies and procedures, in accordance with General Records Schedule 26, Item 2 and the agency-approved agency records disposition schedule. Records of the meeting proceedings are kept and will be posted within approximately 60 days of the committee meeting.
C. Open Meetings:
All CFSAC meetings shall be open to the public except as determined otherwise by the Secretary (or designee), in accordance with the guidelines under the Government in the Sunshine Act at
5 U.S.C. 552b(c), and FACA. Meeting dates are determined by the DFO and the Committee.
The DFO will publish a meeting notice in the Federal Register as soon as dates are confirmed. In most, if not all cases, the DFO will provide notice ahead of the 15-day minimum notice required by FACA to facilitate public attendance at the meeting.
Members of the public attending any meeting or portion of a meeting that is not closed to the public may, at the determination of the Committee Chair and DFO, orally address the committee at the meeting. Specific information regarding the opportunity for public comment shall be provided in the Federal Register meeting announcement. The DFO and Committee Chair will determine the amount of time permitted for public comment and assign time slots for those wishing to comment.
The DFO and Committee Chair may decide in advance to exclude public comment during a meeting, in which case the meeting announcement published in the Federal Register will note that oral public comment during the meeting will be excluded, but written comment will be accepted.
All materials brought before, or presented to, the Committee for an open meeting, if received by the deadline posted in the Federal Register meeting announcement, will be available to the public for review at the meeting. All materials submitted by the deadline will be uploaded and made available on the CFSAC website for public access. All materials posted on the CFSAC website shall be 508 compliant to provide equal access to people with disabilities.
To the extent possible, meetings are broadcast over the Internet as real-time streaming video. Meetings also will be recorded and archived on the CFSAC website for viewers to watch at their convenience.
D. Closed Meetings:
CFSAC meetings will be closed only in limited circumstances and in accordance with applicable law. The Secretary (or designee) shall determine if a meeting will be closed or partially closed to the public in accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act at 5 U.S.C. 552b(c). If it is determined that sufficient justification exists to close a meeting, the DFO shall provide notice of the determination to the public in the Federal Register meeting announcement. Departmental committee management guidelines will be followed if a request to close a meeting is initiated.
Section V: Voting
When a decision or recommendation of the Committee is required, the Committee Chair will request a motion for a vote. Any member, including the Committee Chair, may make a motion for a vote. A vote is decided by simple majority, elicited through a response to a "yes" or "no" from the Chair.
Section VI: Role of Committee Officials
The Committee Chair works with the DFO and Committee members to establish priorities and identify issues that must be addressed. In addition, the Committee Chair is responsible for certifying the accuracy of minutes developed by the Committee to document its meetings.
Designated Federal Officer:
The DFO serves as the Government's agent for all matters related to CFSAC activities. By law, the DFO must: (1) approve or call Committee meetings; (2) approve agendas; (3) attend all meetings; (4) adjourn meetings, when such adjournment is in the public interest; and (5) facilitate meetings of the Committee.
In addition, the DFO is responsible for providing adequate staff and financial support to the Committee, including the performance of the following functions: (1) notifying members of the time and place for meetings; (2) maintaining records of all meetings, including subcommittee or working group activities, as required by law; (3) maintaining a current member roster; (4) preparing minutes of all meetings of the Committee’s deliberations, including standing subcommittees and working group activities; (5) attending to official correspondence; (6) maintaining official Committee records and filing all papers and submissions prepared for, or by, the Committee, including those items generated by standing subcommittees and working groups; (7) acting as the Committee's agent to collect, validate and pay all vouchers for pre-approved expenditures; and (8) preparing and handling all reports, as required by FACA.
Section VII: Expenses and Reimbursement.
Members shall be paid at the prevailing rate, plus per diem and travel expenses, as authorized by Section 5703, Title 5 U.S.C., as amended, for persons employed intermittently in the Government service. Members who are officers or employees of the United States Government shall not receive compensation for service on the Committee. The government will pay travel and per diem for non-government members at a rate equivalent to that allowable for Federal employees. A summary of the Committee's activities, including estimated expenses related to meeting costs and compensation for staff and Committee members' travel expenses is provided in an annual report and accessible to the public via GSA's FACA Shared Management System.