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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB)


Establishment and Duties

  • How was PACCARB created?

    In 2014, the PACCARB was created by Executive Order (EO) 13676 as part of a federal effort to combat antibiotic resistance, including an interagency Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) Task Force. The Task Force represents federal agencies and is responsible for implementing CARB-related activities, while the PACCARB represents external experts and serves in an advisory capacity to the HHS Secretary. In June 2019, congress passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019, which transitioned the PACCARB and its authority from Executive Order to law.
  • What are PACCARB’s duties under PAHPAIA?

    The PACCARB explores ways to combat antibiotic resistance using a One Health approach on topics related to:
    1. The effectiveness of antibiotics;
    2. Research and advanced research on, and the development of, improved and innovative methods for combating or reducing antibiotic resistance, including new treatments, rapid point-of-care diagnostics, alternatives to antibiotics, including alternatives to animal antibiotics, and antimicrobial stewardship activities;
    3. Surveillance of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, including publicly available and up-to-date information on resistance to antibiotics;
    4. Education for health care providers and the public with respect to up-to-date information on antibiotic resistance and ways to reduce or combat such resistance to antibiotics related to humans and animals;
    5. Methods to prevent or reduce the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, including stewardship programs; and
    6. Coordination with respect to international efforts in order to inform and advance United States capabilities to combat antibiotic resistance.

Prospective Membership

  • Who can be a member?

    Public voting members may be physicians, veterinarians, epidemiologists, microbiologists, or other health care professionals (e.g. nurses, pharmacists, others); individuals who have expertise and experience as consumer or patient advocates concerned with antibiotic resistance, or in the fields of agriculture and pharmaceuticals; and they also may be from State or local health agencies or public health organizations.

    Non-voting liaison representatives are individuals from organizations and/or interest groups that have involvement in the development, testing, licensing, production, procurement, distribution, and/or use of antibiotics and/or antibiotic research. Represented organizations may include professional organizations or associations; public, environmental, and/or animal health organizations or associations; and other organizations representing patients and consumer advocates, hospitals, pharmaceutical industry, food producers and retailers, or other commodity groups.
  • What is the difference between a voting and a non-voting member?

    Voting members are classified as special government employees (SGEs) and are subject to rules of ethics. The PACCARB also includes non-voting members: regular government employees (RGEs), which represent federal agencies, and liaison representative members, which represent organizations or interest groups with involvement in antibiotic resistance policy, research, or practice. These members are not subject to rules of ethics. View our current membership roster
  • What is the time commitment?

    The time commitment for members may vary based on the charge and tasks. PACCARB meetings occur 2-3 times per year, and the Working Groups meet for 1-2 hours every few weeks. If there is a specific task with a tight deadline, the pace can, and does, pick up (sometimes up to twice per week).
  • Is there travel involved?

    Typically two of the three PACCARB meetings each year are held in-person. Working Group meetings are mostly virtual (web and phone), with possible in-person meetings, as needed. All in-person meetings are held in the Washington, DC area, and travel support is provided for members. Virtual participation is also an option, if you are not available in-person.
  • What does this pay?

    There is no pay, this is a volunteer position.
  • How do I apply to become a Council member?

    When PACCARB vacancies become available, a notice will be put out in the Federal Register and individuals interested in serving can apply on our website.
  • Can I nominate someone other than me?

    Yes. However, individuals that are nominated need to send in a letter agreeing to their nomination, and their primary contact information must be submitted in an online application provided by us. Letters of support can be added to the individual application as well—all electronically.
  • Will I be personally notified of the results?

    No. An announcement of the results will be posted on the PACCARB website at www.hhs.gov/ash/carb. Only applicants that have been approved by the Secretary of HHS will be directly contacted and notified of their nomination to the PACCARB. This process can take several months. All applicants are encouraged to email the PACCARB mailbox CARB@hhs.gov for additional information.

Public Meetings and Engagement

  • How many public meetings are held each year?

    The PACCARB typically holds two in-person public meetings per year and one public meeting via teleconference.
  • Where can I find information on public meetings?

    Upcoming meeting information can be found on our upcoming meetings page.
  • Are meeting materials and videos of past meetings available?

    All information from past meetings, including agendas, presentations, and full-length webcast video are archived on our past meetings page.
  • How can I participate in a public meeting?

    All speakers at public meetings are invited by the PACCARB. Members of the public may attend public meetings in-person or join the meeting via webcast by registering on the meeting website. Public comment can be submitted in writing or offered verbally in person.
  • How do I send in a written public comment?

    All written comments must be sent via e-mail to CARB@HHS.gov. Written comments are provided to the Committee members in advance of each public meeting.
  • How do I sign up to provide verbal comments?

    All PACCARB public meetings are open to the public. To attend in person or to view the webcast complete the online registration form on the respective meeting page. You can also select that you would like to provide public comment on the online registration form. Public comment is typically held at the end of each public meeting day.
  • How long is the verbal public comment period?

    Each speaker at a meeting typically has two minutes to provide their public comment. The PACCARB may, however, increase or decrease the time allotted depending on the number of speakers registered.

Final Reports and Recommendations to the Secretary

  • How are the reports drafted?

    The PACCARB establishes Working Groups (WGs) composed of council members and federal representatives based on the tasks assigned by the Secretary of HHS, or priorities set by the PACCARB Chairs. In support of a One Health approach, each WG is co-chaired by voting members with human health and animal health expertise.

    The PACCARB may use a range of approaches to inform report development. External stakeholders may present in closed WG group sessions for fact-finding purposes. In addition, the PACCARB may post a Request for Information (RFI) to gather input on the task from a wide range of stakeholders, including the public. The public may also provide input through written or oral public comments at meetings.

    The WG’s report with recommendations is presented to the full council for deliberation and vote at a public meeting. After the draft report has been voted on, the WG is on standby until another task has been assigned, or new WGs are established, as appropriate.
  • How are the reports used?

    The main goal of the reports are to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The reports, however, are widely shared among agency partners and recommendations can be used in many different ways. It is important to note that they do not represent a binding or mandatory government action—a Federal Advisory Committee’s work is just that, advisory.

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Content created by Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH)
Content last reviewed on September 27, 2019