The Tick-Borne Working Group is committed to openness and transparency in its work, and to providing impartial, evidence-based recommendations to the HHS Secretary and Congress. This commitment aligns with requirements in the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Sunshine Act.
The 21st Century Cures Act authorizes the HHS Secretary to establish the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group and also requires that it be treated as an advisory committee subject to FACA requirements. These requirements stipulate that:
- a balance in points of views be represented by the committee;
- meetings be open to the public (meeting notices and summary of agendas must be published in the Federal Register at least 15 days in advance of a meeting);
- opportunities exist for public comment;
- committee recommendations be objective and accessible to the public;
- committee minutes, reports, expenses, and related documents be stored in a searchable database (available to the public); and
- meetings be open to the public, with limited exceptions (If any part of the meeting is closed, the reason and exemption(s) must be provide as specified in The Sunshine Act , 5 U.S.C. 552b(c) )
The Working Group will meet at least two times a year. Meetings (both in-person and virtual) are open to the public.
The Working Group can establish subcommittees composed of existing group members and other individuals with tick-borne disease expertise and knowledge. Established subcommittees will conduct regular meetings to consider issues related to the mission of the Working Group. All reports and/or recommendations by subcommittees are provided to the Working Group and discussed during open public meetings.