Advisory committees

Worker safety agencies seemingly spared from Executive Order on reducing advisory groups

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Washington — President Donald Trump’s Executive Order calling for a significant cut in advisory committees appears to have little if any effect on workplace safety agencies.

The Executive Order, issued June 14, mandates that each agency or executive department terminate at least one-third of its current committees by Sept. 30 if:

  • The committee has accomplished its stated objectives.
  • The committee’s work or subject matter has become obsolete.
  • The committee’s primary functions have been assumed by another entity.
  • The agency determines the committee’s cost is “excessive” in relation to its benefits.

Agencies can count eligible committees that have been terminated since Jan. 20, 2017. OSHA eliminated two of its five committees during that time: the Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health and the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee.

The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health and the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health were established by law and cannot be terminated by an Executive Order.

OSHA renewed the charter for the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health on Dec. 14 and selected new members April 11, meaning its work is ongoing.

 

Nearly all of NIOSH’s committees are mandated by law, including the Mine Safety and Health Research Advisory Committee. The NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors is the agency’s only discretionary board, but the group’s work is ongoing, a NIOSH spokesperson confirmed in an email to Safety+Health.

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