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A federal advisory committee, which may also be designated as commissions, councils, or task forces, are created as provisional advisory bodies that can circumvent bureaucratic constraints to collect a variety of viewpoints on specific policy issues. Advisory bodies have been created to address a host of issues, ranging from policies on organ donation to the design and implementation of the Department of Homeland Security.
These committees are often created to help the government manage and solve complex or divisive issues. Such committees may be mandated to render independent advice or make recommendations to various bodies within the federal government by congressional statute, created by presidential executive order, or required by fiat of an agency head.
Congress formally acknowledged the merits of using advisory committees to acquire viewpoints from business, academic, governmental, and other interests when it passed the Federal Advisory Committee Act in 1972.
- Federal Advisory Committees: An Overview, Summary.