The U.S. Government utilizes a number of boards, panels, and
committees that can offer expert advice and recommendations on specialized
topics. Some boards or committees are comprised
of subject matter experts from various federal Departments, while other boards bring
in outside experts from academia, nonprofit organizations, the private sector,
or civil society organizations to advise the government or to make
recommendations. Boards that include
experts from outside the federal government are subject to the Federal
Advisory Committee Act (FACA)
which ensures that the advice received by the
government is relevant, objective and accessible to the public. A board or committee may be formed to address
a very specific, time-limited topic, or it may meet regularly to consider
ongoing issues. The board’s charter will outline the purpose of the board, the
authority under which it was authorized, the scope of its activities, its
membership and how members are selected, the length of the board’s service, and
any other relevant parameters.
- Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel (FESAP):
The Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel (FESAP) was established by Executive
Order 13546 on July 2, 2010 to provide recommendations related to the security
of biological select agents and toxins (BSAT) to the Secretaries of Health and
Human Services and Agriculture and the Attorney General.
- Executive Order 13486 Working Group:
The U.S. Government Working Group on Strengthening the Biosecurity of the United States was established by Executive Order 13486 on January 9, 2009 to review existing policies and practices in place at Federal and non-Federal facilities that conduct research on; manage clinical or environmental laboratory operations involving; or handle, store, or transport BSAT. The Working Group was chaired by officials from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Defense.
- Trans-Federal Task Force on Optimizing Biosafety and Biocontainment Oversight:
The Trans-Federal Task Force on Optimizing Biosafety and Biocontainment
Oversight was established to undertake an intensive analysis of the current
framework of biosafety and biocontainment oversight of research activities
involving infectious agents and toxins in high- and maximum-containment research
facilities with the goal of exploring strategies to address concerns voiced by
Congress and the general public. The task force was chaired jointly by HHS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
- The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB):
The NSABB is a federal advisory committee that addresses issues
related to biosecurity and dual use research at the request of the United
States Government. The NSABB has up to 25 voting members with a broad range of
expertise including molecular biology, microbiology, infectious diseases,
biosafety, public health, veterinary medicine, plant health, national security,
biodefense, law enforcement, scientific publishing, and other related fields.
The NSABB also includes non-voting ex-officio members from 15 federal
departments and agencies.