Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III holds a COVID-19 meeting with senior staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 2021. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Austin Suspends Defense Advisory Committee Operations During Review

On January 30, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III signed a memo directing a zero-based review of all DOD advisory committees, to include any advisory committee that is not subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C., Appendix). The review will focus the department’s advisory committee efforts to align with the most pressing strategic priorities and the National Defense Strategy. The review will be led by the Interim Director of Administration and Management (DA&M), in consultation with the Acting General Counsel of the DOD (GC DOD), and final recommendations will be made to the Secretary of Defense on each committee by June 1, 2021.

As an interim step, the Secretary directed the immediate suspension of all advisory committee operations until the review is completed unless otherwise directed by the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense. The Secretary also directed that all DOD advisory committee and subcommittee members currently serving on DOD advisory committees where the DOD approving authority is the Secretary of Defense or where statute authorizes another DOD civilian officer or employee, or Active Duty member of the Am1ed Services to act as the DOD approving authority for members, conclude their service no later than February 16, 2021.

The memo along with the list of the affected DOD advisory committees can be found here

Read more at the Defense Department

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