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This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

CLINTON ADVISORY COMMITTEE REDUCTION ORDER RESPONSE being formulated by FDA and HHS. In February, President Clinton issued an executive order that requires each department and agency to terminate not less than one-third of its advisory committees. FDA and HHS are considering how FDA's advisory committee system can be downsized. HHS is working under a May 10 deadline to send recommendations to the Office of Management and Budget. The cuts can be made in committees that are subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act and not required by statute, according to the executive order. Under the order, the cuts are to be made by the end of fiscal year 1993. Each FDA center and office has drawn up a list of options for cuts. The options range from cutting some or all of the committees to combining committees, reducing the number of members and decreasing the frequency of meetings. Another strategy for reducing expenses without cutting the size of committees would have FDA use only government facilities for committee meetings and reduce committee expenses by 5-15%. Ann Witt, special assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Operations Jane Henney, is coordinating the review for FDA. Witt also is heading up FDA's effort to implement the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for improving FDA's advisory committee process ("The Gray Sheet" Dec. 14, p. 7). The agency has set up working groups, which involve members of committee management in each center, to evaluate the recommendations for possible implementation. FDA hopes that the working groups will make their decisions by the end of 1993 or in early 1994.

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