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Diplomacy in Action

Charter of the Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy

April 6, 2012


1. Committee's Official Designation.

The official designation shall be the Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy (hereinafter "the Committee").

2. Authority.

The Committee is established under the general authority of the Secretary of State and the Department of State ("the Department") as set forth in Title 22 of the United States Code, in particular Section 2656 of that Title, and consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix). The approval of this Charter by the Under Secretary for Management constitutes a determination by the Secretary of State that the renewal of the Committee Charter is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties of the Department.

3. Objectives and Scope of Activities.

The Committee serves the Department in a solely advisory capacity concerning major economic, social and legal issues and problems related to international communications and information policy, especially as these issues and problems involve users of information and communication services, providers of such services, technology research and development policies, foreign industrial and regulatory policies, the activities of international organizations with regard to issues relating to communications and information policy, and developing country interests. The objective of the Committee is to bring to the Department a source of expertise, knowledge and insight not available within the Department or elsewhere on these issues and problems. The Committee will not discuss issues that are primarily trade-related.

4. Description of Duties.

The functions of the Committee shall be solely advisory, and any determination or action to be taken that is the subject of any recommendations made by the Committee or any of its members will in all cases be made by appropriate officers of the United States Government.

The duties of the Committee shall include performance of the following functions:

(a) To provide information and advice on both public and private aspects of current foreign affairs issues in the areas identified in Paragraph 3 above;

(b) To provide advice in the formulation of United States communications and information policy, positions and proposals for multilateral and bilateral consultations, and negotiations on communications and information policy issues; and

(c) In furtherance of the objectives noted in paragraphs (a) and (b), using subcommittees and working groups, to provide information and advice and to carry out special studies and research in particular areas of information and communications policy as may be deemed advisable.

The Committee will consult with other interested parties, agencies and interagency committees and groups of the United States Government and with private groups and individuals, as the Department of State and the Committee decide necessary or desirable.

5. Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports.

The Committee shall report to the U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy ("the Coordinator"). Such reports may be oral or written.

6. Support.

The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs shall supply all staff support functions for the Committee. All funding necessary for the organization and operation of the Committee will also be supplied by the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

7. Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years.

Projected annual costs of operation are:

Federal Staff   $31,000.00
Other   $300.00
Total   $31,300.00

Projected annual FTE years of federal staff support are 0.25.

The members of the Committee shall serve without compensation, but with advance approval may be allowed transportation and per diem, as permitted by budgetary limits and in accordance with existing law and regulations, in lieu of subsistence and other expenses.

8. Designated Federal Officer.

A full-time or permanent part-time employee, appointed by the Coordinator, will serve as the DFO (who will serve as Executive Secretary). An alternate DFO may also be appointed. The DFO or alternate DFO will approve or call all of the advisory committee meetings and the meetings of any subcommittees; will prepare and approve all meeting agendas, attend all committee and subcommittee meetings; adjourn any meeting when the DFO or alternate DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest, and chair meetings when directed to do so by the Coordinator.

9. Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings.

It is anticipated that the Committee will meet at least once a year and at such other times and places as the Executive Secretary designated in Paragraph 8 hereof shall specify. Subcommittees and working groups will meet as appropriate for their assigned responsibilities. Meetings of the Committee shall be announced in the Federal Register at least fifteen days prior to convening a meeting, setting forth the hour, date, and place of the meeting and the agenda items to be discussed.

Members of the general public who wish to attend a meeting will be admitted up to the limits of the capacity of the meeting room, unless it is formally determined to be in the public interest that the meeting or any part thereof be closed to the public in accordance with Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

10. Duration.

It is anticipated that there will be a continuing need for the advice offered by this Committee. The Department will periodically review this need.

11. Termination.

In accordance with Public Law 92-463, Section 14( a)( 1), the Committee will terminate two years from the date of filing of this charter, unless it is formally determined to be in the public interest to continue it for another two years.

12. Membership and Designation.

(a) The size of the Committee shall not be fixed.

(b) The membership will be representative of private industry, the academic community, labor, the private bar, other professionals involved in the subject matter of the Committee, and the Executive Secretary designated in Paragraph 8 hereof. The members of the Committee will serve in a representative capacity, and the membership will be fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented. The Coordinator shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Committee.

(c) The Coordinator shall invite the members to serve for a period of two years or less. Vacancies may be filled as they occur.

(d) The officers of the Committee shall consist of a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, an Executive Secretary (who shall serve as the Designated Federal Official) and such other positions as the Coordinator shall determine. The Coordinator shall appoint these individuals at such times and for such periods as the Coordinator shall determine. The Executive Secretary shall be the person designated in Paragraph 8 hereof.

13. Subcommittees.

The Coordinator may establish appropriate subcommittees or working groups to carry out assigned responsibilities, and shall provide such guidance and direction as is necessary and appropriate to ensure the effective functioning of such subcommittee or working group so established. Any subcommittees must report to the parent committee, and must not provide advice or work products directly to the Department.

14. Recordkeeping.

The records of the Committee and any subcommittees shall consist of all papers and documents pertinent to its establishment and activities, including its Charter, agenda, determinations for closed meetings, minutes, reports, and all documents related to its proceedings, including those of any study groups The records shall be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 26, Item 2. These records shall be available for public inspection and copying to the extent required by the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. Sec. § 552, at the Department of State.

15. Filing date: [filled in when filed]

NOW, THEREBY, this Charter shall be considered approved by the Department of State as of this date and shall be provided to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and to the Library of Congress pursuant to the provisions of the FACA.

Approved:  Patrick F. Kennedy
Under Secretary of State for Management

Date: April 6, 2012

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