The Committee Charter describing the objectives and scope of the Committee states:
“The Committee will provide recommendations to the America’s Great Outdoors Council through the Secretary of the Interior on how to create a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) to engage young Americans in hands-on service and job training experiences on public lands and community green space.”
The Secretary has determined that the establishment of the Committee is in the public interest. The Committee is subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) as outlined in its Charter approved by the Secretary.
a. The 21CSC Committee. The Secretary will appoint primary members (members) and alternate members (alternates) who can bring the expertise and experience necessary to meet the Committee’s purpose.
b. Membership. Each member must make a good faith effort to attend each full FACA meeting. The member may be accompanied by such other individuals that member believes are appropriate. Alternates will attend FACA meetings as a member of the Committee in the absence of the primary member. The Secretary may remove a member or alternate of the Committee.
c. Alternates. Each Alternate should stay abreast of all discussions, issues and information and be able to represent fully the member in their absence. An alternate may “exchange” seats with his or her member, as appropriate, when the alternate has a unique knowledge or perspective to share. Alternates may also participate actively on Subcommittees created by the Committee.
d. Chairperson. Harry Bruell, from Southwest Conservation Corps, will serve as the Chairperson of the Committee. The role of the Chairperson is to establish Committee priorities and provide leadership to the Committee.
e. Designated Federal Official (DFO). Lisa Young, Department of the Interior, will serve as the DFO. The role of the DFO is to open and close FACA meetings, approve agenda and certify meeting summaries in consultation with the Committee, and other duties identified in FACA.
f. Constituent Interests. Committee members are expected to ensure that all significant issues and concerns are fully and clearly articulated during the FACA meetings, and that the recommendations developed by the Committee are acceptable to the constituency that the Committee member represents. Members and alternates are expected to coordinate with each other.
g. Subcommittees. Subcommittees may be formed to address specific issues and to make recommendations to the Committee. Subcommittees can consist of members, alternates and people with specific expertise and/or experience. Each Subcommittee may select “people with specific expertise and/or experience” as appropriate to meet the objectives of the Subcommittee. In addition, at appropriate times, technical experts may be invited to participate in and offer advice to the Subcommittee. Subcommittees will make recommendations to the full committee. Subcommittees are not authorized to make decisions for the Committee as a whole. All members and alternates will be notified of the full membership of each Subcommittee. Subcommittees will be asked to provide regular reports to the Committee through an oral briefing and in writing when necessary.
a. Open Meetings. FACA meetings will be announced in the Federal Register prior to the meeting and, consistent with FACA requirements, will be open to the public. The public will be given opportunities at designated times during each meeting to make comments, raise questions, or submit materials for the record. If a Committee member believes that a member of the public can provide valuable information to the Committee, he or she can request that the DFO provide time outside of the official public comments period for that person to speak.
b. Communication. Members are encouraged to communicate their opinions, ideas, and concerns openly in order to foster dialogue that will lead to the best possible decisions.
c. Meeting Summaries. The DFO will approve the meeting summary prepared by the facilitators for each FACA meeting. The summary will include a record of the persons present, including Committee members and members of the public who make written or oral presentation, and description of the matters discussed and conclusions reached, including copies of all reports and other documents received, issued, or approved by the Committee at the FACA meeting. Draft meeting summaries, prepared by the facilitator, will be circulated to members for review, including accuracy and balance. Final meeting summaries will be made available to the public on the Committee website.
d. Agenda. Preliminary FACA meeting agendas will be developed by the DFO, facilitator and Chair in consultation with the members.
e. Caucus. Any member or the facilitator may request a caucus (a private meeting of a subset of the Committee) at any time to further dialogue and issue resolution. Members will be asked for an estimate of the time needed for the caucus. No Committee decisions can be reached outside of full Committee deliberations.
a. Consensus. The Committee will operate by consensus. A member may choose to “abstain” or “stand aside,” which is considered a non-vote that will not count towards or against consensus. If a member has a major objection, the member will make a serious effort to propose a reasonable alternative to the decision. If the member or their alternate is not present when consensus is reached, the facilitator will contact the absent member within a few business days to determine if s/he is part of the consensus agreement. If the absent member cannot live with the agreement, the facilitator will report by electronic mail the concerns to the full Committee. If consensus is not reached on an item or issue, the Committee will determine how to proceed (such as working further to reach consensus through appointed workgroups or other designated means, transmitting majority / minority views, or tabling the item or issue).
b. Discontinue Committee Discussions. Through a consensus decision, the Committee may discontinue discussions at any time if they do not appear productive.
The Committee will focus on action and developing recommendations for the processes, funding mechanisms, guidelines, mechanisms and other components necessary to create and launch the 21CSC. The Committee will decide on each item as it is developed and will forward those approved immediately to the Secretary on behalf of the Department of the Interior, and who will transmit to the America’s Great Outdoors Council, so that implementation begins as soon as feasible. The Committee may provide preliminary or proposed recommendations to the Youth, Jobs and Service Working Group (YJS) of the America’s Great Outdoors Council and consider feedback from the YJS in finalizing recommendations. The Committee also may receive materials and information from the YJS and provide feedback. The Committee will also monitor the implementation and make adjustments, changes and interventions as necessary to ensure smooth implementation.
a. Right to Withdraw. Any member or alternate may withdraw from the Committee at any time. However, prior to withdrawing the member will communicate to the Committee the reasons for withdrawal and his or her designated alternate will become the primary member. In the event that the alternate then chooses to withdraw, the Committee will evaluate whether that interest on the Committee should be replaced and whether a different alternate could represent that interest. The Secretary must appoint all members and alternates.
b. Information. Members or alternates will not attribute statements to others involved in the Committee, seek to present or represent the views or position of others on the Committee, nor attempt to speak on behalf of the whole Committee in or to the media. Media requests will be directed to and addressed by the Chair and DFO. “Media” for these purposes includes press, television, radio, websites, and other public information distribution mechanism.
Role of the Facilitator(s)
The Facilitator will work to ensure that the process runs smoothly. The role of the Facilitator usually includes developing draft agenda, facilitating Committee and Subcommittee discussions, working to resolve any impasses the may arise, preparing meeting summaries, assisting in the location and circulation of background materials the Committee develops, and other functions the Committee requests. The Facilitator will take no positions on the issues before the Committee.
The Committee will meet approximately 5-6 times in 2012, on dates as determined by the Committee. The goal of the Committee is to complete its initial set of recommendations by July 1, 2012. Thereafter, the Committee will continue working on how to create and implement the 21CSC and may develop additional recommendations. The Committee is chartered until November 2013 and, at the request of the Secretary, may continue to hold meetings in 2013.