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Charter 2011


42 U.S.C. 280i-2, section 399CC of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.  The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (Committee) is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. app.), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.

Objectives and Scope of Activities

The Committee will (1) develop and annually update a summary of advances in autism spectrum disorder research related to causes, prevention, treatment, early screening, diagnosis or ruling out a diagnosis; intervention, and access to services and supports for individuals with autism spectrum disorder; (2) monitor Federal activities with respect to autism spectrum disorder; (3) make recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) regarding any appropriate changes to such activities, including recommendations to the Director of NIH with respect to the strategic plan; (4) make recommendations to the Secretary regarding public participation in decisions relating to autism spectrum disorder; (5) develop and annually update a strategic plan for the conduct of, and support for, autism spectrum disorder research, including proposed budgetary requirements; and (6) submit to the Congress such strategic plan and any updates to such plan.

Description of Duties

The Committee will coordinate all efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services concerning autism spectrum disorder to combat autism through research, screening, intervention and education.  The Committee's primary mission is to facilitate the efficient and effective exchange of information on autism activities among the member agencies, and to coordinate autism-related programs and initiatives.  The Committee will serve as a forum and assist in increasing public understanding of the member agencies' activities, programs, policies, and research, and in bringing important matters of interest forward for discussion.

Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports

The Committee makes recommendations to the Secretary, to the Director of NIH, and submits to the Congress a strategic plan and any updates to such plan.


Management and support services will be provided by the Office of the Director, National Institute of Mental Health.

Estimated Annual Operating Cost and Staff Years

The estimated annual cost for operating the Committee, including compensation and travel expenses for members but excluding staff support is $757,543.  The estimated annual person-years of staff support required are 2.2, at an estimated annual cost of $284,976.

Designated Federal Officer

The Director, National Institute of Mental Health, will assign a full-time or permanent part-time NIH employee as the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) of the Committee.  In the event that the DFO cannot fulfill the assigned duties of the Committee, one or more full-time or permanent part-time NIH employees will be assigned these duties on a temporary basis.

The Committee will meet at the call of the chairperson or upon the request of the Secretary. The DFO will prepare and approve all meeting agendas, attend all committee and subcommittee meetings, adjourn any meeting when it is determined to be in the public interest, and chair meetings when directed to do so by the Director, NIH, or the Director, NIMH.

Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings

Meetings of the full Committee will be held not less than 2 times within a fiscal year.  Meetings will be open to the public except as determined otherwise by the Secretary in accordance with subsection (c) of section 552b of Title 5, U.S.C.  Notice of all meetings will be given to the public.  In the event a portion of a meeting is closed to the public, as determined by the Secretary, in accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a report will be prepared which will contain, as a minimum, a list of the members and their business addresses, the Committee's function's, dates and places of meetings, and a summary of the Committee's activities and recommendations made during the fiscal year.  A copy of the report will be provided to the Department Committee Management Officer.



Termination Date

The Charter for the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee will expire on September 30, 2013.

Membership and Designation

This Committee will consist of Federal members listed below, or their designees, and non-Federal public members.  The authority to select the Federal members of the Committee, including the chair, is delegated to the Director, National Institutes of Health (Director).  The Committee will be composed of

  • the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
  • the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Directors of such national research institutes of the National Institutes of Health as the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) determines appropriate;
  • the heads of such other agencies as the Secretary determines appropriate; and
  • representatives of other Federal Governmental agencies that serve individuals with autism spectrum disorder such as the Department of Education.

Not fewer than six members of the Committee, or one-third of the total membership of the Committee, whichever is greater, will be composed of non-Federal public members appointed by the Secretary. Non-Federal public members appointed to the Committee will serve for a term of four years, and may be reappointed for one or more additional four year terms.  All non-Federal members serve as Special Government Employees and will include

  • at least one individual with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder;
  • at least one parent or legal guardian of an individual with an autism spectrum disorder; and
  • at least one member will be a representative of leading research, advocacy, and service organizations for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

A quorum for the conduct of business by the full Committee will consist of a majority of currently appointed members.  None of these members serve as Representatives.

The Chair of the Committee will serve as the principal advisor to the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Director of NIH, and will provide advice to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and to the heads of other relevant agencies.  The Director, NIH, will select the Chair for a term not to exceed two years.


As necessary, subcommittees and ad hoc working groups may be established by the Committee and workshops and conferences may be convened.  The advice/recommendations of a subcommittee/working group must be deliberated by the parent advisory Committee.  A subcommittee may not report directly to a Federal official unless there is statutory authority to do so.

All subcommittees will be composed of Committee members and may hold such meetings as are necessary to enable the subcommittees to carry out their duties. All subcommittee members may vote on subcommittee actions and all subcommittee members count towards the quorum for a subcommittee meeting.  Special consultants and ad hoc members may be called upon to perform functions within the Committee's jurisdiction.  Ad hoc consultants do not count towards the quorum and may not vote.  A quorum for a subcommittee will be three members.  The Department Committee Management Officer will be notified upon establishment of each standing subcommittee and will be provided information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings.


Meetings of the committee and its subcommittees will be conducted according to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, other applicable laws and Departmental policies.  Committee and subcommittee records will be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 26, Item 2 or other approved agency records disposition schedule.  These records will be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

Filing Date

September 30, 2011


September 30, 2011

Francis Collins
Director, NIH

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