In 2010 our name changed from Office of Cooperative Environmental Management (OCEM) to Office of Federal Advisory Committee Management and Outreach (OFACMO). This new name better reflects our role as: (1) the National Program Manager for EPA ’s Committee Management Program; (2) a catalyst for public participation in national and international policy development, implementation, and decision-making, and; (3) a partner in outreach, strategic coordination, and evaluation for the Agency's programs.
Public Involvement for a Better Environment
As a staff office of the EPA Administrator, the Office of Federal Advisory Committee Management and Outreach (OFACMO) serves as the secretariat for all of EPA's federal advisory committees.
EPA currently has 22 committees that advise the Administrator and other senior officials on a range of topics relevant to the work of the Agency. OFACMO's goal is to enable each of these committees to provide expert, timely recommendations from a diverse range of stakeholders.
OFACMO works to ensure that all of the Agency's advisory committees are operated in full compliance of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). It also provides support to each committee manager, who has the title "Designated Federal Officer (DFO)", by convening regular working sessions during which information and expertise is shared across committees.
OFACMO has three business operation teams:
- The Committee Policy and Oversight (CPO) Staff is responsible for the compliance of EPA's advisory committees to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). This involves providing policy, coordination, oversight, consultation, advice and technical assistance to committee managers and EPA senior officials.
- The Committee Management Operations (CMO) Staff is responsible for managing committee issues, projects, analytical and facilitation services required to perform Designated Federal Officer (DFO) duties. The 5 OFACMO-managed Committees operated by the CMO Staff are:
- National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT)
- Good Neighbor Environmental Board (GNEB), and
- National Advisory Committee (NAC) and Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to the U.S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)which address issues of the NAFTA environmental side agreements, and
- Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC)
- The Planning, Technology and Outreach (PTO) Staff is responsible for OFACMO's strategic planning, communications and outreach, information management, records management, program evaluation, resources management and budget, contracts and grant support, customer service, and administrative and logistical support.
Encouraging a Balanced Public Participation Process
In recent years, the government and EPA have emphasized and increased the public's right-to-know about their environment. We also recognize the need for, and have increased, greater stakeholder involvement in environmental decision-making. The ongoing exchange of information between scientists, public health officials, businesses, citizens, communities, and all levels of government fosters greater knowledge about the environment and what can be done to protect it. Advisory committees have become an important tool for building consensus among the Agency's diverse customers and stakeholders. It is OFACMO's privilege to be assigned the important role of ensuring quality management and a strategic approach to the use of FACA committees in EPA.
Office of Federal Advisory Committee Management and Outreach
Office of the Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
USEPA, MC - 1601M
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460