Applicability of the Federal Advisory Committee Act to the Native Hawaiians Study Commission

Headnotes: 

The Native Hawaiians Study Commission (Commission) was established to advise Congress, not the President or agencies in the Executive Branch, and is thus not subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The Commission could become subject to the FACA if it were utilized to advise the President or agencies.

The Commission is not subject to the requirement of the Government in the Sunshine Act (GSA), which applies only to “agencies” a majority of whose members are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Commission is not an “agency” as that term is defined for purposes of the GSA, since it was created to undertake studies and not to exercise independent authority. Moreover, none of its members is appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Updated July 9, 2014