The President's Commission on AIDS

Gao ID: T-GGD-88-6 December 3, 1987

GAO discussed the: (1) compliance of National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committees with Federal Advisory Committee Act regulations; and (2) formation and initial operations of the Presidential Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic, commonly known as the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Commission. GAO noted that the six NIH advisory committees studied followed applicable regulations in terms of: (1) charter content; (2) meeting announcements; and (3) meeting minutes. GAO noted that it recently selected six FDA advisory committees for study. GAO did not review certain subjects, since the AIDS Commission was the subject of litigation regarding its alleged unbalanced representation of groups most directly affected by its work. GAO found that the AIDS Commission: (1) held one meeting which it closed to the public, citing personal privacy, although meeting minutes indicated that personnel matters were not a primary discussion topic; (2) has had three different persons serve as the designated federal official at Commission meetings; (3) maintained meeting minutes, although the Chairman did not verify their accuracy; and (4) did not always timely publish notices of planned meetings. GAO also found that: (1) several commission members criticized the former Chairman's management style; (2) several commission members, including the Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Executive Director, have resigned; and (3) the Department of Health and Human Services has provided adequate operational support.

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