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Facilities Appropriations Advisory Board - Charter

Indian Health Service
Rockville, Maryland 20852

Refer to:  OEHE


Effective Date:  May 22, 2015


  1. Purpose.  The Facilities Appropriation Advisory Board (FAAB) is established as a standing committee of Tribal and Indian Health Service (IHS) representatives.  The primary purpose of the FAAB is to make recommendations to the Director, IHS on matters involving all Office of Environmental Health and Engineering (OEHE) programs.
  2. Background.  The OEHE operates comprehensive programs that are funded under the Facilities Appropriation portion of the IHS budget.  The funding allocation for these programs is updated annually, based on need and/or workload.  Funds are identified for comprehensive environmental health services, maintenance of existing buildings, equipment, and construction programs for new and existing health care and sanitation facilities. The Director, OEHE is responsible for establishing overall policy for the operation of these programs and for the distribution of resources.
  3. Policy.  It is the IHS policy to consult with Tribal governments to the extent practicable, and to the extent permitted by law, prior to taking actions that affect federally-recognized Tribes.
  4. Scope.  The IHS FAAB is established to provide for Tribal participation in the review, development, and implementation of policies, procedures, guidelines, and priorities which govern the operation of OEHE programs in accordance with IHS Circular No. 2006-01, "Tribal Consultation Policy."  Additionally, 25 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 1631(c), Health Care Facility Priority System, of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, as amended, reinforces the consultation process, "to provide advice and recommendations for policies and procedures of the programs funded pursuant to facilities appropriations and to address other facilities issues."  In addition, the FAAB was created by the congressional language.
  5. Responsibilities.
    1. Director, OEHE.  The Director, OEHE, is administratively responsible for all matters involving all OEHE programs.
    2. Facilities Appropriation Advisory Board.  The FAAB is charged with:
      1. Federal Advisory Committee Act Compliance.  Ensuring compliance with the exemption from Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) for intergovernmental communications where meetings are "held exclusively between Federal officials and "elected officers of" Tribal governments (or their designated employees with authority to act on their behalf), acting in their official capacities." 2 U.S.C. § 1534(b). All IHS advisory groups that are convened for the purpose of generating consensus recommendations must ensure that written documentation is in place to indicate that each member of the advisory group is officially representing a Tribal government.
      2. Evaluation.  Evaluating existing facilities policies, procedures, and guidelines and recommending changes, if necessary.
      3. Participation.  . Participating in the identification, development, and evaluation of any proposed new policies, procedures, guidelines, or priorities.  In addition, should any of the recommendations necessitate changes in law, this group may recommend desired legislative changes.
      4. Consultation.  Determining when it is necessary and appropriate to seek additional consultation from all Tribes.
      5. Advice.  Providing advice and recommendations for other related issues.
      6. Circular Modifications.  Recommending modifications to operational guidelines of the FAAB.
  6. Membership.  The FAAB total size is 14 individuals that shall be composed of 12 Tribal members and 2 IHS members.
    1. Tribal Nomination.  The FAAB members/alternates are appointed by the Director, IHS from elected Tribal officials' nominations from each of the 12 IHS Areas.  This will ensure that each member of the FAAB is officially representing a Tribal government.
    2. Selection.
      1. The Director, IHS, will select the FAAB Tribal members from the names submitted by Tribes and will seek members from a range of healthcare settings so that the concerns of all American Indians/Alaska Natives health delivery systems are presented on the FAAB.
      2. The Director, IHS will appoint the two IHS members to the FAAB.
      3. As vacancies on the FAAB occur, they will be filled in a similar manner.
    3. Tenure.  There shall be no term limit placed upon FAAB membership. Membership terms are at the sole discretion of the Director, IHS. The membership shall be determined by tenure in elected office or continuing appointment by each member's Tribe.
    4. Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.  The FAAB will select a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson annually from the membership. In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson will act as Chairperson.
  7. Alternates and Technical Needs Assessment Workgroup.
    1. Alternates.  Alternates are nominated using the same process as members. The Director, IHS shall provide a letter to each nominee approving Alternate status.
  8. Logistics and Organization.  The FAAB will hold up to four meetings per year and shall hold no less than two meetings per year. All meetings will be open to passive public observers. Additional meetings and conference calls will be held on an "as needed" basis.
    1. The IHS will provide support for all meetings and conference calls.
    2. The Chairperson will chair all meetings and conference calls.
    3. Following each meeting, the IHS will prepare a written summary of the meeting proceedings that will be distributed to all Board members for their review.  Once comments have been incorporated into the summary, it will be finalized and distributed to all designated participants.
    4. Members will not receive compensation for serving on the FAAB; however, members will be reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with Federal travel regulations for attending FAAB meetings.  The local IHS Area Office will assist with travel arrangements.
    5. A quorum of eight of the Board members is required for decisions on FAAB recommendations.  The FAAB will work to seek consensus on all decisions. Should consensus not be achievable, action by the FAAB will require a super majority of three quarters of the votes of the members present at the time of the vote.
    6. The alternate is the voting member in the absence of the member. In the event that neither the member nor the alternate can attend, the member may authorize another FAAB member to serve as a proxy on any voting matter. Such proxies must be designated in writing prior to the meeting date and must be signed by the FAAB member who is authorizing the proxy.
    7. The FAAB has limitations and will identify assistance needed from subject matter experts, such as, medical professionals to determine facilities needs under new authorities, as necessary.
  9. Board Actions.  All recommendations from the FAAB shall be submitted to the Director, IHS in writing under a dated cover sheet approved by the FAAB members and signed by both the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson. Each recommendation should include background information that helps to clarify the rationale for the recommendation (this may include pros and cons of discussion points, issues of agreement and disagreement, and dissenting viewpoints).

    The FAAB shall strive for consensus on all issues.  Short of consensus, a super majority will carry the recommendation.  The minority view of a super majority vote shall be provided to the Director as part of the recommendation for the Director's consideration.

    The Director, IHS shall outline a written plan for instituting all accepted FAAB recommendations and a timetable for implementation.

    For those recommendations not accepted, the Director, IHS may request a clarification or deny the recommendation stating in detail, the reasons for the denial, citing laws, Agency regulations, Agency policies, etc., which support his or her decision.  If the Director, IHS, denies a recommendation, the FAAB may accept that decision or appeal the decision with an amended or clarified recommendation to the Director, IHS.

    The Director, IHS will respond to the FAAB recommendations within two weeks of their receipt.

  10. Term of the FAAB.  The FAAB will remain active until the Director, IHS, in consultation with all Tribes, determines it should be disbanded.
  11. Updating the FAAB Charter.  This charter may be updated by vote of the FAAB and concurrence of the Director, IHS.
  12. Effective Date.  This circular becomes effective on date of signature.

/Robert G. McSwain/
Robert G. McSwain
Acting Director
Indian Health Service

Distributed:  IHS-wide
Date:  May 22, 2015
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